Blogs about the domain industry and the various players and companies within it.

Where’s the Innovation Revolution?

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One of the most frustrating things about the domain industry is the complete lack of innovation. This isn’t necessarily because companies don’t want to innovate but more because they are caught in a bind and can’t innovate. What do I mean by this?

Escrow.com

Every company should be evolving. Evolution has the sense of slow change over a long period of time where internal processes are streamlined, website made “snappier” and customers are being looked after. These are all important things to do but they stem from the evolutionary basket not the revolutionary.

A revolutionary change is where a company completely transforms an industry, and everyone looks up and says, “Why didn’t we think of that?” It’s looking at domains and saying, “I think there is an aftermarket for them.” In its day, this was a revolutionary concept. It’s looking at domain traffic and matching it up with advertisers…..again, another revolutionary concept.

The problem the domain industry has is it’s been caught in the revenue bind. This is where the bean counters look at resourcing a new idea as a cost rather than as an investment into a competitive advantage. Serious innovation often means cannibalising existing revenue streams and this is regarded as a “no go zone” by managers that are given quarterly targets.

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Heading to the Land of the Rising Sun

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As is my tradition, I'm writing this blog while sitting in the Qantas club at Melbourne airport. Where am I off to this time? As the title of the blog suggests, I'm traveling to Tokyo, Japan.

Escrow.com

It's been a long time since I was last in Japan and I have many fond memories of the amazing country. Last time I was working with the Australian and New Zealand embassies in Tokyo and my wife and I discovered the wonders of Japanese food.

Prior to heading to Japan on my first trip I remember hating seafood......but I discovered that if you don't eat seafood in Japan then you'll basically starve to death. By the end of my trip I found the Japanese have an almost magical love affair with all things that grow in the sea and the way they cook them all up left my mothers style of boiling everything to until it was a soggy mash for dead. So yes, I'm looking forwrard to the food on this trip.

As you would expect, there is a lot of business to be conducted in Japan......and I've found it's largely virgin territory for many in the domain industry. Yes, there are some big domainers that make there home there but I've found there's still a LOT of opportunity.

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Interview with Jackson at the Escrow.com Offices

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After NamesCon I headed over to San Francisco and the offices of Escrow.com. While there I had a chance to check out the Escrow.com offices, chat with the team and interview the CEO, Jackson Elsegood.

In the short interview we discuss NamesCon, the new Escrow.com API and the problems of clawbacks with payment systems such as paypal and credit cards.

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Wolftalker
Good interview Michael. Before I go, ever considered posting transcripts to accompany videos?
21 February 2018
mgilmour
I've thought about doing that but it's actually quite a lot of work and times a premium.
22 February 2018
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New gTLDs - Domain Investors Matter!

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I don’t know about you but I’m getting really tired of some new gTLD registries treating domain investors as second-class citizens. So how are investors treated in this manner?

Escrow.com

It starts with language. There will be statements from registries such as, “We want to see real usage of our extension.” This suggests that domain investors who park a domain or use it for some other purpose aren’t doing so for legitimate business reasons. This is the height of arrogance by the registries!

I want to put registries that speak in this manner on notice that domain monetisation in any form (traffic, selling domains etc.) IS a legitimate business model and to change their disparaging language. In fact, if it wasn’t for the domain investment community many of the registries would be drowning in a bath of red ink……so don’t bite the hand that’s feeding you!

I was recently speaking with a registry and they proudly espoused the fact they had such a large “actual” use of their extension compared to others. When you really think about it what they were saying was that domain investors don’t use their domains. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Domain investors have the right use their domains in any manner they wish. Because a domain doesn’t have a fancy website doesn’t mean the domain isn’t important for the investor. It could be they are in the middle of a negotiation to sell the domain for a premium, monetising the domain traffic, using it for an email address or plan on building it into a profitable business. That’s the owners prerogative and their own business.

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jsass
Hi Michael. Good, thought-provoking post, as always. However, I don't necessarily agree that Registries should necessarily change ... Read More
17 February 2018
mgilmour
Jeff, I would 100% agree with you.....that's why I said that some registries behave in the matter I outlined. .CLUB is one of thos... Read More
17 February 2018
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Is Domain Investing Dead?

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Many people have come to the conclusion that investing in domains is dead and yet from my perspective the industry appears to be flourishing. The first distinction we need to make is whether you are part of the industry or a customer of the industry.

Escrow.com

Over the last few years many new gTLD registries have been stomping the pavement and doing whatever they can to convince investors to buy domains with their extensions. When investors purchase the domains, they are the customers of both their registrar and ultimately the registry.

The registrar and the registry have done their job…..they just convinced you to register a domain name. The ball is now in your court to decide what you’re going to do with it to provide a return on your investment.

It is NOT the registries responsibility to support the reason why you registered the domain. I know this may seem like bad news but the registries do not have a responsibility to ensure you get a return on your investment….that’s your job.

The only time a registry will possibly be concerned is if the net position of new registrations and renewals goes into a negative trend. If this is the case, they will attempt to stimulate demand through advertising efforts, but they are very unlikely to try and rescue your investments.

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mgilmour
Happy to help out Jim. Repeatable revenue is one of the reasons why I like traffic monetisation so much.
13 February 2018
mgilmour
Many thanks for your comment....you've been in the industry for a while! I'd love to have a chat with you directly if you have som... Read More
14 February 2018
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