Saturday Musings - Innovate or Die

Saturday Musings - Innovate or Die

When we reflect on the last hundred years of history innovation has been rampant as one breakthrough after another has succumbed to the creative talents of people who think differently.

Think about it, just over a hundred years ago the Wright brothers flew for the first time at Kittyhawk and now humanity has been to the outer reaches of the solar system. The rate of change an innovation is simply staggering.

I found myself reflecting a lot about innovation this week because on Monday I took delivery of an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head set. I’ve been waiting for over five months for the Oculus and it’s been twenty-two years since I first experienced VR at the Walt Disney Imagineering labs in Florida. You could say that my expectations were pretty high!

It only took a couple of minutes to setup and then I put on the head-mounted display unit for the first time. To say the experience was staggering is an understatement. The sense of being in a virtual world was completely engrossing, including feeling vertigo in a demonstration which involved standing on the edge of a skyscraper.

I fired up a futuristic star fighter flight simulator that involved being launched out of a space-carrier and into the middle of a space battle. I can look behind me, above me and forward as enemies’ wheel around my ship and try and get a missile lock. Flying behind asteroids and other structures for cover is entirely real as they swoosh past my left and right. I was really there!

An interesting thing happened to me when I left VR. I began to think about the computer generated world as being all around me. Staring at a flat monitor as I write this blog just seems so old hat now. There is one thing for sure we are on the brink of a VR revolution that will change the way we interact with computers forever.

So after my bit of playing around I downloaded Unity 3D to start to learn how to program the Oculus myself. With a bit of help from an Amazon book it wasn’t long before I donned the headset to explore a world that I had created. This was a lot more fun than flying spaceships!

I’m a firm believer that if you want to really be innovative then you need to be learning about technological advances when they are in their infancy. When the Internet was first commercialised in the early 90s I founded an ISP because I wanted to learn all there was about the Net. Likewise, I did the same thing with a broadcast technology that I developed back in early 2000.

Before founding ParkLogic I learnt a lot about domain names by being a domain investor myself. This innovative philosophy is at the heart of why ParkLogic is so successful with domain investors all across the world. We are constantly looking for new innovative ways to extract greater value from domain traffic. The reason why we never stop is we have a mantra of “Innovate or Die”.

I had a discussion with one of our team this week and he was asking why we were testing out a new monetisation opportunity. I replied by saying, “We are charged by our clients to constantly find better ways of monetising their traffic. We can’t just rely on a single source of revenue; we need to innovate for our customer’s sake or we should stop right now.”

Every day I read a synopsis of the latest innovations in technology and science from around the world. For example, quantum entanglement will not impact the domain industry in the short-term but in the long-term it’s going to change everything. Behind the scenes Artificial intelligence is now changing the way we interact with the web. How it will change the domain industry is anyone’s guess.

So the question I have for you is what have you done in your business that was different today compared to a few years ago? If you’ve been doing the same thing with your domain traffic as you’ve always done, then don’t be disappointed with poor results. Give me a call, do something different and be amazed at the outcomes at little innovation can generate.

Have a great weekend…..I know that I will because I’ve got a world to build!

Recent comment in this post
All the talk about innovation and virtual Reality reminds me of my Philosophy class in college. I still find myself thinking abou... Read More
05 February 2017
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Saturday Musings - In a World Gripped By Fear

Saturday Musings - In a World Gripped By Fear

Sadly, when I look at the world today I see that it’s largely been caught up in the hysteria of fear. It’s questions like the following that seem to be plaguing everyones mind as the media pumps out an endless litany of terror.

Who will win the presidential race? Does that person walking down the street carry a gun? What are the implications of Brexit? Will I keep my job? Will my kids love me when they’re older?

Like the USA, Australia is in the middle of a federal election campaign. The two major parties here have finally devolved into, you guessed it, fear campaigns. You can almost feel fear's icy tentacles grip the nation as the attack commercials are shown time and time again on the television. It’s really quite sad.

Being bound by fear of the future and what may happen can be debilitating. One of my favourite science fiction books is Dune by Frank Herbert. In the book there is the following quote:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

The quotation takes a stand against fear and states exactly what it is, a mind-killer that brings death and destruction. So how do you overcome your fears?

I was recently traveling on a packed bus in Amsterdam and an odd thought crossed my mind as a looked on a lady with wearing a haj, “If she has a bomb vest on I would never know.” It was ridiculous, full of bigotry and most of all fear. How do I quickly get off the bus? Will I have time? Am I right with my maker?

All these thoughts rushed through my head until I mentally faced my completely irrational fear not with mental fortitude or grim determination but with love. I decided to look on the people around me not as faceless individuals but as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children. The woman wearing the haj wasn’t nearly so scary anymore. Suddenly, my fear evaporated and instead I found myself smiling at those around me (they probably thought I was crazy – LOL).

There’s a great quote from the Bible which says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” President John F Kennedy said, “It’s amoral when men and women of good conscience fail to act.”

So in these turbulent times make a decision to show your love for your neighbour, your friends, work colleagues or even the stranger down the street. Together, if we stand against fear we can make a better world, despite our leaders, a world that we can enjoy with our loved ones.

Have a great weekend.

Recent Comments
- and Dune is a classic.
25 June 2016
One of my favourite books!
26 June 2016
I completely agree with you on this. I think that in many respects the Central Banks have completely lost control of their economi... Read More
26 June 2016
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Saturday Musings - What Terrorists Need To Learn From the LGBT Community

Saturday Musings - What Terrorists Need To Learn From the LGBT Community

I turned on my television this week to be faced with yet another massacre being perpetrated across the screen. Innocent lives snuffed out in an instant by an unbridled rage empowered by a maniac with twenty-first century weapons. All of this in the name of an ideology that has a complete disdain for life and liberty.

The biggest problem with terrorism is not that it appears insane, because it’s not. The biggest problem with terrorism is that its carefully orchestrated to play to the ferocious western media appetite. Just think about it, one attack and the terrorists get a couple of week’s media play in prime time that would have cost millions of dollars to purchase.

So what we are looking at is not the mad outworking of a deranged individual but an entirely different kind of warfare that the massed military might of western nations is struggling to come to grips with. So if this is a new type of war then what’s the objectives of the terrorism?

I wish that I could come up with an instant answer to this question but sadly that’s not going to be the case. What I do know is that the middle-east is a seething hotbed of dictators, warlords and extremists all trying to enforce their will on an oppressed people. Each of the groups are also armed with weapons that come from either the east or the west…

Overlaying all of this is a western alliance that flies in at thirty thousand feet to blow the extremists back into the stone-age in the name of securing our energy supply (ie. oil). What would you do if you were a goat herder minding your own business and just watched your family get blown to smithereens by any of the above geo-political forces?

In a fit of frustration and despair you willingly don an explosive vest with the sure knowledge that you’ll be joining your family soon. You end up viewing everyone as the enemy because they have something that you no longer have……a family.

Those that still have loved ones or haven’t suffered some emotional trauma from the endless conflict (not sure if there is anyone left in this group) have braved a mass exodus to what hopefully will be a better life. As testament to the drownings in the Mediterranean, many of them won’t make it.

Just think about this for a second. The goal of the current mass migration is fleeing their country and into the arms of those people that define them as collateral damage from a drone strike. To give you an idea of the torment these refugees have been afflicted with, we (ie. us) are seen as safer than where they are fleeing from. Remember, most of these refugees have been fed a diet of the west being the great Satan….and yet, in desperation, they still come.

As I watched my television I was reminded of another oppressed people…..the gay community. When you compare them to the people of the middle-east you can see many similarities. For years, gays were hunted down, murdered, assaulted and at the very least bullied by powerful individuals, communities and nations. The stories shared by gay individuals are often truly horrific and terrifying.

So how has this oppressed minority responded? Did they rise up with weapons and bombs to make their point? No, on the whole they responded in love, patience and kindness. This is despite the fact that they were watching loved ones die from AIDS while protesters heckled them.

In the latest shooting in Orlando, what does much of the media give air to? The fact that there are going to be anti-gay protestors at funerals (this completely sickens me) and lots of details about the attacker and his links to ISIS.

It would have been nice if the media reported on how the gay community has responded in love for each other and their fellow man. Even though they have just cause, none of them have donned an explosive vest or raised up arms against anyone else in response to their trauma. They have “turned the other cheek.”

The gay community has provided a clear example for the terrorists of this world to follow. If you really want change then respond in love not hate, life is precious not cheap and mourn with those that mourn.

Likewise, over the years, the west has become experts at blowing things up. Maybe it would be better to put our arms around the goat herder in compassion rather than call his family collateral damage?

Terrorists leaders that prey on the misery of distressed individuals and send them in to blow themselves up should also know that love is strong. If you refuse a message of love, for the sake of the billions of people in the world you will be found and brought to justice either in this life or the next. In the meantime, the rank and file members of such extremist organisations, put your weapons down and embrace a much more radical concept that brings lasting change…..”love thy neighbour”.

I will continue to pray for the gay community that lost so many loved ones this week and for the perpetrator that bought into an ideology of hate rather than love.

Have a compassionate weekend.

Recent Comments
Last week's event's are very sad indeed.. but if you look at the middle east. Most of it's ills are nothing but Western imperial... Read More
19 June 2016
Hi Kan, yes, there are definitely problems in the middle east.. The point of my article was the to highlight the power of expressi... Read More
20 June 2016
Domain Master
Hello Michael, " I will continue to pray for the gay community that lost so many loved ones this week and for the perpetrator t... Read More
19 June 2016
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The Joys of Jetlag....

The Joys of Jetlag....

I often share with people that one of the painful things about Melbourne, Australia is that it’s so far away from everywhere else in the world. I then follow up with, “One of the great things is that it’s so far from everywhere else in the world.”

Obviously, this is all tongue in cheek but I must admit that I'm completely over experiencing multiple bouts of jetlag. A few weeks ago I was on a 12 day trip that circumnavigated the world. It involved 7 flights and a total of 60 hours actually in the air.

I’m certain that when I returned to Australia my blood had to flow through my veins in the opposite direction because I kept on getting dizzy. Doing a rapid East to West trip like that really messed up my body clock. Besides that, upon returning the jetlag woke me up at around 4am for several days….which meant I caught up on a lot of TV.

It was great being back home for a couple of weeks……but now I find myself on the other side of the world in Europe about to attend TNW (The Next Web) and Domaining Europe. So once again jetlag has been waking me up at 4am…..except I’m in Europe rather than Australia. Doh!!!

So, how long am I here for? About enough time to acclimatise to the time zone before I flip once again to the other side of the planet. I sometimes wonder what time zone I’m actually in until my body reminds me that it really doesn’t make a difference as it just wants to sleep now.

So there I was in a very important meeting…..desperately trying to stay awake (thank goodness for coffee). We then went out to dinner and not surprising the topic of domains was brought up…..and this is my downfall. Despite the jetlag, when the topic of domains is brought up I suddenly feel so energised that I felt like I could go all night.

I find that domains are amazing things that are incredibly flexible with all of the business ideas you can drive off them. And this is what really causes me to travel so much and put up with all of the jetlag. Domains are simply amazing.

Hopefully I’ll catch-up with a few of you at TNW or Domaining Europe over the next few days. If I'm falling asleep then just give me a prod....or talk about domains


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Saturday Musings – Planning For Your Future

Saturday Musings – Planning For Your Future

So many people let life live them rather than living life. What do I mean by this? The vast majority of people go through the motions each day in order to put food on the table, pay the bills etc. Domain owners are very different individuals as they’ve decided to take a risk and invest in what many see as a highly risky asset.

The problem is that so many domain investors stop there. They buy the domains and then wait for the magic to happen and believe they'll rake in huge amounts of cash. When this doesn’t happen they crawl back to the nay-sayers and say they should never have invested in a crazy asset like domains.

Before you humble yourself to people who invariably don’t have the gumption to take any risks consider this, buying an asset isn’t the same as working on your business. Buying the asset is the first stage in a journey and that journey will always starts with you. How much you develop yourself will have a direct impact on the success of your business venture.

I'm not trying to brag but I’m constantly attending conferences and speaking with other domainers so that I can learn from their successes and mistakes. It's a real cost to do these things but the payoffs can be astronmical. Reading blogs (thank you for reading this one) and participating in forums is another way you can hone your skills which is less costly.

For example, one of the reasons why I attended the first conference in Macau last year was that I wanted to learn more about the Chinese market. Likewise, I attended Domainers Meeting in Dubai. Yes, they were both small conferences but both of them sit at the cross-roads of enormous future markets. I know that learning about these markets now is going to help me in my domaining business in the future. Sure enough, I'm now doing a growing amount of business with the people I've met at these events.

On my recent trip around the world I had the opportunity to speak with a prominent domain investor who told me that domain parking was completely dead and that he was hardly making any revenue from it. I was really surprised by this comment and asked what he’d been doing these last 5 years with his domains.

He told me he’d left them all at one parking company. At which point I said, “How can you expect a different outcome by doing the same thing?” He’s now about to work with ParkLogic. Just for the record, we had a best month ever last month in monetising domain traffic… traffic monetisation is far from dead.

Here’s what we can learn from these incidents. Whatever you do, invest in yourself and then make a decision to act. Investing in yourself and then doing nothing is insanity while not investing in yourself and randomly acting is sheer lunacy. You need to do both if you want your business to move forward.

The next thing you should do is develop a plan. If you are buying and selling domains then have a plan on how you’re going to do this. Don’t just buy domains and believe you’ll get a heap of enquiries. That’s a hobby. A business has a plan that you then execute for a defined outcome. Along the journey you need to remain flexible enough to adapt the plan as more information comes in.

In future articles I’m going to unpack how I sell domains and some of the innovations that we are developing at my company, ParkLogic. In the meantime, register for a domain conference and then grab a pen and paper so that you can write down what you believe are your next steps to grow your business.

Have a great weekend!


Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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