Saturday Musings - Taking Time Out

How do you recharge your batteries?

Finding out how you recharge your batteries is one of the most important things you can do. Each of us have a little internal dynamo that sometimes winds down. The end result is that many of us grit our teeth with internal exhaustion as we face each day.

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Internal tiredness has nothing to do with the number of hours of sleep we’ve had the night before but more about a sense of needing some “me” time. For some people this means going to the gym, taking a walk or staring at the television….for me it’s a little different.

For example, last night at around midnight I decided to stop working and pulled out a new computer game. Next thing I know it’s 4am and my empire has now expanded across multiple star systems. I tear myself away from my PC and decide that it’s about time for me to head to bed. I wake up about 5 hours later completely refreshed and so excited about the Saturday ahead of me.

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Gambling on Domains

Are you gambling on domains?

I must admit that I’ve never really understood the business model underpinning domain sales. I know that in this article I may rain on your parade and for that I’m sorry….but please help me out in getting over some of my possibly faulty logic

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The state of the market for domain names is that it has fallen from a peak growth of 11.7% in 2015 to 1.2% in 2017. The 2015 peak was spurred on by two factors:
•    The Chinese domain boom
•    Greater release of new gTLDs

When you begin to drill down into the data it becomes even more interesting. For instance, .COM grew by 6.4% in 2015 and is growing by 2.8% in 2017. The legacy TLDs (eg. org, net etc) grew by 1.5% in 2015 and slipped backwards by -1.9%. The surprise was the ccTLDs (country codes). In 2015 they were growing by 14% while in 2017 they are beating .COM out with a growth rate of 3.9%. I must admit that I love ccTLDs and have made a lot of money from them over the years.

The sorry tale is the new TLDs. After exploding out of the blocks in 2015 with a growth of 196% they are now contracting by 14.6%. Many have stated that this is not surprising as speculators leave the market but when you consider that over 50% of the domains are parked then you’ve got to ask what’s actually happening. The simple answer is some of the extensions (eg. XYZ) are experiencing massive drops which is influencing the numbers overall…..so no panic here for the truly good extensions.

Ignoring the decline in the new TLDs the overall growth in the market is around 4.8% or approximately 9 million more domains from 2016 to 2017. This is an important number as it represents the demand side of the market and should dynamically influence the sale price of domains.

The other curve is a little frightening…..the supply curve. Since the new TLDs were released, the market has been swamped with a massive level of supply. This is not the early days of the Internet where there was .COM, the CC’s and a few others. We are now in an environment where the supply is so large that it MUST impact the sales price.

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Recent Comments
mgilmour
I based this roughly on overall market share. Yes, many domains are sold privately but I think not as many as people would have yo... Read More
11 October 2018
mgilmour
Many thanks for the extensive comment! My understanding was the $150m was the revenue line to GoDaddy not the net revenue. Maybe I... Read More
11 October 2018
mgilmour
Thanks for the correction of .tk.....I forgot to take them into consideration. What is for sure is the domain market is mature and... Read More
11 October 2018
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The 3 Keys to Business Success!

The 3 keys to business success.

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day and he asked me a question that in many respects stopped me in my tracks. “What are the keys to business success?” I paused before answering and I thought that it would be worthwhile sharing my answer with readers.

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Vision
Having a vision is fundamental to providing a direction for your business. Without a vision you may be successful for a time but eventually you won’t know what problem your solving or even why customers keep returning.

A vision is less about having some grandiose statement that is pinned to a wall and more about the DNA of your company. It’s tackling the why you are in business more than what you are doing. If you can answer the why then customers will be drawn to your philosophy as much as your products.

Talent
Whatever your business is you will require some skills to become successful. You may not have all of the skills you need right now but over time you must be open to personal growth and acknowledge the fact that you don’t know everything.

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Saturday Musings - TED Talk by Ray Dalio

Principles - Ray Dailio TED talk

As many readers are aware, during this year I’ve been sharing a number of the principles that I endeavour to follow in my own life. I’ve found they have helped me enormously in relationships and making better decisions.

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Early this year I had a friend give me the book “Principles” by Ray Dalio and recommended that I read it. I found it was really interesting reading from a person that has analytically put principles into practice in almost every aspect of his business. I should say from the start that I didn’t agree with everything that he wrote but it was still extremely challenging.

Ray spoke at TED 2017 in Vancouver and in a simple example I think he brilliantly summarised the practical outworking of what it means to work in a radically transparent meritocracy. This allows the staff at his hedge fund, Bridgewater Capital, to focus on the best ideas rather than all the politics that often rips apart many organisations and often results in bad decision making.

He freely admits that it’s not for everyone but the example he uses of radical transparency is eye opening….and extremely challenging. I hope you enjoy the video and find it thought provoking.

Have a great weekend.
Michael

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Subprime Problems with Online Advertising

Will online advertising survive?

Back in 2008 the world experienced the impact of the subprime mortgage crisis. Greed, combined with a dose of stupidity put the global economy into a tailspin. The question I have been asking myself is whether the online advertising industry is heading for its own subprime shakeout.

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The global financial crisis was caused by blending toxic loans that would never be paid back with good loans that would. The thought of big commissions spurred Wall Street forward to meddle with the ratio of good performing to bad performing loans so they were weighted on the wrong side of the ledger.

Ratings agencies such as Moody’s and Standard and Poors would look at these loan blends and put a rating on them that represented the riskiness of the blended loan portfolio. The problem is the agencies were paid by the banks that were trying to sell them…..so guess what, all these toxic loan portfolios received the highest investment rating.

I know that I’ve over simplified the whole financial crisis but what happened next was incredibly predictable and now a part of history. People lost their jobs as a credit squeeze hit the financial markets and central bankers wondered how they were blindsided.

Let’s compare this to the online advertising industry.

Traffic can be bought at varying degrees of quality and blended together so that it’s just acceptable enough for advertisers to buy. In fact, the name of the game for many traffic sellers is to get an advertiser hooked on the “heroin” and then dilute the traffic quality with “talcum powder”. This way the sellers can maximise their returns.

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