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, Battl...eframe. 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. More

Saturday Musings - Seek First to Understand

Looking at a bottle of wine from a different perspective.

Understanding another person, whether they are a family member, work colleague or even a close friend is the first stage in developing the relationship further. It’s easy to gloss over issues when everything is going well but much harder when the rubber really hits the road.

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I’ve found that in a tense situation the first stage in trying to understand someone is to really listen. Don’t just hear the words a person is conveying but try and listen to their intent. Is it to build up or to tear down? Even if the other person is yelling at you, they may be doing so because they really care.

The main reason why people try and engage in any sort of discussion is because they care enough about the situation or person and are willing to put themselves on the line. If you’re having a clash over an issue with someone at work then ask yourself the simple question, “Why?” It’s the rare individual that is just destructive and more often than not the other person just perceives the issues from a different angle.

For example, if you put a bottle of wine in the middle of the table and ask two people on opposite sides to describe what they are seeing you will get completely different answers. While both may agree on the shape of the bottle one will describe the beautiful artistic front label and the other the detailed legal notes on the back label.

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Rawgi
I swear you should be a philosopher. It is rare indeed to take the time to see what the other party is really trying to convey. Is... Read More
12 April 2019
mgilmour
Thank you Rawgi for your kind comment. BTW - have you seen em8er? Mark Kern from FF is developing it and it looks almost identical... Read More
15 April 2019
Rawgi
Yes I have seen and have been a backer for Em8er for some time. I registered there right before FireFall took it's last dive. It ... Read More
15 April 2019
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The Challenge of Development

One of the dashboards of my new development.

About ten years ago I wrote an article that the holy grail of domain monetisation is the ability to manage mass developments and for management to be able to have a meaningful impact on them. In this article I hope to share some of my own thoughts and experiences on developing a platform to achieve this goal.

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I should say from the outset that one of the great things about traffic monetisation is that it’s very scalable and requires comparatively little work to manage. I also don't believe in development for developments sake but rather I view development as less about a technological build and more about building sustainable businesses.

Domain investors often have thousands, if not tens of thousands of domain names so any viable solution needs to be able to tick a two high level boxes:
1.    Scalability
2.    Management Impact


Scalability

Obviously, any solution needs to be able to handle the traffic demand on the servers but what I’m talking about here is less about Internet traffic (ie. depth) and more about numbers of domains (breadth).

Platforms such as Joomla and Wordpress are ideal for building a single website but domain investors are looking at potentially building all of their assets into valuable properties. This change in mindset forced me to evaluate and ultimately build a new type of platform that could overcome the challenges of less scalable systems.

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Japan and ICANN Kobe

Shinkansen (bullet train) at Tokyo station

I’ve been in Japan for the past eight days and it’s been a tiring and yet great time. I’m writing this blog in a few spare minutes between meetings while sitting at a table in the ICANN registration area. Please excuse me if there are any typos or grammatical errors.

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I was in Tokyo for the first four days of my journey to the land of the rising sun. I’ve visited Tokyo many times and find it’s one of the most vibrant cities in the world…..besides that, it’s just a lot of fun! After a lot of great meetings, I had a chance to get out and explore the city with a few other friends that happened to be in Tokyo at the time.

There’s nothing quite like trying to work out how to buy a ticket on a Shinkansen (bullet train) to sort you out….so our first stop was Shinjuku train station. Shinjuku is a MAJOR station where trying to find out how to get out of it is an amazing feat of intellectual prowess, let alone get some bullet train tickets. Think of it as a massive escape room where the signs are designed to confuse the heck out of you.

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Heading to ICANN Kobe

As is my custom, I’m writing to you from the Melbourne Qantas Club as I wait for my flight to Tokyo, Japan. Yes….you would also be right in saying, “Weren’t you just in New Zealand?”

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Sounds like a bit of jetsetting but it’s actually more of a tyranny of timing. Last week I was hiking through the pristine wilderness of the New Zealand south island. I must admit, that the experience has really changed me and caused me to fall in love with tramping around trails while looking at spectacular scenery.

I’m now headed to one of the biggest cities in the world…..so I wouldn’t be surprised if I go through a little culture shock. Not from the amazing Japanese people but being surrounded by buildings and concrete. In New Zealand I could gaze 20 plus kilometres into the distance while in Tokyo it’s going to be to the next office building.

So what draws me to Japan? I could say the food…..and the culture…..and the many things Japanese and they would all be correct. In reality I’m headed to ICANN.

If you’re attending ICANN in Kobe then please reach out to me. I’d love to catchup…..but right now I’ve got to go as my flight just got called!

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fmichlick
Are you coming to ICANN Montreal in November? Would be good to see you here. Just too bad it's that late in the year, it's going t... Read More
16 March 2019
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Domain Sales is Overdue for a Shake-up – Part 2

The brokerage model needs to change.

In the previous article in this serious I took aim at the two major marketplaces of Sedo and Godaddy/Afternic. I then proposed a business model that solved the problem of the marketplaces being full of bad domains that must reduce the likelihood of sales transactions for potential buyers. You can read more about this hear: Part 1

I now want to propose a business model to help unclog the domain brokerage arm of the aftermarket.

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From a high-level perspective, the state of the domain aftermarket is as follows:
1.    Massive over-supply of domains – courtesy of the new gTLDs.
2.    Same demand.
3.    Anyone can put a shingle out and say they are a broker.

The vast majority of “brokers” aren’t brokers at all but are really “order takers”. What they do is take on lots of domains and then respond to inbound queries. These “order takers” just do what every serious domain investor does, with one exception, they didn’t pay for the domain they’re selling. So who do you think is more likely to sell the domain? The investor or the “order taker”? I’ll leave this up to you to work out.

On the flip-side of the coin there are the REALLY good brokers that know how to sell and pitch domains to prospective sellers and these people get the job done. They are worth their weight in gold and on the whole do an outstanding job for their clients.

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