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Where’s the Innovation Revolution?


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?

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.

To give an example, one of the most terrifyingly simple innovations for domain traffic is to build a repeat business model. Right now, domain parking is essentially crossing your fingers as you hope for a click. If you get a click awesome, otherwise throw the user away. It’s really a stupid business model…..but it does have some advantages around easy money and easy scalability.

I could be wrong, but I don’t know anyone that has built a system for capturing email addresses as a scalable solution. There are some piece meal attempts but nothing that would entice a domain owner to turn off their current revenue in the hope of a greater revenue stream in the future.

Or how about scalable solutions for development that provides a dashboard for a domain owner to be able to control thousands of businesses? That’s a really tough problem to crack and I wouldn’t be surprised if it will require some AI components as personal assistants.

Accurately pricing domains is another area that really needs some major innovation thrown at it. What I find strange is that many of the marketplaces strongly suggest to the domain owners they should add Buy It Now prices to their domains. Why is this strange?

Investors typically don’t have the tools to accurately price their domains, so they end up guessing. This will then likely reduce sales which then impacts both the investor and the marketplace. Some innovation needs to be poured into the entire domain pricing models.

Most domain brokers are still working under a success fee model…..if you really think about it this doesn’t make sense. In a market where there is a massive supply problem and little demand (comparatively) domain brokers should alter their fee structure so they can be rewarded more equitably for their efforts.

Just think about it. A domain broker spends a whole lot of time trying to sell a domain name. In the process they discover the seller has completely crazy expectations and they will never sell the domain at the price expected. How much did they earn for their time? Zero. This isn’t equitable but with a little innovation (not upfront fees) this could be addressed.

There’s so many areas of the domain industry that needs innovation and the associate risks required to innovate. Sometimes innovations payout bigtime and sometimes they don’t. It’s like the old saying, “If you don’t try then don’t expect different results.”

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Monday, 27 May 2024
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