Brandable Insider: Startup Trends and Industries for 2017

Like it or not brandable domaining is trendy. So what kinds of domains should we be buying and selling this year? What are the trends? According to CIO (Chief Information Officer) dot-com there are several industries that will be dominating the tech landscape in 2017 and beyond. They include everything from virtual reality to recreational marijuana. I’m listing them here along with a description, examples of existing companies and some relevant brands already listed at the BrandBucket platform. This may give some ideas about where we should focus our attention in the coming months and years.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) means making computers behave like humans. Plain and simple. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at MIT.

* Existing Startups

    – WayBlazer, UnderArmour and Revuze.

* Sample Names from BrandBucket

    – Intellivus, HighIQ, Thinkgenic and IntelNation.

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The Brandable Insider: Looking Back on the Year in Domaining

We’re coming to the end of another calendar year. Time to look back and assess what went on in the domain industry. I thought one interesting way to do that would be to look back at what leaders in our industry said a year ago. If you remember, our friend Domain Shane, was kind enough to organize and publish (here and here) the ruminations of several domain industry leaders back in December of 2015. They gave their thoughts on what might be in store for 2016.

Here are some of the things they said. Keep in mind that these folks made their comments in the last month of 2015, right at the height of the CHIP market frenzy. Let me know in the comment section who you think had the most accurate crystal ball for 2016. Ok, here we go………

Andy Booth said:

    I think it’s safe to say that trend sectors (like short and numeric dot-com) will almost certainly be at a higher point come the end of the year. I would invest in special 4 letter domains with a pattern (AABB, ABAB, ABBB, AAAB) or raise a little more cash (go in with a couple of friends) to buy a 4 number dot-com.

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The Brandable Insider: How to Negotiate as If Your Life Depended on It

I just read a book called: Never Split The Difference. It’s written by an International, FBI hostage negotiator. The author, Chris Voss, tells how he successfully negotiated with Islamic radicals and American bank robbers when people’s lives were at stake. From those gripping stories he draws simple, yet profound, lessons for negotiating everything from a pay raise to a million dollar contract with a multinational corporation.

Voss now works in the private sector teaching college courses and running a business consultancy called The Black Swan Group. He teaches easy steps for enhanced negotiation outcomes. The place where many fail, according to Voss, is when they allow their emotions to take over and sabotage their plans. To avoid this he teaches his students how to develop focused listening skills and measured responses that gain the trust and cooperation of the person on the other side of the deal.

One main principle comes from the book’s title. According to Voss, splitting the difference is for losers because it leaves too much money on the table.
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The Brandable Insider: Tips and Tricks for the BrandBucket Marketplace

Its been two years since I started building my portfolio at the BrandBucket marketplace. I thought it might be a good time to share some of the things I’ve learned. Keep in mind that my tips are specifically about BrandBucket and may or may not apply to the brandable space in general. Also, they are subject to change as I continue to learn and the BrandBucket market niche evolves.

Lastly, these are my personal opinions and best guesses, not official BrandBucket guidelines that I’ve been given. As a Brand Ambassador I receive a finite number of BrandBucket listing credits each month. This is compensation for writing two monthly articles for their website and helping new sellers interact with the platform and develop their branding skills. Everything else is pretty much the same for me as it is with other sellers. Alright let’s dig in.

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The Brandable Insider: Double-Letter Domain Sales in 2016

Double-letter brandables were a popular topic this past week. DNgeek founder, Doron Vermaat, reported on the sale of Maill.com and BrandBucket Managing Director, Michael Krell discussed double-letter domains in his seller podcast. So I thought I’d go with the flow and give a 2016 sales update. Before I do that I’ll remind readers that in June I wrote two articles on this topic. In the first one I outlined my personal criteria for buying double-letter brandables. In the second, I analyzed the prior 10 years of sales.

A trend emerges
When searching NameBio for short, double-letter brandables I found only 10 sales for the period of 2005 to 2010. However, things picked up from 2011 and 2014 when 22 sold. Sales accelerated further in 2015 when 14 double-letter sales were reported. This was twice as many as any year in the prior decade according to my NameBio research.
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The Brandable Insider: Meet the Man Behind Expired Domains Dot Net

Thousands of domainers from all over the world go to ExpiredDomains.net to search for deals. If you’re like me you visit the site every single day. With scores of filters and options it’s the premier website for sifting through dozens of marketplaces and TLD’s to find treasure amidst the trash. But surprisingly, less than 15% of its millions of monthly page views originate from the USA. Lastly, the most amazing aspect of the site is that it is completely, 100% free!

For these reasons I see Marco Schmidt, the owner and developer of the site, as one of the unsung heroes of the domaining industry. I thought it was time he came out of the IT closet to meet the people he so generously serves.

Hi Marco! Thanks for agreeing to this interview.

You’re welcome.

First, if you don’t mind. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I think our readers would enjoy hearing about your background, your career and your interests outside of domaining.

I’m from Berlin, Germany. I work as a system administrator, but my passion is software development and that is what I do for fun in my spare time. Finding easy solutions for complex problems and if possible automating them is what I like to do. That is why domains are perfect for me. You can automate almost everything.
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The Brandable Insider: What’s Going On at the Pheenix Marketplace?

To be successful I need an edge over the mob of domainers that are scanning the drops at Go Daddy every day. For that reason I like to snoop around the non-mainstream marketplaces in hopes of finding an overlooked, brandable gem. One such marketplace is Pheenix.com.

Last year DNgeek reported on the drop catcher’s new policy of sending all domains with multiple backorders to public auction. But this week Pheenix released some better news. Tan Tran, the CEO at Pheenix, sent an email to account holders announcing that Pheenix had partnered with Escrow.com. He said that this alliance will now allow Pheenix to turbo charge it’s marketplace with new benefits like free escrow service, same day payments, and automatic domain transfers.
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The Brandable Insider: How to Avoid Becoming a New Business Casualty

Several months ago I was surfing NamePros and I noticed a guy in live chat. He said he was looking for domains to buy. I quickly sent him a private message and asked what kind of domains he was looking for. He said he wanted a domain that he could flip and make some money on. I told him every person on NamePros wanted a domain for a profitable flip. Why would they sell you a domain that they could flip themselves? He had no answer for that and I warned him to be more careful and cautious. I told him that without knowing the market he was likely to get ripped off.

I think we all started out with that same kind of naiveté but we know now that, despite the hype, there’s no overnight success in domaining. I think everyone’s heard that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months. I know, I know, some say “my domaining’s not a business, it’s just a hobby.” I say bull. It may be a part-time endeavor but if you’re not approaching it like a business your chance of failure is likely even higher than 80%.

If you’re new to domaining or having trouble becoming profitable, here’s eight tips to increase your chances of success:
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The Brandable Insider: The Keywords of Y Combinator Startups

When selecting brandable domains for purchase and resale it’s important to know our target market. One technique is to buy names similar to the ones listed at our favorite brandable marketplace. This is a good initial strategy but in order to take our skills to the next level we need to stay in tune with the startup industry’s values and trends.

Last month James Iles wrote a great article analyzing the 1100 domain names of past and present members of the start-up accelerator, Y Combinator (YC). He wrote about the dominance of the dot-com extension, the tendency for short brands and the popularity of individual letters. It’s an enjoyable read and I downloaded the file of 1100 domains using the link at the bottom of the article.

For the purpose of further analysis and discussion I compiled the most popular keywords used by YC companies at the start of their domain name. I divided these keywords into three categories based on my personal assessment of each one’s value.
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The Brandable Insider: Screwing Up My First Private Deal

Back when I was a newbie domainer I had lots of ideas about how to make money in this industry. They all failed. But I did have one hair brained scheme that yielded a minor success. This was mostly due to dumb luck.

The story begins when I hand registered the name of a wealthy person. For the purpose of this blog, let’s call him Herman Mankowitz. Mankowitz was not famous but if you searched him on Google you’d see he was a member of a very, wealthy family. After a few months of owning HermanMankowitz.com I was contacted by a young women via LinkedIn. Let’s call her Alice.
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