In order to profit we need to buy low and sell high. Sounds simple. But it’s not. Especially in the domain industry. Why? Because there’s no standardized and regulated repository for valuations, acquisitions and sales. In other words, no measuring stick. This leads to a lot of frustration for domainers, especially those that are new. One of the main scapegoats for our buy/sell pricing conundrum are the estimated pricing tools. Oh how we love to trash talk Estibot and their ilk!(more…)
One of my favorite thought leaders in the SEO (search engine optimization) space, Rand Fishkin, just published an important article on his blog in which he points out that thanks to some of the tech powerhouses like Facebook and Google we’ve reached an era of a less-connected web, a web that is focused on retaining users rather than sharing content.
That is bad news for websites and what’s bad for websites is often bad for domain names.
Below is an excerpt but I encourage you to read the entire post here.(more…)
Opportunity is invisible to most. THAT is why it’s an opportunity to begin with. You have to look for voids and holes in the fabric of society – for the customer – and if you fill that gap, voila! – Rick Schwartz, The Domain King
Like any industry or asset class, booms and busts come and go. I think we are nearing the end of another cycle and while there will be pain for many there will be opportunity for others. The purpose of this article is to let you know that a) there is likely a bust coming b) how it might happen and c) how you could profit from it.(more…)
Not too long ago, dictionary word domains were considered as exact match, category killers for various products and industries. For this reason you’ll find fiber optic products at Fiber.com and air travel services at Fly.com. But things have changed. The rules have been disrupted. Now dictionary words have become a premium vehicle for branding in a wide variety of industries. Sometimes this creative application of a single word domain has been a hit. Other times it’s been a disaster.
Let’s take a look at some examples of companies who have succeeded despite what I consider to be questionable, single word, branding choices.
- Lime – A bike sharing company at LI.me
- Igloo – Domain advisors at Igloo.com
- Sumo – Web marketing solutions at Sumo.com
- Amazon – Global eCommerce platform at Amazon.com
- Lemonade – Insurance app at Lemonade.com
- Uber – Ride sharing app at Uber.com
- Gusto – Payroll services at Gusto.com
- League – Health benefits management at League.com
- Bird – Scooter rentals at Bird.co
- Apple – Global tech company at Apple.com
- Toast – Business operations software at Toast.com
- Purple – High tech mattresses at Purple.com
On the flip side there’s a bunch of one word brands that I really like.
- Agenda – A scheduling app at Agenda.com
- Advance – Global media at Advance.com
- Great – A Swedish charity to help the impoverished at Great.com
- Slack – Team collaboration tools at Slack.com
- Ledger – Crypto asset management at Ledger.com
- Casper – High tech mattresses at Casper.com
- Pax – Vape and cannabis devices at Pax.com
- Ring – Home security systems at Ring.com
- Timeline – Modern history at Timeline.com
- Freedom – Mortgage company at Freedom.com
What’s on your list of heroes and zeroes for startup branding? Let us know in the comments below.
“Arriving at the real value of a domain is like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black dog – that just might not be there…” — Unknown
The most common mistake new domainers make is overvaluing their domains and listing them at ridiculous prices that no one will pay. After a while they feel frustrated and start asking: How much is my domain worth? The often heard answer to that question is: It’s worth what someone will pay for it. An answer that, while completely accurate, is simultaneously useless.
I think pricing is one of the most underrated variables in our industry. It can make or break our business model. Price too low and we risk leaving big money on the table. Price too high and we decrease the chance of a sale or possibly even price ourselves right out of the market.
I don’t have the magic solution to the pricing conundrum. But I can do what I usually do. Provide some sales data, give you my two cents and let you make up your own mind 🙂
Ninety nine percent of finding the next big thing is discounting all the noise of those that want to convince you that what they have is the next big thing.
— Rick Swartz, The Domain King®
We all wish we could have registered the 1997 gems that are selling now for 6 or 7 figures. So why didn’t we? The reality is that most us were online in 1997. I know I was. And yet we didn’t buy. Since then other opportunities have come and gone. But often we haven’t seen or responded to them in real time.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at these 2018 sales.
“We now live in a world where one-word domains with massively broad use cases and brandable one and two-word domain names have won [the race against product-related domains]. – Morgan Linton, July 2018
In a prior post I talked about 349 recent sales from three brandable marketplaces. I assessed them as a group and analyzed them in terms of length, style and keywords. This week I’m looking for trends in the brand names of 200 tech startups that were recently covered in news reports on TechCrunch.
Let’s see what we can discern from the trends, tendencies and nuances of this random list of 200 names.
Do you like data? I do. In fact, I think I’m an information pack rat.
Because every time someone reports a brandable domain sale in a conversation, at a forum, in an email or even on a brandable platform itself, I write it down. I’m keepin’ a list. Checkin’ it twice. And trying to find out what’s hot and what’s not.
Over the past several months I’ve accumulated a log of 349 recently reported sales from three different brandable marketplaces. I’ve looked them over and here’s what I’ve learned. (more…)
I feel the biggest hurdle to considering domain names as legitimate assets is how discretionary (random) prices are. In 2010, you could find two-letter .com domains that sold for around $100,000 (JF.com, XI.com and SZ.com) and one domain for $8 million (FB.com). That is an 8,000% difference! – Giuseppe Graziano, GGRG.com
Despite two decades of conventions and commerce, domaining is still in the latter part of its Wild Wild West stage. Why? Well one reason is because the market is so fragmented. There are at least a dozen different marketplaces all with different rules, terms and procedures. Until there is a centralized organization that all markets report to and that requires an agreed upon, standardized set of rules and conditions, for all transactions, that will remain the case.
“Step back and think about the difference in how end users use domains, the capital they have to invest in their name, [instead of] like a pure domain collector, and you can easily start to determine what areas make the most sense.” — Bruce Marler of Vegas Condo
In this week’s brandable entry I’m taking a look at some of the hits and misses at Y Combinator’s annual Demo Day. The event was held last week and featured pitches by more than 100 startups. Sitting in the audience were scores of investors and venture capitalists looking for their next, startup-to-acquisition, payday. The event included businesses from all over the globe and went on for two days.
Here’s a sampling of brands from the event, examined purely from a brandable domaining point of view. In my subjective evaluation I gave no consideration for the quality of business models or how well the brands corresponded to a given product or service. My approach was purely, would I be interested in buying this domain if I saw it available at a reasonable price. I also limited my list to companies who were already hosting their business at the exact match, dot-com for their brand.