10 Takeaways from TRAFFIC West 2013

Jun 03 2013

If you don’t take something away from a domain conference then you’re doing it wrong.  It only takes one idea, piece of knowledge, or new relationship to pay for the entire conference and all costs.  Here are a few of the things that I took with me from Vegas

1.  Dr. Chris Hartnett is probably the most amazing person I’ve met.  I wish I could have talked to him more I can honestly say there is no better business person in our industry.  If you haven’t read his story on DnJournal you need to.  People in the casino were calling him “Dr. Pink”.  I thought it was because he was dressed in all pink but it turns out he cornered the market on pink emeralds and is the largest pink emerald owner in the world.  There was a gem conference called MAC going on right after our conference.  He’s a rock star in no less than 10 fields.  His word of advice “You need a new headshot, you’re much better looking in person”  I did look pretty good that night though.  I was having a good hair day (actually looked like a had some)

2.  Everyone was incredibly nice to my Mom. I brought my Mom to the conference so I see my Mom, see some friends, and do some business.  When I got there Rick and Howard told me that Mothers always get free conference passes and gave her an all inclusive badge.  He gave her a badge that said “DomainShane’s Mom”. I was utterly amazed how nice everyone was to her.  She drew more attention than I did. I think I get my gift for gab as she seemed to talked to everyone from Greg McNair to all the girls at Igloo.com.   She wasn’t alone the entire conference.  I was most appreciative of all the nice things they said about me to her.  If she told me once, she told me a hundred times how proud she was of me.  Not because of my accomplishments but because of what  those in the industry thought of me personally.  Not that I expected them to say bad things about me to my own Mother but because they went out of their way to make sure they told her.

3.   Do not, I repeat, do not walk down the strip alone to your hotel.  Not because you are in danger but because every single prostitute will proposition you.  They picked me out like a baby buffalo dragging behind the herd.  They said some things that I could do to them that I didn’t know were even possible and I’m pretty sure illegal in most states.  At one point I had 10 girls following me yelling things out. “I can what on your what?” I said.  I felt like a piece of meat.  They say a man is as faithful as his options and I proved that completely wrong.  No way was I going to be anywhere near those options. I’m a faithful husband. Besides,  I’m pretty sure Mom would have told on me anyway.

4.  I was absolutely surprised how well attended every breakfast was each day. And it’s Vegas.  The first morning there were hardly any seats left.  It was packed……in Vegas! It helped it was served until 11 am.  It was also the only real food that was served at the conference.  But we don’t come to the conference for food.

5.  Morgan let it all loose on the strip.  I’ll keep the stories to myself 🙂

6.  I spent more money betting against the Houston Astros than I did on the entire conference.  I broke even on craps and blackjack but I did not on Houston.  The Houston Astros were terrible.  At least they were going into the conference. They had not won two games in a row except once back in April.   I decided I was going to use progression and bet against them, doubling up until they lost.   They haven’t lost.  They’ve won 5 games in a row.  You don’t have to know how much I started with to know what doubling down 4 times can amount to.   The only thing that saved me is I bet a very large sum of money on the Blackhawks and a pretty good penny on the Heat in game 5.  Otherwise it would have been ugly.  I was fun money but I have to admit it wasn’t that fun.

7.  Danny Welsh and I made amends.  He is a very passionate person and it comes across in his writing.  He had called me a few names the comment sections that I merely dismissed as someone who had no idea who I was and merely reacted to criticism.  I was right.  As soon as we had a little talk we both had a better understanding of the people behind the writings.

8.  I can’t believe I hadn’t met Andy Booth before traffic.  He’s one of the top players in our industry and has a great sense of humor.  Then again he’s British so why wouldn’t he.  He sold Steven Kennedy Strawberries.com (who sold it recently and Andy was trying to get his residuals) and countless super high end domains.  Most domain investors never even come close to owning anything close to the value of an LL.com yet Andy has held several.  Looking forward to more conversations with my new favorite Brit.

9.  I like the name change to Igloo.com  It change represents all my feelings about domains.  There is such thing as too generic and the best brands are well known words that we all know. I always got Domain Holdings and Domain Advisors mixed up.  Tess Holcolb and Christina Okland did admit they get a few inquiries with some questions and problems about their coolers. And Christina looks so much like my wife from behind that I almost grabbed her butt out of habit.  Would have been awkward.

10. Even at a conference I seemed to be juggling a lot of things at once.  Ironically I came to TRAFFIC to relax a little and do a little business but ended up trying to entertain my Mom, see some friends, do some business,  attend the talks, and gamble.   I absolutely enjoyed all of them and wouldn’t change seeing my Mom for any of the other, but I do admit I felt the need to accomplish all ….and in Vegas that’s tough.  There’s a lot of distractions.  But I accomplished most of what I set out to do but will admit there was absolutely no downtime except the few hours of sleep.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Ron Jackson

    You’re right Shane – Chris is a remarkable businessman and as nice a person as you will find on this planet. Was great to meet your mom – she is something special. Love how she just dove right in and started making new friends. She made a big impression on everyone. As a matter of fact, I think she should start her own blog! DomainShanesMom.com is available! 🙂

  2. Bill Kara

    Sounds like a great show Shane

    I agree with you on Dr. Hartnett, if you chat with him for 15 mins you’ve covered the value/cost of the entire show right there. One of the most inspirational people I’ve met.

  3. Andy

    Brilliant how the tragic inspires comedy! Cheers mate – was great meeting you too and I’m sure we’ll have some new banter lined up for the next one. Let me know when Elliot revalues his CVCV so we can re-assess our own! He’s got me feeling flush!

  4. Mike

    Stop betting Shane. Or you’re going broke. Obviously you have no clue how to bet to win.

  5. Mike

    Ah, you seem to have been offended. I’m so sorry ; that was not my intention.

    (BTW the contact form here says “Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *”
    Mine did finally get published. Anyways.)

  6. John

    Chris Harnett should write a book. Cuban invests small amounts for large % pieces in a lot of little startups. Most won’t come in. The ones do that do payoff Huge.

  7. Cate Colgan

    It was great to meet you and your Mom in person at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Shane 🙂

    Look forward to getting to know you more 🙂 Chris Hartnett is a class act and has always been an “imagineer” in everything he does – some of my mentors are 17 yrs. old with great vision and others like Chris who never lose their vision 🙂

    Very proud of Daina and Morgan! With Mark Cuban being an adviser as well as an investor the sky’s the limit especially since D & M are great executors!

    If my Mom was still alive I would have brought her as well – keep doing good Shane!
    Best, Cate

  8. 180999999

    Congrat’s, Morgan!!!

    What an accomplishment, regardless of what the others say.

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