Some Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

May 01 2011

I’m about to head into work (gotta love retail) and per usual I go out for a nice long bike ride and do some thinking. Here are a few things that crossed my mind about some of the happenings this week.

1.  Fred Wilson’s article on “Finding a Domain Name” was very uplifting to the domain investing community.  In a nutshell, he realizes the value of a domain name and has upped the recommended amount to spend for his startups for $50K and under from $5K and under.  The comments in the post are almost as good as the article itself.  I also thought it was brazen of Owen Frager to say he had a guest post from Fred and merely copied the article onto his website.

2. As I hit 4o I am starting to see my fellow businessmen go through some divorces.  Divorces that are disrupting their businesses due to legal fighting over assets.  If you are going to go into business with your wife or your wife’s family you better have the paperwork all square.  In reality ,you better have your paperwork all square even if you’re not.  Nobody wants to plan to get divorced but it’s a reality that could ruin your business and source of income if things go bad.  I had nothing when I met my wife so she earned half so I really have no issues on my personal assets.  Our business has survived 150 years because nobody married into the family gets ownership or inheritance of the business.  Of course all the other assets go to the spouse to make up for it.

3. I think Demand Media is a solid company and will be just fine long term.  They are making some great purchases with their stock income (CoverItLive).  I am a buyer if it falls another 10-15%.  AOL was in the dumps as well but look how they’ve purchased some of the top sites/blogs online and the numbers are starting to rebound.  You can always buy top properties.  You just have to know what top properties means.  Yahoo doesn’t.

4. Insurance domains are just amazingly hot.  I always knew they did well but it seems like almost any name with insurance it the keywords sells for over a $1K.  I’m not very good at monetizing those types of domains so I am staying out.  I sure enjoy watching the sales numbers though.

5. Half of all comments on domain blogs are a response to the story being written with a follow up and then “these are the domains I have” People pay good money to advertise on our blogs and yet there so many commenters that think they can sell their wares in the comments.  It’s not a coincidence the quality of the domains in those comment sections are usually very poor.

6. I am always amazed how unaware most domain investors are of the costs to run a successful online site or company.  The domain is such a small cost relative to time and money it take to build a good business.  There is a reason that seed money starts at $500K with second rounds being in the millions.  That’s what it takes.  People buy names thinking it would make a great this or that but in reality the have zero percent chance of making anything more than a quick or mini site.

Have a great Sunday all, spend some time outside and make sure to spend some time with the family since it’s back to the grind tomorrow.  My wife is a nursery widow this time of year with my 7 days a week schedule.  If any of you see her, say hi for me.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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1 comment

  1. Shiphouse

    1) Everytime I read Owen Frager’s Blog I think to myself, I could do that….How hard is it to pull a quote of an article or find an old blog post and re-post it. Some say, then why don’t you do it, well I like to be original and I am not that original all that often.

    2) On the flip side, I read your blog, and think to myself, a) I need to get off the computer and go work out b) I need to stop reading blogs and go make some money c) I need to go give my kids a hug and tell my wife that she is great.

    3) I tried and am trying to run an online business, I don’t know if you need $500K or $1M or $10m, it all depends what your goals are. But you better have money to spend after the domain acquisition and site buildout. If you can’t advertise you can’t sell. Even if you have a great name, if you don’t have the money to advertise you won’t be successful, or at least as successful as you should be. I think my grandma makes the best chocolate in the world (and I have been allot of places) but she is no Godiva and never will be, it doesn’t mean her chocolate isn’t as good or better, it just means that nobody knows about it other than the family and nobody will because we simply aren’t going to advertise grandma’s chocolate.

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