Introducing A Sharp Young Mind: Meet Anthony David

Apr 24 2011

I first met Anthony David when he sent me an email asking a few questions.  Like almost emails I receive, I did a little background check on who was behind it and I have to admit I was immediately impressed.  I saw a guy from Canada that spoke French, Chinese and taught school in Kuwait.  A man that has built an international team of coders and seemed to be a genuinely nice guy.  He even fixed a few problems on my site because he couldn’t stand to see errors on a site, any site.  He did it for free and while he was in there cleaned things up a bit.  I thought Anthony was a perfect guy to interview because he really has built everything he has from scratch and done it while living a generous life and seeing the world, all at a young age. He also is completely in touch with the Chinese market, a incredibly large market that has yet to be tapped by the rest of the world.  Here is part one of the interview with the second part concentrating on the Chinese market.

Anthony, first of all thanks for doing the interview.  I’ve always been a big fan of your development talents and the fact you speak many languages. Tell us a little about your background. Where are you originally from and where do you live now?

Hey Shane! First of all I want to say I love your blog and I think your writing style is the best of all the domain bloggers out there. I’m from Surrey, BC, which is near Vancouver. I was in a French Immersion school for 11 years so I was fluent in french at one point in my life. My french listening and speaking is poor now, though. After I graduated from university I was a full time teacher in Shanghai for two years. Then I exported toys and made websites for three years after that, also in Shanghai. I can read, type and speak Chinese now. I got tired of living in China so I came to Kuwait to teach second grade, which I’m enjoying a lot.

When did you first get into domaining and what was the initial draw?

When I started my own business exporting Montessori materials (educational equipment) in Shanghai I knew our company needed a website, and with that a domain. So I tried to register because I’m uncreative like that. It was taken. I put a hyphen in the middle of the words, and it was available. I registered it. After that we build an ecommerce site on it and the traffic started to come in. Eventually I clued in the domain being an exact match was really helpful. Later on, I created another website to help us track the containers our shipments were in. I think the domain was, and it had one page on it with a tool to track containers. That started to get some traffic, too. As things progressed I wanted to add more to that site, so I stopped using and bought from BuyDomains for around $800. It was the best investment I’ve ever made. Freight Forum now has almost 20,000 registered users and does around 13,000 pageviews from human visitors per day.

How many domains do you own and what would you say is your specialty or approach to domain purchases?

I own about 140 domains now. About half I planned to develop on and half to resell. I haven’t had much success in making sales though. I prefer to develop on good domains and create valuable web assets (domain + development). With a good domain and user-friendly development you have the best chance of getting the most valuable thing there is; traffic.

I know that you are a fantastic coder and developer (or you have a great staff), what are some of your past projects?

I’ve bought a number of programming books and read them when I have time, but I wouldn’t call myself a developer. I’m fluent in XHTML and have a good understanding of Classic ASP and PHP. I leave the development to my staff though, who are a million times more talented than I am. A lot of the projects I’ve done have been scrapped and are offline now. Some of those were a networking portal for manufacturers and suppliers, and an auction platform like Flippa.

Tell us a little about your current projects and some of the long term projects you envision yourself doing.

The main things I’m working on now are,, and I’m going to start a new blog about building traffic soon, but I can’t reveal that domain just yet because I’m still in negotiations with the seller. My company’s website is at and we offer web development services.

Other than domain investing and development, what are some of your personal hobbies?

I play rapid chess and tennis. I have regular poker nights with other teachers here, too. I run on the treadmill when I’m getting too fat. There’s not much free time.

If you could have dinner with any domain investor which one would you invite?

How about Domain Shane! I loved your post about your nursery and I think that is an amazing business than you run. I wonder if you like that for the same reasons I like teaching second grade. It’s nice to be out there in the real world and far away from computers sometimes.

Do you have any advice for new domain investors that will save them time, money or both?

Domain investors are smart. They understand the importance of owning good domains so I have no advice for them. My advice is to all the developers out there that are trying to be the next Facebook or Google. Stop investing thousands of dollars (or tens of thousands) and uncountable hours of your life developing on a domain that is worth $100. You’re only slowing down how fast you can build traffic and limiting the potential of your development efforts.

Finally, a question I like to ask everyone. If you could pick to have more money or more time, which would you choose?

I would choose money because killer domains and talented programmers are not cheap. But they are worth every penny.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Chris

    Great interview Shane,
    I have to say that this example of a smart guy shows us that literally everyone can be successfull in domaining and if you have a international background like Anthony than it is much better ( like myself too who grew up in Spain for 30 years now…keeping in mind that I was born in east Germany ). Why? Because of the foreign language skills…the internet wouldn´t be that fantastic without the different languages on the planet.
    Btw: Nice example to see that Anthony use dashed domain names, which I am using too and yes, traffic comes, independently if dashed or not dashed domain names as long as these are generic domain names representing that what people in the world are looking for.
    Again, excellent interview!


  2. Morgan Linton

    Great interview and really interesting person to hear from! As another guy who loves his day job and loves Domaining it’s always great to hear from other like-minded people!

  3. Dan

    Hi Shane,

    Very good interview…very good questions, straight to the point and very good answers by Anthony…again addressing your questions, without out a bunch of ‘hyperbole’…

    Very well done. I did not see where it mentioned Anthony’s age…but he looks very young.

    It is amazing how smart all these younger people are and how tech savvy and well organized they are.

    Reminds of the past few years when we have had more then a handful of very gifted people, maybe 20 -23 years old, drop out or postpone their educations from some of the top schools in the world…like Harvard, MIT etc…to become professional poker players.

    Realizing, because of their ‘gifts’, brain power, photographic memory’s etc…that when playing poker with anyone, they have an incredible advantage over most…not that they do not have to work very hard at…which all do…but their “gifts” sure do not hurt.

    Anthony seems to have many gifts, that I am sure he has worked to develop…and being a “nice guy” (helping on his own,with your blog) I think almost ensures that he will have a long a prospers live, not only in the domain industry, weather that is buying & selling or developing website ‘assets’…but in anything he gets involved with.

    So, best to Anthony…as I am sure this blog post is not going be the last we hear from him in the coming months and years.

    Happy Easter All.

  4. Anthony

    @Chris I think hyphen domains are fine, but the key is to look at whats going on with the non hyphen version. If their domain is parked or not really developed and you think you can pass them in rankings then I think its alright to buy the hyphenated key phrase. At that time was retailing to Canada and I was wholesaling from China so we weren’t really competing with eachother, so it wasnt a big deal. But I dont think I will develop on hyphens anymore, just a personal preference.

    @Morgan I agree with you bud. I have heard you have a good career going there. Actually for a while I was doing developing full time but found myself in front of the computer all day long and wasn’t really happy, and I was meeting people way less. So I went back to work.

    @Dan thanks for the high praise. I turn 30 in a couple months, that picture is a few years old. Actually I was really into poker in 2008 and went on 4 different trips to Macau that year. I won money the first three trips and played higher stakes the fourth time. This will sound like a story but I lost a couple thousand in one hand with quad 2’s to a straight flush. There was no bad beat at the table either 🙂 I hated poker after that and barely play it anymore besides playing for fun.

    I don’t think I am that organized but one thing I don’t do is watch TV. Haven’t watched any for at least 6 years now. I watch some movies from time to time though.

  5. Dan

    @ Anthony

    ” This will sound like a story but I lost a couple thousand in one hand with quad 2’s to a straight flush.”

    I believe you… that’s poker in a ‘nut shell’


    ” There was no bad beat at the table”?

    He had the ‘straight flush’…before the “river card”?

    That is insane…you were going no where, as there would be no way you could lay down ‘quad’ 2’s…especially if the river card, had no bearing on the outcome of the hand…

    Thanks for the kind reply…. “30” is OK too… 🙂


  6. Anthony

    @Dan I was dealt pocket 2’s and I flopped quad 2’s. My eyes are just seeing dollar signs at that point. I think I was in late position too and people were putting money in, I just called their bet on the flop. My goal was just to get all my money in before all the betting was over in the hand. The guy who beat me turned a straight flush draw but I’m still way ahead on the turn there. Even if he hits his flush I still win and there was a lot of money on the table then. I was going to get in my stack which is what I wanted. Anyways on the river he hit his straight flush and all in’d so I call obviously, I’m holding quad 2’s after all. Wow, that sucked! Actually I might play in Vegas or Macau again but if I do its just for small stakes 🙂

  7. Dan


    Sorry… that is a huge ‘bad beat’….the odds of him hitting a “SF” on the river have to be way up there…before the ‘river’ you had to be almost 98%-99% favored…even though you got beat…you played the hand a well as anyone could.

    I am sure, he thought at the most you had was three of a kind or a flush draw yourself…and a ‘plain flush’ would have won…depending on who had the highest suited card.

    The river…either keeps your boat afloat…or it sinks it like with giant torpedo.

    Good poker story….

    Did not mean to detract from this fine domain Industry blog post Interview with Shane….

    Best to you,

  8. Pingback: The Chinese Domain Market: Part Two of the Insights of Anthony David: A Great Young Mind | Domain Shane

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