“We Are Silly” How Do You Vote for Domainers of the Year When You Have No Info?

Sep 09 2010

Domainer Troy recently recently wrote this comment  in relation to this article and he makes a very good point.  Not to dismiss what these domainers have accomplished.  Even without income, people such as Morgan have added fantastic content and discussion to the domaining world. We domainers hold the amount of money we make very closely to our chest.  There are many reasons from NDA to going against Google’s TOS for Adsense.  I think this may be something that I may have to explore, a John Chow like openeness.   Here is Troy’s comment and again I thought it was worthy of it’s own post and discusssion.

Do any of us really know how successful any other “domainer” is? Especially domainers that do it only part time?

Regarding Elliot. I have to assume that he is making some decent money because he lives in NYC and does domaining full time, he obviously is making enough to live there, which takes a lot. The same assumptions regarding ML don’t necessarily have to be true. We have no idea how much he is making. I would be glad to hear he is making $5000+ a month but the truth is we simply have no idea how much he is making. He could be making $10,000+ or he could just be making less than $1000 per month. This all makes me laugh because without ANY information or without ANY transparency we are voting on “Domainers of the Year!”

Yeah, us “domainers” are a silly lot. We like giving credit and awards to one another using no more information than what they write on their blogs.

In closing I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t want anyone to succeed. On the contrary, I would love for Morgan to be successful in domaining. My only point is that we all act like there is no doubt that he is successful when really we have absolutly no way to measure whether or not he is. Its like voting on the Oscars without being able to watch any of the actors in a film. How do you know they deserve an oscar when you haven seen their movies? It is like buying a stock without knowing the income of the business.

We are silly.


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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Tia Wood

    Posted on the other article related to this one:

    Troy: at the same time – why would we need people to disclose their income levels to determine how successful they are or not?

    I’m not sure how much Morgan or Elliot makes but I am very familiar with the type of role models they are. Truth be told: both of them work their asses off. Not only for what they do but for the domain industry itself.

  2. Tia Wood

    “My only point is that we all act like there is no doubt that he is successful when really we have absolutly no way to measure whether or not he is.”

    I am not sure what you are saying. There’s a simple solution: define success. Might as well make a list of all top earners in the industry and hand them awards.

  3. Troy

    Valid argument Tia. One person might define success as one thing, another as another.

    To me success as a domainer means that you make enough income to live the lifestyle of your choice without having to work for anyone else. I think that most domainers definition of success would be related to my definition.

    Perhaps one could argue that success is a matter of how hard you work, results be damned. I would disagree but that would be simply based on my opinion verses theirs. I know a lot of hard working people that wish they were more “successful”. As a small business owner I learned a few years ago that in my opinion success will ALWAYS be measured by results, not by effort or time spent working. Effort and time spent working is the hourly wage, results is the entrepreneurial spirit.

    “Might as well make a list of all top earners in the industry and hand them awards.”

    Don’t we do this too?=)

  4. Tia Wood

    “Don’t we do this too?=)”

    Hmm. I’m not sure. lol.

    But my point was that this is why TRAFFIC awards are open by nomination. ANYONE can go and nominate ANYBODY for ANY reason. Did you take the chance to nominate the person of your choice? (it’s closed now)

    When I voted on “Domainer of the Year”, I looked at who I felt contributed to the industry itself in the most ways possible or who helped it move forward in the most ways possible.

    But it’s different for everyone.

  5. Morgan

    Great discussion guys!

    Just to be clear as I’ve said this on my blog multiple times, in my videos, and in person – I am not a full-time Domainer and I cannot teach people how to become full-time Domainers.

    I’m a guy that really got inspired by this industry and through monetization has built-up an income in the $x,xxx range every month. I’m not a millionaire and I don’t drive a new sports car – I’m just me!

    There are definitely many more qualified full-time Domainers on the list for the TRAFFIC awards and I would be happy if anyone on that list wins. I’ve always just tried to be open and honest with everyone and share what’s worked for me.

    I have so many friends that lost money in the stock market, in real estate, I took a different path and I’m the only person I know with a consistent PASSIVE income stream.

    Still my day job is #1 for me – I work for an incredible music company and travel around the world negotiating deals and helping people enjoy music. So let’s make sure nobody has the wrong impression here of who I am and what I do. I love this industry but there is a lot of smoke and mirror – I try to stay above that and just be who I am 🙂

  6. Troy

    Sure Tia,

    You can vote any way you wish. I feel that the phrase “Domainer of the Year” would naturally require some amount of financial success as a “domainer”. If you don’t feel that way then my arguments probably won’t influence you much.

    It doesn’t make me wrong or your right, or vice versa, it is just that we see the “award” as meaning different things.

  7. Troy


    You are not being questioned in any way. You don’t need to defend or explain yourself. You are only accountable to you. Please don’t get the impression that I am judging you, or that I don’t think you deserve an “award”.

    My thoughts are more focused on the silliness of voting for people to be given awards when we don’t really know much about those people apart from what they have made public on their blogs.

    I still think it is silly. But obviously others don’t.

  8. Elliot

    It’s a fair point from Troy, but I don’t think that “Domainer of the Year” needs to be a financial achievement. I don’t know what Juan Calle earns, but I think with his successful launch of .CO he is deserving of the award. His hard work and marketing efforts have paid off this year, and that doesn’t even include his non-.CO achievements (ie ParisHotels.com and others). I think he has done big things in the domain space and for his country, and I think he is very deserving of the award.

    I do live in Manhattan (address is in my blog Whois if you’re ever in my neighborhood and want to say hi) doing what I enjoy doing for a living, but I don’t think there’s any reason to say how much money I make. One of the advantages of being a private business is that I can keep my finances private. Maybe it’s just me, but when a friend of a friend asked me how much I paid for my apartment, I thought it was tacky and uncomfortable, so revealing my personal income would be even more uncomfortable… especially when I don’t see any need to show off how much I am making.

    If I said I make $4,000,000 annually, would you believe it? Would I then have to back this number up with earnings reports and sales numbers? No matter what, half the people will still not believe whatever I write, so it’s really a no-win situation.

    Ultimately, I don’t think one’s success should be defined by one’s earnings, especially when it comes to these awards. I think the bigger consideration is what the person has done this year for the industry and/or his company in this industry.

  9. Troy

    You are right Elliot. I am not arguing that domainers need to show how much money they are making, but there is a different vibe that goes with a person that I know is supporting himself fully on domains and a person that might be making nothing at all.

  10. Will

    I’m a newbie, and won’t say much… but I’ve been reading and watching this industry somewhat obsessively over the past 3 months. Troy’s questions are valid, and it has nothing to do with Morgan in particular (and I’m a big fan of Morgan’s).

    It’s hard to get a grasp on what I should be striving for when domainers are a bunch of Lone Rangers who don’t share what they earn. Not saying they should share, but… I venture to say that in most industries, earnings are shared in annual reports, newspaper articles, and such.

    I don’t equate “working hard” with success. One can work hard at something and not make a dime (it’s called hobbies). My goal as a domainer is to work hard with the end result being a profit worthy of the time and effort I’ve invested.

    After 3 months, I have more questions than answers, and I applaud Troy for asking hard questions.

  11. Who gives

    Who gives a damn about these stupid awards?

    A few hundred domainers like making themselves feel good so they have awards.


  12. RH

    Well the domain industry is one of the most incestuous and least transparent of any industry out there IMO.

    Its cool to know what your day job is Morgan, I wondered how you traveled so much. Sounds cool.

    I agree with Tia that its how someone has affected the industry and could almost be equated with someone who wins “Person of the year” in a non profit category where their earnings mean nothing. Again IMO

  13. Jim Holleran

    What I love about both Morgan and Elliot who I have both personally met at DomainFest last January, is they are very honest and are very helpful. I been in this business since 1997, and I can a good feeling who is a bunch of hype and who is for real. When new people enter the business, I tell them to read Mike Berkins blog, Morgan’s blog, and Elliots blog, to me they are the best teachers out there.

    Regarding income, my neighbors think I am a bum and don’t work. Work out of my house. If they only knew that I am in the top 1% earners in the US, they would freak out because they work these 60 hour corporate jobs. There is a big difference between perception versus reality.

    Thanks, Jim

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