Interview with Rick Schwartz
Here’s to the crazy ones. People who do something before other people do it. Rick Schwartz was a domainer before there was a name for it. Then when we invented a name for it, then he was named a “Domainer of the year”. If the words “domain name pioneer” had an archetype, it would be Rick Schwartz, an early and ongoing investor and developer of Prime Web Real Estate. Schwartz has been a trailblazer on the net since 1995 when he recognized the value of domain names early on.
The Domain King, as he is known in the industry, said that he isn’t really selling his domains so he tries to get the most out of services like InternetTraffic.com which was founded by Frank Schilling. As Rick says: ” InternetTraffic.com does great for me and Franky completely disrupted the entire industry when he brought his program to the marketplace and surprised and hurt the old guard.”. In his own words, time has proven to be his best ally. Snatching up dictionary generics when the term “domain industry” was virtually unheard of, his oft-echoed nickname “The Domain King” is certainly well-earned. In this video, you can see many of the biggest names in domain industry congratulate Rick for receiving another reward, this time for his pioneering.
I guess some of you are thinking… Ok, getting rewards is very nice, but did Rick make any money while doing this pioneering and “stuff”.
- Property.com/Properties.com $4MM + Equity
- Candy.com $3MM + Royalties
- Men.com $1.3MM
- iReport.com to CNN for $750,000
- ChinaTours.com $200,000
- TokyoHotels.com $200,000
- PartnerCash.com $110,000
- SydneyHotels.com $100,000
- 235.com for $100,000
- eScore.com $100,000
To the ladies and gentleman that are reading this with envy, would your eyeballs pop-out if I gave you the recipe Rick wrote? Here it is: Make a Million Dollars in Domains. 12 EASY steps and 36 Months! I wouldn’t say steps are easy, but they are simple, and I would really encourage you to read this blog post, and many other Rick wrote!
Here’s a sneak preview of the post, containing the steps.
- Don’t quit your day job. You will need to finance your first few domains
- Read #1 again and again and again. Don’t quit your day job until it interferes with your earning capability.
- Learn here and Learn here what makes a domain valuable and why somebody else would want it. If nobody can ever think of it, probably not going to be very valuable.
- Buy a domain for $1000 or buy several if you can.
- Sell that domain for $10,000. How do you do that? Read #3 and Here and Here. (Give yourself 6months to a year)
- Take that $10,000 and either buy (10) $1000 domains or (2) $5000 names or (1) $10,000 name.
- Take that domain or those domains and turn the $10,000 into $100,000.
- Take $10,000 and go pay something off.
- Take the $90K and repeat #6.
- Have the patience to realize that this may be up to a 3-year journey. But when you get to #9 and do what you did in #6, you will be more adept at it and you will turn your domains quicker.
- With $900k in your pocket you can repeat #6, quit your day job and in 3 years you can be a millionaire. Maybe less if you are really good at #3.
- Are you asking yourself the right questions? Here are my top 20.
I will close this intro with something Rick said on his blog: “I watch folks and domainers chase what happened yesterday. What a waste!! You don’t chase yesterday folks, you set up shop on tomorrow and have them pour you a drink. You don’t CHASE, you WAIT! Because if you wait, it means you got there before them and you know they are coming. If you chase, that train already left the station and it may be never before the next train comes.”
WhoAPI: What excites you most in domaining? Now that you are on top, where do you find the motivation to keep competing?
Rick: What excites me the most is knowing the true value and potential of a great .com domain name as the future keeps unfolding. However, I don’t know that I am on top as many domainers do much better than myself. I want to leave my mark on the world and that is what motivates me the most these days.
WhoAPI: How does your typical day look like, and what are you currently working on?
Rick: I wake up each day with a fresh sate. Business wise, I have nothing to do and every morning I wake up early, around 5:30-6:00 and INVENT something to do that plants a few seeds. Maybe only 1 in 100 will see germination. But that guarantees me 3 successes each and every year. I don’t know what those successes are going to be, but I know it to be a numbers game! I have 100% faith in my ability and that 1 seed a day will get me those 3 successes each and every year.
WhoAPI: Where do you see the industry going? What does your crystal ball tell you? 🙂
Rick: To be honest….it’s going to hell! The industry is splintered, confused and the core 500 domain investors have been overrun by those servicing them at one time and competing against them now. It was like watching them strip mine pristine land as folks did everything they could to INVENT traffic. Worthless traffic not capable of making sales that Google paid for and then passed to their customers at even higher prices. The good news is Google is wising up and so is the consumer of the traffic. When they finally figure it out they will understand the difference between water and gas when trying to fuel the engine of their businesses.
WhoAPI: Which new gTLD has the most potential? What’s your opinion on hundreds of new gTLD’s that are lining up?
Rick: I don’t know. We will all find out soon. Probably something like .web that is generic in nature and any word or name could be used in front of it. Many of the new gTLD’s are too limited. There are just not enough intuitive combinations to make them meaningful. I see many having just a few thousand registrations if that. The domain community has been burned with every new extension so far and if a meaningful extension like a .TV is still finding it hard to get traction I don’t quite get how these others will be more important than the other bombs we have seen.
For those that keep saying there are no good .coms, I just did a test. I randomly picked an industry to hit. It took 2 tries to find a very good .com domain. With an infinite amount of .com domains, I just don’t think .whatever is a viable choice once they find out the negatives involved.
WhoAPI: Are you doing something to clear the name of domainers that are doing a great job instead of squatting and spamming?
Rick: When I spend thousands of dollars to defend a domain like SaveMe.com, Goofoff.com, LadyGodiva.com, that is exactly what I do. But there is a problem. Most of the 500 professional domainers know the difference between a trademark and a generic domain name. But the 100,000 amateurs are desperate to make any money and they often do the most spamming and the biggest infringers.
What I want the world to know is that most domainers respect trademarks and trademark holders. However, trademarks have a huge amount of different classifications and online those classifications are largely ignored. Then add in the problem of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and there are huge problems and little rhyme or reason. The good news is that is beginning to change.
WhoAPI: Anything you wish to add, promote, explain?
Rick: In closing, just want to invite folks to come to TRAFFIC in October at the Ritz Carlton in Fort Lauderdale Florida. If folks are serious about the future in domains, marketing, and traffic or own any website that needs traffic, what they will learn at TRAFFIC could save them a lot of money. Companies are losing away millions on ineffective advertising and traffic. They use 3rd parties like Facebook and Twitter to be cool but not seeing the sales that are key.
They don’t ask questions like why am I only making 1 sale for every 1000 visitors? Or 10,000! Or 100,000!! Why did so many walk away without buying? They think their online store is different than the real world stores. Would any competent CEO stand for a 1 in 1000 closing ratio in their physical store?? Most CEO’s don’t even know what I am talking about. They are not sales, they are bean counters. Big mistake. SALES must lead a company. No sales, you got zip! Today accounts and lawyers are running the front office of so many companies and that is a recipe for disaster. Those are companies that are out of control.