It’s been a while since I posted on my blog. “There are no accidents” as the wise Turtle in Kung-fu Panda once said. That statement is true of my most recent hiatus from this blog as much as it is of other serendipitous happenings in my life. When I’m blogging, I’m not innovating. Blogging is an opportunity to vent and reflect, but when you’re venting and reflecting you’re not growing.
The last 12 months have been one hell of a growth curve for me. My team and I opened a very frilly “no-frills” sales and traffic monetization platform (based on the internal platform we run). We’ve switched upstream monetization partners and we’re innovating (as I write) for the future benefit of ourselves and our sub-syndication partners. This will result in material benefits in the next 3 months, at which time I may temporarily stop adding new participants to ITC/DNS. Some of the changes contemplated by our upstream advertising partners are remarkably bold and out-of-the-box. All our ITC/DNS account holders will benefit from the changes if our upstream folks execute on the grand ideas they’ve shared with us.
It was terrific and weird going to Domainfest this January – so many new faces full of hope and ambition. That was terrific. It was weird being the elder statesman of the show. I actually signed autographs – that was weird. All those new folks have found “THE BEST” space in which to make a living. One need only watch an afternoon of Discovery Channel and shows like “Storage Wars” or “American Pickers” where participants drive hundreds of miles to chase unknown junk or treasure, before you realize how fortunate we are. We collectively chase “real dollars” in this business (a year salary possible with a sold name) while the reality TV folks I mentioned chase nickels and their tail.
This business still offers opportunity like no other! So many un-mined veins. There are just 200 million names registered for 7 billion people (and 500 million businesses) to share. My nephew Rylan’s coming of age reminds me that the 7billionth child will be ready to set up her new email address in 10 short years. Number 7 billion will have a different spectrum of names from which choose, but judging by Rylan’s reaction to the gift of Rylan.net – they will still covet the .com more than their ultimate choice. Before you roll your eyes at the idea of 10 years, let me tell you that these last 10 went by in a bliding flash! I am growing my own business. I am gentrifying and publicizing the formerly private tools I had at my disposal, so that our ITC/DNS partners can unlock the value of their portfolios, as I hope to do with mine in the heady growth of 2012 and the few close years ahead.
My advice for those in this space this year is to hunker down and work hard. Rid yourself of problem names and names with no revenue. Do a better job managing your good names and pay your renewals out in advance. If you’re a generic name operator who has not tried our platform, give us a try or at least make us aware of your portfolio so we know who you are, because we won’t likely have the time to deal with latecomers as we work to improve the fortunes of those who believed in us from the beginning, later in 2012. Everyone in this space (whether they work with us or not) should have a pretty good year this year, but I hope to work harder than ever to unlock the value of the portfolios which we manage. I want to pay back those who believed in me and create a cycle of prosperity for those who had faith in me. If you thought last year was surprising, this year will floor you. All the changes we execute this year are designed to unlock the value and increase the cash flow of the generic name owners we support.
I often wonder how it is that I got here and tell all who care to listen that it was a very fortunate “Forrest-Gump like” series of accidents that helped me find my way to the healthy and happy place I am today. It took my 7 year old daughter and her love of Kung-Fu Panda to remind me that not everyone is good at managing domain names. We were born to do this stuff. “There are no accidents”.