Interview with Rick Schwartz
Interview with Rick Schwartz – I have asked various parties within the domain industry to take part in some interviews to give us a little background about themselves, where they see the industry heading, and how they feel the current market for domain names is our twenty-sixth interview is by Rick Schwartz.
I would like to thank everyone that has been visiting my blog and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you are all getting some Black Friday Special Deals and taking advantage of Cyber Monday.
I appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by and read the posts.
We have had many great interviews already completed by Mike Mann, Darren Cleveland, Monte Cahn, Braden Pollock, Craig Rowe, Xavier Buck, Jodi Chamberlain, Fred Mercaldo, Tommy Butler, Michael Castello, Rob Grant, Tom Chapman, Ira Zoot, Victor Pitts, Shane Cultra, Nico Zeifang , Chris from AntiCareer.com, Eric Borgos, Jacob Fedosky, Brett Lewis, David Carter, Mike “Zappy” Zapolin, Ted Olson, Kevin Ohasi, Morgan Linton with many more interviews to come shortly.
Who would you like to see interviewed? Leave a comment or drop me an email…
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Rick Schwartz or the Domain King as he is known in the Domaining Industry doesn’t really need an introduction he is very well known within the domain industry and has built a portfolio of domain names that have made him a very wealthy man, Yes some shall say Rick was lucky but Rick got into the domain game before there even was a domain game.
Rick writes his own blog over at RicksBlog.com where not everyone might agree with what Rick says but if you look back through the posts over the past 5 years you see that most of his opinions turn into facts as the years move on, Another site of Rick Schwartz to check out is eRealestate.com, The first website on the net to be devoted to the future of domain names. Online since 1996 and created by Rick.
Rick has only sold a handful of the domain names that he owns and the list is below but now he has a bigger long term goal of partnership and development of his 6000 domain names via JointVentures.com a new platform that allows end-users from multi-million dollar corporations to the startup guy in his garage to have access to killer generic domain names that can be turned into real businesses.
Rick Schwartz Notable Sales $10MM+
Meet.me$450,000 with 2 Partners
eCruise.com to iCruise.com Cash & Stock
235.com for $100,000
Property.com/Properties.com $4MM + Equity Stake
Candy.com $3MM + Royalties + 7.5% Ownership
iReport.com to CNN for $750K
eScore.com to Kaplan Educational $100,000
PunchBowl.com to MyPunchbowl.com Cash & Stock
236.com to IAC (Undisclosed)
What are your current thoughts on the Domain Aftermarket?
Whatever strength there is in the aftermarket really shows weakness inside the industry. The circumstance which is forcing the sales is not good. But that provides some real bargains and those in a strong cash position are taking advantage of the soft market. That’s what makes the world go round. So all in all, it is strong. Very strong. Just don’t look too deep as to why it is so strong.
How successfully do you feel the Traffic Auction was this year with stricter guidelines of domains that were priced to sell or with no reserve?
Well, it was a domainers auction as advertised and we sold 50% of the inventory without putting the audience asleep. So while we were able to harness some elements of what we want, the market plays a role, and the fact that there are dozens of auctions 24/7 makes comparisons to the “Old days” a bit skewed. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the progress we made and it was visible and I think we will be rewarded for that in the future in both quality of domains and active bidders because there were bargains to be had.
What are your views on GTLD’s and is there any opportunities for domain investors to make money from GTLD’s?
There is plenty of opportunities just don’t know what form it will manifest itself. Type in traffic?? Very limited. The driving force in .com is just not present in other extensions to any measurable degree. If you take the future advertising budgets for every gtld and add it all together and then extend it out for our lifetimes, it won’t equal what has already been spent promoting and branding dot com. Maybe only one day’s worth of value from where I sit. There has never been so much money in the history of mankind spent promoting anything until dot com. It’s stunning when you look at the breadth and magnitude. More spent on dot com in one day then will be spent on all the extensions added together over the next 10 years. That’s the measure I see. A pond vs an ocean. Both have benefits, but one has significant limitations. And for many, it will look more like a puddle than a pond.
Opportunity? You bet! But it just may be that opportunity takes the form of being in the right place as companies piss away money to figure out what we already know and has been proved.
Do you still actively buy domain names and what are your buying criteria?
Yes. But only when the equation works. Only when I see an upside of substantial proportion. I still hand register 90% of my domains. I plant seeds. It may take many years to ripen or it may flame out in days. But that’s domaining for ya!
With the launch of JointVentures.com, What are you currently doing with your domains?
Shall they remain parked with a link to JointVentures.com or shall they be redirected to the JointVentures.com home page to generate an inquiry?
I do both. But the direction is to give each domain a little more or a LOT more love and have it graduate from a parked page to a monthly lease capable of making significant and steady revenue while building a relationship with the end-user with a common exit strategy.
Is Domain Parking Dead in your opinion as you have been in the industry before parking was alive and many say it is deceased?
Not at all. It still serves a purpose but we have seen some consolidation, virtually no growth, and a weakening of the sector in general. Yet some are emerging very strong as the domain owners themselves consolidate their holdings and where they point it to. Parking is great. It’s the payouts that suck!
How many domains do you currently own and what is your favorite domain owned?
6000. I have no favorites. (Liar liar) I love them all. But some have been life-changing and a few more are poised to be.
What is your highest trafficked domain name?
Porno.com, About 35,000 daily unique visitors.
Do you own any domains that receive no traffic but see the huge potential?
Absolutely. Traffic germinates. Almost all my mainstream domains started with no traffic. But as the Internet grew and emerged, so did my type-in traffic. I had to predict what they would type in. I was much better at the adult stuff or I would have gotten domains like hotels.com, insurance.com, and mortgages.com. (Next time! lol)
If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
Don’t buy crap. I have talked extensively about this over the years but few listen. The ones that do find out how much easier their path is. Read, learn invest wisely. Think of it like the stock market but not as a day trader. Think of it as a place to park excess funds like your retirement account. Be selective and know your FIRST purchases are very important. Focus on domains with some type in traffic because that validates the face value of a domain and that there is value.
What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
If I tell you I would have to kill you. 😉
What shall happen at the end of your 20-year plan if you haven’t accomplished all your goals?
Nothing. I think I have it set up where it will earn me significant income throughout my life and beyond. But I have every reason to believe and all indications point to the fact that I am on target. Maybe we will arrive a year early or a year late but that is just a matter of when the fruit is ripe. When the ship arrives.
What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
Filtering out the noise and the naysayers. Being patient enough to see something through from start to finish or the actual beginning depending on how you look at it. I figured it would take 20 years to BEGIN and we are so much further down the road in one respect but 3 years away in another. Connecting all the dots and seeing the image appear is what I expect during the time ahead.
What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
Longevity and being able to accurately predict how some things would unfold knowing I did not have to get it all right to accomplish what I wanted to. I am very proud of TRAFFIC as we sign contracts for 2014 which will be our 10th year and the role it played in the lives of so many domainers and the history of the industry and the memories many of us share.
Personally, I still remember that day in 1995 that I got my first domain name and I had no way of knowing how that single event would be so life-changing. The journey that single decision would send me on. Dreams not only fulfilled but exceeding anything I really could have imagined.
More importantly was what I learned along the way about life and human nature. As Vince Lombardi might say, “In the pursuit of perfection, I found excellence as a consolation prize”. I also found that failure was an important ingredient in the pursuit of perfection and excellence. I learned to embrace failure not excuse it or even feel bad about it. That was the #1 bi-product of somebody that lived the first half of his life in the “Mediocre” column.
But what gives me the most satisfaction is knowing that I played a role in many lives from my private domain chat board back in 2000 to TRAFFIC in 2004 to RicksBlog.com in 2007 and now hopefully in 2012 with JointVentures.com
A massive thanks to Rick Schwartz for taking the time to complete this interview for RobbiesBlog.com – If you don’t read Rick’s blog then where have you been? LOL! You should really check it out there are some great posts going back from 2007 when Rick started the blog. Don’t forget to check out JointVentures.com