Tom Chapman Interview – I have asked various parties within the domain industry to take part 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 are our second interview is with Tom Chapman.
Tom has been very entrepreneurial over the last 32 years and has started many companies in different industries. He currently own and is involved in three companies. Net Content Creations is my Internet company with a large network of websites. Health & Life Associates is another company that Tom and his son own. It is a call center operation with licensed health insurance agents selling in 25 states primarily Medicare supplement products. His newest company was formed this year and is DRVISIT, Inc. which is developing DrVisit.com as a platform for doctors and patients to easily schedule and conduct Telemedicine, which I prefer to call Virtual Dr. Visits or Virtual Dr. Consultations using video chat.
You can find my cv here http://tchapman.com/aboutme.html
1) What are your current thoughts on the Domain Aftermarket? i.e. Sales and Enquiries etc – General Mood of Domainers / End users?
It looks like it’s getting more organized all the time. It has become easier to find good domains for sale and more easy to manage them. So as a domainer myself, I would say the philosophy has not changed among domainers in that we still believe that domain names are the real estate of the Internet and should continue to do well for the long term.
2) Where do you see GTLDS in 3 years time?
Well it seems obvious to me that there will be somewhat of a flood of new GTLDS coming to store near you! I think that some of these will develop good niches just as .xxx has gone down that road and there will be opportunities but one should be very careful as you pick! It has been roughly 18 years since Netscape released its first browser (I formed my Internet company that month in 1994) and I will continue to believe that owning good .com’s will always be at the top of the food chain. I think it’s better to pay more and own one good .com that you can build a business around than it is to own a lot of somewhat worthless domains.
3) What are you or your companies investing in? i.e. Dot Com only Domains – Typo – etc?
Almost exclusively .com’s, occasionally others if it makes sense and has excellent two word type domains and a lot of search. For example today I bought AmericanGirls.org. Why? Because I saw the keywords “American Girls” had 1.5 million monthly searches in Google.
4) Do you believe in Parking or Developing? What are your tips for either i.e. Top Parking Platform (What Do You Use) – Developing your thoughts on what to develop and how best achieve it?
Sorry domainers and parking companies, but I have never been a fan of parking. I am not saying that others can’t do well with parking, I am just saying it never really produced much for me when I did some experimenting with it. I would much rather buy a domain that can obviously be developed.
5) What is your favourite domain personally or company owned?
Right now it would probably be DrVisit.com that I acquired this year from another domainer. I like it because it is so short and sweet yet very descriptive of the goods or services that will be offered. It is also ideal for branding and advertising. It is a .com and very importantly it’s easy to remember if you see it somewhere. I thought it was so good that I decided to name the company the same, DRVISIT, Inc. Laying a good foundation for building a company is critically important!
6) If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
– Buy .com’s, there are a lot more good ones out for sale than you think.
– Buy quality two word and three word .com’s, and look for names that mean something, like LocalFishingTrips.com one of mine.
– It’s better to buy one high quality name than many so so domains for the same money.
7) What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
8)Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
A lot closer to meeting my maker! ))
9) What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
I might have to count again, but I think I started 10 companies with the new one this year. I would say of all those companies that my Internet company has been by far and away the hardest business I ever had! I mean think about it. You buy this intangible asset called a domain name and now you have to turn it into a tangible asset we call money. Not an easy challenge by any means. I would venture to say it is also a big intellectual challenge. Just think of all those hundreds or thousands of .com companies back in the late 90’s who had huge sums of money pouring in from venture capital companies. These companies were suppose to have the smartest management teams in the world. And what happened? They failed miserably! The VC’s were selling those companies for 10 cents on a dollar and they were the only ones who got any of that. The entrepreneurs and people who put their life savings in (like me and thank God I had no VC’s) and sweat equity in for years walked away with nothing in most cases. So, yes it is a challenge to develop a great site or sites, find a great market and have a good business model. And if you have all that, then you need traffic!
10) What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
My largest success was a company I formed back in 1987 called Medical Audit Services. I took 1.5 years to develop the software from scratch to audit all types of medical bills, which was a challenge since I knew nothing about medical and not a lot about software development. Once I had developed a great product/service, I started selling to insurance companies, third party administrator and large self insured companies. The company was a startup and the only money I had invested was mine. Later the company was renamed to Kemper National Services when Kemper National Insurance Companies acquired it from me in 1989 and I stay on as CEO for five years. That company grew to become more than a thousand employees for the 5 years I stayed and several thousand down the road. It was a very large medical cost containment services company in the healthcare industry.
I would like to say a big Thank You to Tom for taking part in this interview for RobbiesBlog.com – Please check out Tom’s sites and remember if you are looking for a Doctor – Visit DrVisit.com