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Today TheDomains.com announced that .XYZ is the first new domain name extension to break the 750,000 registrations barrier. It’s not secret that the domain community wasn’t a fan of the Network Solutions giveaway but looking at the numbers now it’s clear that this growth is from something else, it’s spreading, people know about .XYZ and they’re about to eclipse .MOBI for registrations.

You might look at .MOBI and say, “oh that was a huge failure” and it might have been for you if you were an investor but if you ran .MOBI you’d be saying something else since 800,000+ registrations is an incredibly profitable business.

This made me think about all the debate going on about the success of new domain extensions. I think everyone will look at it differently but I think it’s important that we’re all speaking the same language.

A new domain extension becomes a profitable business once it is making more money off of registrations and renewals than it costs to run the extension. This means that there might be new extensions that the community sees as a failure that are actually profitable businesses bringing-in 8-figures a year in profit.

There’s a reason why Donuts was able to raise $200M and it’s because investors also see how lucrative owning an extension can be with a very low threshold of registrations.

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin, the domain investor. Domain investors don’t care as much about how much money the business running the extension makes, they want two key things: liquidity for their names, profit (and often a very healthy profit).

From a Domainers point of view a new domain extension with one-word names selling in the five and six-figure range is a better business (for the Domainer) than an extension that sells hundreds of thousands of domains but doesn’t have much resale value.

Now let’s look at the end-user, a normal person who doesn’t invest in domains and doesn’t own a registry. That person really just wants to get their keyword in an extension that people can remember. They actually win if there are less domains taken, registries that completely flop could create huge wins for end-users who get their top choice name. Of course if nobody has heard of the extension that could hurt the brandability of a site.

The point here is a simple one but a really darn important one. If we’re going to talk about the success (or failure) of a new domain name extension, we have to understand how we measure the success, and most importantly, the success for who.

Now it’s your turn, how do you measure the success of a new domain name extension?

Photo Credit: C♥rm3n via Compfight cc

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When it comes to the domain industry there are industry players, and there are legends. In my mind Right Of The Dot gets legendary status given that it’s run by two of the biggest names in the domain industry, Monte Cahn and Michael Berkens. If you’ve been following the news lately you also know that another domain industry legend, Pinky Alan Brand is doing big things at TLD Registry.

tldregistry-rightofthedot

TLD Registry has just announced that they are partnering with Right Of The Dot which really is, like the title says, a match made in heaven.

“TLD Registry operates with a solid business model that western markets need to be taking advantage of,” Cahn said. “The Asian domain market is one of the fastest growing markets for the domain industry, and we feel there is great opportunity for all investors for these two Chinese IDN extensions.”

Huge congrats to both companies as I see this as a clear win for both and honestly an even bigger win for the Chinese domain market. You can learn more about all the awesome things that TLD Registry is up to here.

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Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa Five. I decided to change the day that I publish this post and move it from Friday to Monday (actually I write the post on Sunday and schedule it for Monday). The reason for the change is that I think many of my readers like to unplug during the weekend so rather than evaluating domains to buy they’d probably rather spend time with family and friends.

Now that it’s Monday you can get a fresh start to the week with five hand-picked domains fresh from Flippa. Ready to rock? Let’s do it!

3 domains with good resale potential

Voice.io – this is the first time I’ve included a .IO domain in this section because in general I don’t think .IO domains have much liquidity. That being said this is a really solid one and given how many APIs there are used to recognize and analyze the human voice I do think this one has good potential.

Left.com – I love short memorable one-word .COMs and so do a lot of other people. Left.com is incredibly broad and could really be used for almost anything, easy to remember, easy to spell, doesn’t get much better.

Portfolios.com – 15 year-old one word .COM, the only thing that bugs me about this name is that Portfolio.com is a better name and I could see people getting confused and going to it instead of this one. Still a very solid name but if you really want to own the brand I’d also buy the singular as well.

1 domain I think has good development potential

MyWearables.com – there’s no doubt about it, we are still in the early days of wearable devices and with Apple’s watch coming out next year I see this only accelerating faster every single month. If you’re looking at starting either a blog or an eCommerce store in the wearables space this is a great fit that will cost you a lot less than the category killer – wearables.com.

1 domain I like personally but may not have much investment value

Viral.io – this name could have made a good investment however with the .COM, .NET, and .ORG all parked it’s clear to me that there probably aren’t too many buyers for this term. Still I like the name and for anyone building an API to help content go viral this could be a good fit. That being said I wouldn’t expect much resale potential.

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Donuts is on a roll – nabs .NEWS and .CASINO

Well it’s a good day to be Donuts, the domain extension giant just locked down two monster new domain extensions – .NEWS and .CASINO. These were not easy domain extensions to get and Donuts had to outbid Amazon for .NEWS which I think could be one of the hottest new extensions once it comes out.

The online gambling space is also still in its infancy with a million laws preventing much growth, for now. However it’s not hard to imagine a future where the laws loosen and online gambling becomes a massive industry.

Two big wins for Donuts and two domain extensions I will definitely be keeping my eyes on. Congrats to the whole team over at Donuts, well done!

Hat tip to TheDomains who takes the cake for breaking the good news.

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MorganLinton.com Turns Seven

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. Today I realized that I missed the seven year anniversary of my blog which took place in October. My very first blog post was on October 18th, 2007 and was titled My First .mobi Flip and represented the beginning of a lot of hard lessons. I quickly learned that .MOBI wasn’t the “hot” extension that I thought it was, and I also learned that domain flipping isn’t easy, it’s hard, damn hard.

Fast forward to a few years later and I was bringing in over $100,000/year in the domain space. It was an incredible journey and I learned a lot about building a business in the process. The biggest lesson that I learned is that you can’t be afraid of failure because while I’d love to say everything just fell into place, it didn’t. I failed a lot, lost pretty much all the money I had invested, freaked out, and then turned it all around.

Then in 2012 I said goodbye to the domain space but not to my portfolio. As I moved on to co-found Fashion Metric domain names became to me what stocks and real estate are to other people, an investment vehicle that would grow my money faster than a bank. I still get a better ROI than I ever did in the stock market and in the process I’ve met some amazing people that have become lifelong friends.

While my life and focus has changed a lot over the past seven years I’ve had two constants that I couldn’t imagine living without. The first of course is my incredible wife Daina, the second is this blog, MorganLinton.com. My blog used to be completely focused on domain names but now it has grown to cover more of what I do in my daily life which is building a startup. As I’ve said many times I plan on blogging well into my hundreds so as long as you’re not sick of me yet, you can expect to hear more from me for a long time.

Which brings me to the most important part of this blog – you! I wouldn’t still be blogging if it wasn’t for all of my amazing readers who not only read my articles but comment and share them on social media, email, and heck, some of you even print them out and highlight specific sentences (yes, I know a number of people who do this).

So after seven years I’d like to give a HUGE thanks to all of my readers, it’s because of you that I do this and the fact that there are more of you every single year makes me want to write even more. So here’s to you and to the next 70+ years of blogging ahead!

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It’s actually pretty darn cool that we live in a world where I can actually pick three new domain extensions every single week, and they keep coming! While not all of the extensions I’ve picked hit general availability this week they still have important things happening with them that I think are important for people to know about. So let’s get to it:

.paris

1. .PARIS – my top pick this week I think is going to be one of the biggest this year, .PARIS. Just like .BERLIN and .NYC took off like a rocketship I think .PARIS should see similar results.

2. .DELIVERY – Trademark holders can now secure their .DELIVERY name and I think there are going to be quite a few that want theirs like Dominos, PizzaHut, the list goes on.

3. .ENERGY – like .DELIVERY, .ENERGY also goes into pre-registration and sunrise for Trademark holders. While I don’t think this one is going to be as popular as .DELIVERY or .PARIS it’s still not a bad extension and could be used for energy companies, energy drinks, battery companies, etc. which makes it a little more generic than you might think.

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programming

As many of you know I’m a bit of a programming language geek. For a long time (or at least long for me) I’ve been interested in understanding which programming languages (and dev stacks) are the best for a specific application. In college I spent a lot of time in the world of C and Assembly and got really interested in processor-level optimization.

Now I find myself a bit more high-level while still having more of an backend focus. I’ve also found that my go-to sites for learning new things seem to change just about every year since languages grow and change as do blogs and tutorial sites.

Recently I had a good friend ask me what I thought were the best places to learn how to build iOS apps so I thought rather than just sharing with them, I’ll share with you too. This listed is updated for 2015 since iOS tutorials can easily become out-of-date which means you’ll spend more time debugging old tutorial code rather than writing code that works.

1. RayWenderlich – I discovered Ray’s site very recently and it has become an instant favorite of mine. Ray has a great writing style and very accessible tutorials written for people with varying levels of programming experience.One of my favorites that I think many of you will enjoy is Ray’s two part tutorial on how to make an iOS game like Candy Crush.

2. Code School – I really like Code School, it’s a resource I recommend to most people trying to learn a new programming language and their iOS tutorial is no exception. I think people learn the best by doing and Code School does a great job of teaching you concepts and then forcing you to code them yourself to make sure they stick.

3. Smashing Magazine – Smashing Magazine is an awesome online publication for designers and they have one of the best iOS tutorials for non-programmers. If you’ve never written a line of Objective C but you want to learn this is a great place to start.

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I have talked about this a number of times before but today it was illustrated in a major way. Consumers and the mainstream media still have absolutely no idea what a TLD is.

Today TechCrunch, one of the top tech publications in the world wrote an article about Google.co.uk and yes, they think that .co.uk is a subdomain. Here’s the exact quote:

During the debate Schmidt was also asked a question specifically about whether the public should move to searching Google.com rather than searching sub-domains such as Google.co.uk in order “to remove edited or removed information”, as the questioner put it. (Source – TechCrunch)

I think our terminology in the domain name industry is restricting us from the rest of the world. We all know what TLDs are and we know that the industry is buzzing non-stop about new gTLDs, and for good reason. The problem is consumers don’t know what a gTLD is, they know what .CLUB is, they know what .CLICK is, but they don’t know those are gTLDs.

If TechCrunch can’t figure out the difference between a gTLD and a subdomain what makes you think that the average person can?

So what’s my point? My point is that as an industry we have to get better at communicating with the rest of the world. We should start talking about new domain extensions, talking about things that come to the “right of the dot”. Honestly Michael and Monte got it right (literally!) they have a company that makes sense to people in the industry and outside of it.

Now we all have to do a better job as bloggers and gTLD operators in getting the message out there in a way the public can understand.

Here’s my question to you, because I don’t know the right answer myself. What do we call these new gTLDs? How can we explain them in a way that consumers and tech media alike can understand?

Comment and let your voice be heard!

Note: just to be clear, I’m not faulting TechCrunch here, I love TechCrunch and read it every single day. What I am faulting is the domain industry as a whole describing a major innovation in a way that confuses the heck out of everyone, even the incredibly tech savvy.

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Another exciting week of new domain extensions is upon us and this week six new extensions are going live five of which are from Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry. One of the new extensions .CLICK is also breaking new ground as Uniregistry has decided not to push premium pricing on all but 100 domains which means that you can get just about any .CLICK name under the sun for under $10.

Below are my three favorite domain name extensions launching this week:

Dot Click

1. .CLICK – I like the approach that Uniregistry is taking here and think that it evens that playing field allowing anyone to get a truly premium name in this extension. I also think .CLICK is easy to remember and impossible to misspell which makes it a solid choice for companies looking to brand around this term.

2. .HOSTING – for all the hosting companies out there that had to pick their 3rd or 4th choice .COM now it’s time to get the name you really wanted to begin with. I think .HOSTING gives hosting companies all over the world a nice extension all their own to brand around. For consumers it’s also pretty easy to understand what you will find on a .HOSTING domain.

3. .DIET – I’m pretty sure the #1 New Year’s resolution is to go on a diet and given how many diet programs are out there I think this domain extension has some solid potential.

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My Three Favorite Startup Founder Blogs

Early this week I did a post about my three favorite VC blogs, so I thought it would only make sense to talk about the other side of the table and share my three favorite startup founder blogs. As a startup founder myself who also blogs I have a ton of respect for founders who take some time to reflect on their experiences and then share it with the rest of us. I’ve been blogging since 2007 and can tell you there is something truly incredible about reflecting on your experiences and sharing them with others.

Thousands of startup founders write blogs of their own and coming up with a top three list was no easy task but here are my three all-time favorite startup founder blogs.

Danielle Morrill

1. Danielle Morrill - this has been a new favorite of mine this year. Danielle is the CEO and Cofounder of Mattermark and is one of the startup founders that is the most plugged-into the startup ecosystem as a whole. Danielle has a great writing style and my favorite thing about her is that she doesn’t hold back or sugar-coat her posts, she tells it like is is and I can tell you that I personally have learned a lot from her posts this year.

Ryan Hoover

2. Ryan Hoover – Ryan is the founder of Product Hunt and along with writing some incredibly insightful posts he also has a great podcast that I really enjoy listening to. It is clear that Ryan absolutely loves writing and along with sharing content on his blog he also does some pretty kick-ass articles for publications like TechCrunch, Forbes, and PandoDaily to name a few.

David Jaxon

3. David Jaxson – David is the founder of Seeking Alpha (another site I really enjoy reading) and he writes a post just about every single day. What I like about David’s blog is that he isn’t afraid to challenge some of the conventional wisdom that is out there. One of my favorite recent posts by him is Don’t try to learn from failure.

 

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