How Uniregistry Can Put An End To Forgotten Domains

If you own more than a handful of domains there’s a good chance that they are spread across multiple registrars. As time goes by it is easy to lose track of where all your domains are registered and when each expires. Couple this with an old email address at one of your registrar accounts and a domain you spent good money on could slip through your fingers.

Uniregistry

The problem is, how can you effectively keep track of domains across all the different registrars? In the past I have turned to my good friend Microsoft Excel, but that is an incredibly manual way of tracking things and let’s face it, human error can and will happen.

Enter Uniregistry, a domain registrar started by domain name expert Frank Schilling. Frank has seen this problem first-hand and is using technology to solve the problem. It’s called Domain Tracker and it’s a completely free service that allows you to see all of the domains you have, across all registrars, all in one place.

Domain Name Wire did a great article about this in early September when the feature was first released and I can tell you that it’s already been a very valuable service for me, and I didn’t have to pay a penny or go through some complex configuration process to get it going, it just works.

If Apple were to build a registrar I think they’d be hard pressed to make it as simple and easy-to-use as Uniregistry has done. The Domain Tracker is just another example of a feature that probably has a lot of complexity under-the-hood but requires nothing on the part of the user.

So if you’re looking for a way to get your domains organized once and for all, just know that Uniregistry has you covered!

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Startup burn rates are always a hot topic and over the last week some very big names in the startup world have weighed-in to share their opinions. Since I know my blog is read by more than just startup founders I guess now would be a good time to explain what burn rate is.

Burn rate typically refers to the amount of money a startup spends (burns) every month. When investors put money into a startup they expect to see that money going back out (not too fast though) into things that will grow the company faster than it would organically. Typically the bulk of this money goes towards building the team but every company segments their funding a bit differently and often after discussing it over with their investors quite a bit to make sure that everyone is aligned.

The burn rate discussion is now front-and-center thanks to an awesome article on Medium by Danielle Morell (founder of Mattermark). Danielle had mentioned her startup’s burn rate ($150k – $200k) in this post, which spurred a Twitter comment of, “That’s a fucking bubbly burn” which in part inspired Danielle’s Medium post about burn rates.

After Danielle’s article Mark Suster from Upfront chimed in on his blog (which has become one of my favorite regular reads) and added to the discussion in this post. One of my favorite quotes from Mark’s article is:

“But the biggest thing to know is this: Companies who are scaling quickly in revenue and with a high gross margin often should invest as much capital in growth as they can manage responsibly because when you find a product / market fit and your company is growing at a very fast scale you want to capture market share before competition sets in. Think DropBox, Airbnb, Uber, Maker Studios. Your goal is to invest in engineering (to maintain your product lead), new offices / locations (to capture markets before others), marketing (to capture consumer attention before others do) … all of these activities consume cash often in advance of the revenue they generate.”

What Mark is talking about is the difference between a startup and a small business. A small business (or a lifestyle business) doesn’t have to grow fast and crush its competitors, instead it can slowly grow over time with the owners being laser-focused on profitability. Startups are obsessed with growth and companies like Facebook and Twitter would have never been able to grow as fast as they did without outside capital.

The question is, once you get the capital, how can you best spend it (and at what rate) so that your startup can grow at the pace you and your investors want without breaking the bank? Mark lays out a solid framework but like most things in the startup world, it really does vary based on the company, industry, founders, and investors but thanks to Danielle and Mark I think people are thinking about this more deeply now than ever before.

Photo Credit: myhsu via Compfight cc

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Weekend Musings

Hello, happy Saturday, and welcome to my weekend musings. As many of you know this has been one of the busiest times in my entire life. Techstars Demo Day was September 3rd and since then we have been meeting with investors non-stop. This has left me with very little time to blog but a lot of time to reflect on how I see my blog growing as we take this next step with Fashion Metric.

First and foremost, I’m still a domain geek, don’t worry I don’t see that ever changing. That being said, Domaining for me has become a passive investment strategy rather than something I actively do on a daily basis. I’m still buying domains every month, and I’m still selling domains every month, but I look at Domain Investing a lot like I do the stock market or real estate market.

Like most businesses you get out what you put in so I don’t expect to see my income from Domaining skyrocket anytime soon, still it’s going to bring in six-figures in revenue this year and since that is crushing my stock portfolio, I can proudly say that domains have been a great investment vehicle for me.

Now 100% of my focus is Fashion Metric and as such you probably won’t see me at many domain industry conferences or events. Most of the conferences I attend now are in the startup or eCommerce space like Shop.org which we are attending this week in Seattle.

I see my blog as my way of staying connected to the industry and for me to continue to share my thoughts and experiences as the industry continues to change and develop. I have been invited to speak at some pretty awesome startup events about domain names and I am excited about sharing more about our industry with the startup community which largely thinks of all of us as cybersquatters.

I want to change this thinking and help show the world that there is a big difference between a domain investor and a cybersquatter. You’ll see more posts on my blog about this distinction as well as on Medium.com where I write to a more broad community.

I will also be adding more writers to the blog that will help me take this to the next level. There are tons of great domain blogs you can read to catch-up on industry news and I hope you’ll stay plugged-into my blog to keep up with the intersection between domains and startups two industries that are changing and growing every single day.

On top of that, it’s about darn time for me to share some of the experiences we’ve had quitting our day jobs and running a startup full time. It hasn’t been easy but so far it has been the best decision I have ever made. If any of you are thinking of taking the plunge hopefully you can learn from what has worked, and more importantly, what hasn’t worked, for me.

I have always put a lot of emphasis on case studies and tutorials and that will continue to be the core focus of my blog. I’m not a news reporter, never have been, never will be. I’ve always enjoyed teaching and that’s where I’ve always found my blog can add the most value to readers.

So whether you’ve always wondered what a cap table is and why it’s so important to startups or if you’ve been trying to figure-out why your domain lease deals keep falling through, I’ll make sure to bring you my own real life experiences and the tough love you might need if you’re headed in the wrong direction.

I still can’t believe I started this blog almost 7 years ago and I couldn’t be more proud of where it is today, and where it’s going tomorrow. Thanks for coming on the journey, and welcome to the next stage in the adventure!

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Hello, happy Friday and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa Five! I hope you all had a great week, enjoy my five picks for this week below:

3 Domains with good resale potential

Backups.net – I’m not usually a big .NET guy but the online backup space is huge and has a lot of players. This is a nice name that is easy to remember and instantly tells you what the business does, passes the billboard and radio test with flying colors!

Livestock.com – let’s be honest, this is a monster name. I could easily see this selling in the six-figure range some day, if someone can nab it in the five-figure range I think there is definitely good resale potential, just don’t expect it to be a quick flip, big names like this definitely take longer to move.

Undergraduate.com – this is the first time I’ve seen this name on Flippa, the education space is very hot in the affiliate/lead gen world, definitely resale potential but important to keep an eye on the price to make sure you’re still buying at wholesale.

1 Domain I think has good development potential

PremiumThemes.com – it’s no secret that the theme market is exploding. Whether it’s WordPress themes, Drupal themes, Magento themes, you name it, there are usually affiliate programs behind them that allow you to make money when you send someone their way. In the hands of the right developer this could be a nice little money-maker.

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

SnowRemovalCompanies.com – I’m pretty sure this would be tough to resell, and I’m not sure there’s a lot of money in snow removal lead gen (but I could be wrong). I just like this name because I know the search volume for this term must go up starting in a few weeks and if someone does know how to monetize these leads, this site probably has some nice (but not huge) type-in traffic to get you started.

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How Startups Can Sock It To Cybersquatters

Cybersquatters. They drive me absolutely crazy, and I’m not alone. Before I go-into ways in which startups can get their names back from squatters I wanted to clearly define what a Cybersquatter is.

First things first. There’s a big difference between “Domain Investors” and “Cybersquatters” – confusion between these two groups can lead you down the wrong path so it’s important to understand.

Cybersquatters buy existing trademarks and typos of existing trademarks in an effort to extort money from the company that has done all the work. Sounds sleazy? It is.

Domain Investors do not buy trademarks or typos. Instead they buy generic words that are not purchased with the intent of extorting other businesses, but are instead just raw land available, the land is just made of 1’s and 0’s.

So what can a startup do if a cybersquatter is squatting on their domain name?

What most startups don’t realize is that there is a completely legal way to reclaim your name. It’s called a UDRP and you can read more about it here. The way a UDRP works is relatively simple, if a cybersquatter is indeed squatting on your name, you can file a legal proceeding to get the name from them (forcibly) for typically under $5,000.

Here’s one thing to be very careful of. Remember, just like anyone can buy raw land in every single state in the US, domain investors can buy vacant domains that are available for anyone to own. If you slap a domain investor that has legitimately purchased the domain with a UDRP you could get hit with a RDNH (Reverse Domain Name Hijacking). As the name sounds you would actually be trying to hijack a domain from a legitimate owner and there are repercussions that come along with this action.

The key here is differentiating between a Cybersquatter and a Domain Investor. Domain Investors generally want to help startups, I know many who give startups very preferential pricing, flexible lease deals, and much more to help someone get the name they want.  Cybersquatters on the other hand try to find what brand startups are going for and then buy a bunch of domains that match that name or are typos of it specifically to sell for as much as possible.

If you find that a Cybersquatter is going after your brand, hire a lawyer that specializes in domain names and go get them! Just remember that you will need to have a trademark and a good case against them, you can read the full list of UDRP requirements here. The more people that go after Cybersquatters the more these scum will think twice about squatting on your brand.

Just remember, if you want a generic .COM that has been registered since the 90’s you can’t UDRP, it’s a generic term and available to anyone just like the raw land people can buy probably five minutes from your house. Don’t try to steal domains from investors or you could find yourself being hit with a RDNH, which is the last thing you want.

 

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My Favorite New .CLUB Websites

It’s no secret that .CLUB has been one of the top new domain name extensions (new gTLDs) to hit the market. Along with being the first new extension to hit 100,000 paid registrations they also have seen very strong adoption from entrepreneurs all over the world.

.CLUB

As many of you know, what excites me the most about new domain extensions are the startups and small businesses that build on them. While there’s no doubt that .COMs definitely have the most resale value, most startups aren’t looking to spend a fortune on a domain, they are looking for a great brand.

So I thought now was a good time to do a review of some of my favorite new .CLUB sites, one of which recently made big news as the winner of Techcrunch Disrupt, enjoy!

Alfred.club – this is my new favorite, it’s called Alfred and it’s a new service that essentially helps you get that butler you’ve always been dreaming of. From laundry and dry cleaning to picking things up from the pharmacy and sending packages, forget Jeeves, you need Alfred.

Shaving.club – this was one of the first .CLUB sites to launch and it’s a pretty awesome service. If you’re tired of constantly buying razor blades, just join the club (starting at $7/month) and fresh razors will make their way to your door.

Eat.club – this is an awesome new startup in a very hot space – food delivery. If you want to order food for your office this startup can make it happen but in a much more efficient way.

Configure.club – okay, so by now you all know I’m a big geek, which is why I really like this one. Configure.club is a site dedicated to, you guessed it, configuring software and devices. There are lots of great how to articles on this site from iPhone 6 and 6 plus tips to running Android apps on your PC.

HomeSearch.club – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what this site is about. Great exact-match domain and a pretty slick UX for finding a home in your area.

Is your favorite .CLUB site not listed above? Feel free to share your favorite in the comment section below. Comment and let your voice be heard!

 

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Hello, happy Friday and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa five. In case you missed last week’s post I’ve changed things around from the “Flippa Friday” I’ve been doing for some time now and have now decided to stick with five picks in three different categories. If you want to read more about this new weekly feature your can read about it here.

3 Domains with good resale potential

eClick.com – very brandable, easy to remember .COM that works across a number of different verticals. I could see this as a great name for an ad tech company to rebrand to but there are many other niches that a name like this could apply to.

Cellphone.ca – well I’m in Canada right now so it felt like it might not be a bad idea to throw a .CA domain into the mix. I’m not usually very bullish on ccTLDs but .CA has seen solid sales over the years and this is a good one that already has existing traffic.

ItalianRestaurants.com – originally registered in 1996 this is without a doubt one of the largest categories in the restaurant space. Great for anyone running a directory or a Yelp-type service that wants to get some more type-in traffic for this term.

1 Domain I think has good development potential

BuyingStocks.com – the stock market isn’t going anywhere, but there are definitely plenty of people getting started buying stocks online every single day. This could make a great lead gen/affiliate site with a ton of products and services available to sell. The domain was registered in 1998 which doesn’t hurt when it comes to getting this ranked for related terms.

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

Tutor.ly – while I think this name is going to be a tough one to sell, in the hands of a good team building a product in the online tutoring space this could make a great brand. I’d just make sure to pick up tutorly.com or you might lose quite a bit of traffic to it.

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I thought now would be as good a good time to get a pulse on what the industry sees as a success and failure in the new domain name extension space. First let me just say, it’s still early, very early, and this will undoubtedly change over time. Also what metrics are important?

We all know that registries make money when people register and renew domains, but I personally think that the number of websites (quality website not made-for-adsense minisites) really gauges consumer interest in a new extension. I think it also comes down to team – a registry with a good team behind it has a much better chance of success than one that doesn’t.

So what do you think, what new gTLD has really hit it out of the park so far and why?

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I’ve called this weekly feature Flippa Friday for a long time now, so I decided now would be as good a time as any to give this a new name. So I’m going with Morgan’s Flippa Five, this also means I am focusing on five domains…but there’s a twist. I’m going to pick my names as follows:

3 domains I think have good resale potential

1 domain I think has good development potential

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

Boom! Let’s get started. Enjoy, here is my very first Flippa Five

3 Domains with good resale potential

LocalDeals.com – solid name in a huge market. This could be either a great potential resale opportunity or development candidate, either way it’s a great name which is why I put it first!

Tasks.com – this is a monster name. Very meaningful one-word .COM with many different uses and markets it could be applied to. I could see this as a name that sells in the high six-figure range a few years from now, but my crystal ball is as good as yours.

Halifax.com – nice geo name, very well-known Canadian city. I’ve seen pre-season hockey in Halifax, beautiful place and a nice domain. 

1 Domain I think has good development potential

OnlineStorage.com – this is such a huge market and one that is seeing a lot of innovation. Sure, Dropbox is king of the hill but there are a a lot of solutions and a lot of consumers trying to pick the right one. This could be a great directory, blog, or review site focused on online storage solutions. 

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

Paid.io – I’ve made it no secret that I’m a fan of .IO domains. This is a nice short one and given how hot the payment processing space is right now I like it a lot. I don’t have a lot of experience selling .IO names so I can’t tell you much about the resale market but I can tell you I do like this name.

 

 

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This year TechCrunch held their annual conference in San Francisco (there is also a Disrupt NYC) and picked a winner from 26 “Battlefield” companies. The winner walks away with a check for $50,000 and the everlasting glow that comes from winning Disrupt.

Alfred Club

The winner this year is Alfred (www.alfred.club or www.alfredclub.com) another startup with a great use for a .CLUB domain and a service that is definitely needed IMO. Think of all the awesome services that have disrupted industries and allowed you to do just about everything from your smart phone. What if all those services were bundled together into a kind of virtual robot named, Alfred.

By joining the Alfred club you essentially get your own personal assistant that takes care of your errands so that you can do all the things you probably want to be doing. As someone that does as much as possible online I’m excited to give Alfred a try!

If you want to learn more about the service make sure to check-out the video below:

 

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