Christmas came early for .CLUB

Suffice it to say .CLUB is officially on-fire, it is one of the fastest growing domain extensions in history and with over 420,000 domains registered things don’t seem to be slowing down. Strong interest in short and numeric domain names have earned .CLUB an additional 100,000 registrations in the last two weeks.

A big part of the recent growth has been strong interest in numeric .CLUB domains:

“Colin Campbell co-founder of .Club announced on Twitter yesterday that all domain names were all registered just 2 weeks after all domain names sold out.” (The Domains)

The recent growth has moved .CLUB into 5th place (according to nTLDStats) and it now represents more than 4% of the total amount of new gTLDs registered. Right now domain investors are trying to determine where the best investment-grade domains are in the numeric market and it looks like .CLUB is definitely a popular choice.

All that being said these are uncharted territory and I wouldn’t recommend new investors pump a bunch of money into numeric .CLUB domains, still it’s a good sign and an early hint at what could be ahead as Chinese investors take the Domaining world to a whole new place.


I hope all of my readers had a great Thanksgiving! I’m writing this post from my hometown of Berkeley, California after getting lunch on 4th street at one of my favorite spots. Given how busy our lives are it is nice to spend a few days with the family just enjoying some time together.

While I’m a fan of Black Friday deals, I’m not a fan of door busters or any of the in-store shopping mayhem that I find particularly ridiculous. Sorry but I just don’t understand why people would want to get up early on a day off, wait in the cold in a line, to run-into a store and grab a Westinghouse TV. You can buy just about anything discounted year-round online, and better quality vs. the junk stores are trying to get rid of (and do successfully!) on Black Friday.

As a domain investor what we invest in is all online, and all the services we use are online, so there’s really nothing we could get from a physical store anyways…another reason why I love domain names! Of course there are a countless deals out there, but I wanted to share five that I personally am taking advantage of so would recommend to other investors looking to enjoy savings that in this case, do only happen once a year.

  1. NameCheap – I’m very impressed with the deals that NameCheap is running for Black Friday and already did very well with their $0.48/.CLUB registration deal that was available for an hour this morning. With deals on .CLUB, .COM, .XYZ, .CO, SSL Certificates and more this is about as cheap as it’s going to get until next year.
  2. Uniregistry – I call them the Apple of Registrars because of how clean their UX is and over the next five days they’ll be offering up to 94% on new gTLD registrations. This is of course a no-brainer since you could make 10x – 20x your money reselling a name for under $50.
  3. NamesCon – if you were on the fence for a minute about going to NamesCon, now really is the last time to get off the fence and get your ticket. You can get your ticket for $399 or if you bring a friend you can enjoy 2-for-1. They are also offering deals for sponsors so if you make a product or service that is used by domain investors this is also the best time to lock-in your sponsorship.
  4. WPEngine – over the years I’ve seen a lot of investors move from parking to development and WordPress is often the easiest way to get started. I host my blog on WPEngine and have been a huge fan of them for years, they are the best-of-the-best when it comes to managed WordPress hosting. You can get 30%-off today on monthly plans or really maximize the savings by purchasing a year in advance.
  5. Orthopedic Foam Seat Cushion – I’ll bet you didn’t expect something like this to make the list but if you’re sitting at a desk all day, this can make a real difference. While you might not normally want to spend $90 on a seat cushion today you can get it for 67% which might make it make a bit more sense.


For those who have been reading my blog for years you know that every year I tend to write a relatively long Thanksgiving post. I do this because I feel incredibly lucky in this life and I think that luck has a lot to do with the incredible and inspirational people in my life. Right now I’m on a plane flying from Austin to San Francisco to spend Thanksgiving with my family and since I don’t want to take-up family time blogging, I thought I’d do it here.

This October marked the 8 year anniversary of and I wanted to kick this off with thanking all of you, my readers. I’m still blown away by how many people have been reading my blog for more than 5 years along with the new readers who join every year. So “Thank You” because without all of you I’d just be writing to myself.

Now for a list of people I’m thankful to this year:

Daina (my wife) – I am so lucky to have married my best friend in the entire world. Daina and I had a dream to spend every single day together and start a software company that fundamentally changed the way people doing things. I’ve heard people say, “I could never spend every day with my life, I’d go crazy” – and while I appreciate everyone’s own relationships I can tell you that after spending all day every day together for three years I want to do it for another 100 years. Daina is my soulmate, the love of my life, and an incredibly inspiring CEO and I am so thankful to have her in my life.

My parents – I have some really incredible parents, they have supported me unconditionally throughout my entire life. I can still remember when I finished grad school at Carnegie Mellon and told them I was going to take an unpaid internship at Dreamworks, sure it shocked them, but they still supported me. My parents taught me a lot of lessons but there are two that will always stick with me: 1 – you can do anything you want to do in your life, and 2 – treat other people the way you would like to be treated.

My sister and nieces – my sister is four years younger than me and if you see a picture of us together let’s just say you can tell we’re brother and sister. She’s an amazing person and seeing her as a Mom over the last couple of years has showed me even more about what an incredible person she is. She has two amazing daughters and I can’t wait to see them in a few hours!

My friends – I am truly blessed to have some great friends in my life. From my Berkeley High crew to my friends from CMU, to all my new friends in Austin I feel so fortunate to have so many amazing friends that I know I’ll have for my entire life.

Jason Seats – Jason is the co-founder of SliceHost (acquired by Rackspace), a very active Angel Investor, and was the MD of Techstars in Austin. He believe in Fashion Metric at a critical time for us and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him. I consider Jason a true friend and a true believer in what we are doing.

Brett Hurt – Brett is the co-founder of Austin-based BazaarVoice (IPO’ed in 2012) and is an incredibly inspiring leader in the community. He is also one of our biggest supporters and most helpful advisors. Brett has really gone above-and-beyond for us and given how busy he is I am so thankful for the time he spends with us. While I do feel a bit old to have a hero, I’d have to say when I grow up (not making any promises) I’d like to be like Brett.

Josh Kerr – Josh is an incredibly successful entrepreneur and has been a good friend and major supporter of ours. I consider Josh one of my closest friends in Austin and we have a blast every time we get together. We met Josh early-on in Techstars and have been friends ever since.

Joshua Baer – The Austin startup community wouldn’t be what it is today without Josh. While he’s an very successful entrepreneur who I’m sure could have retired years ago, he spends his days helping to put Austin on the startup map and he’s been doing a damn good job of it.

Our investors – We have a truly amazing set of investors. I’ve heard horror stories of startups that have bad investors and I couldn’t be more thankful to have such a supportive and inspiring group of investors. I also have to give special thanks to John Ives (Tahoma Ventures) our lead investor who has really gone far above-and-beyond for us, he knows his stuff, makes sure we know ours, and really feels like part of the team.

Sahar Sarid – I wouldn’t have started this blog, nor would I have started investing in domain names if it wasn’t for Sahar. His blog, was what first exposed me to the world of domain investing, and then I met him at TRAFFIC Vegas and he was so welcoming that it really made me feel like I could be a part of this community. Sahar continues to be someone that I look-up to not just in the domain investing world but in life, thanks Sahar!

Ron Jackson – Ron might just be one of the nicest most gracious people I have ever met in my life. Not only has he consistently delivered for the domain industry but he’s just a great person, proud father, amazing husband, and if I can be in half as good of shape as he is when I’m his age I’ll be doing well.

The Neu Family – Barbara, Howard, and Ray welcomed me into the industry at my first conference and have been some of the warmest, caring people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my life. I am so thankful to have met them and I’m also very thankful that I get to see them in Florida every year now.

I hope all have a great Thanksgiving, thanks for reading, now step away from your computer and get back to your family!

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.IO Domain Names

Last week I highlighted two startups branding on .IO domains raising their A round, and today it has happened again as Iguaz announced a $15M Series A. Given that the typical Series A round is around $6M this is also a very healthy A round led by Magma Venture Partners.

So what does do? They are in the business of data management and storage solutions for Big Data, a fast-growing area that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Founded just last year the company has quickly gained adoption quickly in the Enterprise space:

“Enterprise customers have been sharing their pain points and challenges with us as they try to adopt Big Data and predictive analytics in their business,” said Asaf Somekh, co-founder and CEO of “We designed our solution from the ground up to address these challenges and allow our customers to focus on their applications and business.” (Source – PRNewswire)

Rewind a few years ago and .IO was rarely in the news and used by only a handful of startups, now it seems that not a week goes by without reading about .IO. The team over at has also shared some very interesting data about the growth of .IO showing how quickly this extension has emerged from relative obscurity.

Huge congrats to the whole Iguaz team, Christmas definitely came early for them this year!

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Numeric Domains

This could be a million dollar question. With the explosion of interest in numeric domain names comes a massive amount of opportunity, however that opportunity also comes with increased risk and investors dumping money into domains that may turn out to be more of a liability than an asset.

I think we can all agree that .COM is the gold standard, a proven extension with real liquidity, and with value being assigned to specific letter and numbers, short .COMs are about the best investment you can make right now.

So that being said, the buying activity in the NN, NNN and NNNN space has extended beyond .COM and extensions like .CLUB, .CC, .IO, .CO and many more have been thrown into the mix. The problem is, you can’t buy them all, and if you do you’ll likely lose on more than you win (or maybe not but I’m just trying to be realistic).

So my question is, if you invest in another extension in the numeric domain space, besides .COM, what is your next best bet?

Photo Credit: pburka via Compfight cc


With the incredible growth in activity from domain name investors in China I’ve found myself expanding beyond the normal domain marketplaces that I watch like NameJet and Go Daddy Auctions to sites like While it can be easy to see domain sales on marketplaces we all know well, I think it’s important to look at marketplaces that can give another view into how Chinese buyers are valuing domain names.

Of course, I’m late to the party here. I know many investors who have been focused on short and/or numeric domains for years that have been active on, but as the saying goes, better late than never right?

As many of you know I’m a very data-driven guy, and I’ve started to study, in particular, the price differences between similar names across marketplaces. I’m seeing some pretty interesting things, but it’s still too early for me to identify any key trends. That being said, I am noticing some interesting patterns in bidding, pricing, and the names buyers on are drawn to vs. buyers on NameJet vs. buyers on Go Daddy.

It’s easy to think that buyers are active on all these marketplaces but it’s also easy to understand that buyers in the US are more active on places like NameJet and Go Daddy Auctions than they are on This means different market dynamics and a window into the minds of investors halfway across the world.

I wish I had more insights to share now but it’s still early for me and like many investor I’m still wrapping my head around the new investment climate that is forming and the opportunities around it. As I’ve done over the years, I like to share what I know and what I don’t know, but more importantly share with all of you what I’m doing to learn more.

More to come, but first, more data.


We all followed the launch of new gTLDs like .NYC and .LONDON and the strong registration boom that followed. While it certainly makes sense that cities like New York and London were in the spotlight it could be easy to forget the number of new GeoTLDs that are hitting the market, and Australian businesses are digging theirs down under:

The founder of Melbourne business St Kilda Burger Bar, Rabih Yanni, told Smart Company his custom domain,, is helping his restaurant stand out from the crowd. (Source –

I have been to St Kilda a number of times and yes, as a Domainer I can’t help but look at the domain names on the billboards and storefronts. Since I can remember they have been .COM.AU heavy with plenty of .COMs in the mix. Now more and more Australian businesses are ditching and making their way to .MELBOURNE or .SYDNEY, TLDs that help them stand out in the crowd.

While we tend to focus on new gTLDs as a whole, it’s easy to forget that GeoTLDs, a popular segment in the new gTLD space could have (and most likely already is) a very meaningful impact in the ccTLD space. Sure, a TLD like .MELBOURNE is technically longer than .COM.AU but from a branding perspective I think it actually sounds a lot better and helps local brands really shine.

Last year Dominic Perrottet, the New South Wales (the State that Sydney is in for those still brushing up on their Australian geography) made a statement about his thoughts on the potential of GeoTLDs in Australia:

“We expect that .sydney will transform the digital economy of the city,” said Mr Perrottet. “These domains will give businesses a new and highly targeted channel to communicate to their Sydney-based customers.” (Source – New South Wales Government)

Of course, here’s the million dollar question – how long will it takes consumers to understand that is a domain name and not a catchy advertising slogan? I think it will happen fairly quickly, but as we’ve seen in the past, old habits do take a while to break.

What do you think? Will GeoTLDs like .MELBOURNE, .LONDON, .NYC, etc. be the go-to for local businesses or will they stick with TLDs like .COM and .COM.AU that they know consumers already know like the back of their hand?

Comment and let your voice be heard!

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Morgan's Flippa Five

Hello, happy Saturday and welcome to Morgan’s Flippa Five. If there’s a clear trend forming in the domain name industry it is a focus on short and numeric domain names. A lot of this has been driven by a strong increase in investment activity from China. When I’m looking for investment grade domains today my thinking has changed a bit from where I have been in the past. Now I personally have less interest in two-word .COMs and keyword names and instead optimize for short domains that meet the Chinese premium criteria.

If you don’t know what a Chinese premium domain is you can read more about them here, in short, they are short domains without vowels. Also, while you might think that “Z” is bad to have in a domain name, in China this is actually relatively popular. The domain world is changing quickly and if you use the same investing strategy you used last year you might be buying domains that aren’t going to see the appreciation you’re expecting.

Okay enough from me, onto my top picks from Flippa this week! – while the “U” in the middle there might hurt the value a bit, this is a solid three character .COM which are in high demand right now and expected to only appreciate more over the next few years. – great examples of a repeating Chinese premium, no vowels and the same two-character combination makes this a solid investment-grade domain name. –  this has the same problem that JUP has thanks to that pesky letter “I” – still it’s a solid name and at the right price would make a good investment. – it would be great if the “X” was another letter like a “C” or and “L” but still, I’m really liking these three character .COMs and they seem to be making their way onto Flippa more so than ever before. – I like this domain for two reasons, first it’s a three character .COM (yes, with the same vowel issue that I’ve mentioned above), and second it actually means something since aux is short for auxiliary.


I have written about the popularity of .IO in the startup world many times before, and this week has highlighted just how hot .IO with both and raising $5M each yesterday. Yes, two startups who branded on . IO raising $5M on the same day. So what do each of these companies do? Let’s go a bit deeper to understand why they choose .IO and what they do. combines software testing with crowd sourcing to help accelerate the process of finding and squashing bugs. With clients like Garmin, BMW, Red Bull and many more it is clear that the solution is working and growing. I see .IO as a great fit here since this extension has been hot with the software development community and is all about finding software bugs. does something very interesting that makes sense given the current state of our University and student loan system. The company makes it easy for employers to offer student loan contributions as an employee benefit. According to their website 70% of University graduates carry student loans, and given how expensive schools are getting, I’d imagine these aren’t small loans.

If you want to learn more about .IO and the insane growth it has seen in 2015 take a look at this article from the folks over at Huge congrats to both and, looking forward to following their growth!


A Starter Guide to, Part II

Starter Guide

This is the second part in a series dedicated to the best articles that Morgan has written over the years. If you missed part I of the Starter Guide, you can catch it here. Enjoy part II!

If you have a favorite article, please share it in the comments section!

Appraising and Investing


Building and Monetization




Diligence and Focus