CES 2020 is a wrap and as the biggest consumer electronics show of the year comes to a close, a lot of new companies and technologies are buzzing with excitement. This year, CES saw an influx of startup and technology companies branding on .TECH domains and I thought it would be fun to share a few of them that caught my eye. Oh, and it wasn’t just companies at CES using .TECH, CES itself even branded on a .TECH domain – CES.tech.

Quick note – Radix who operates .TECH and a number of other new domain extension is a sponsor of this blog, they rock, and I’m excited to share some of the awesome things people are doing on their domains. With that, let’s dive in.

Fluidity.tech – this one had me at “designed by a former NASA astronaut.” So what is Fluidity.tech? It’s an innovative new drone controller that allows drone pilots to control their drones with one hand, freeing up the other hand to do anything it wants. Forbes had this to say about Fluidity.tech:

“The FT Aviator is undoubtedly more intuitive to use than a traditional two-stick controller, and the trigger buttons were highly fluid and responsive.”

(Source – Forbes)

TriEye.tech – it’s no secret that self-driving cars are moving from a “thing of the future” to something that is going to be a viable form of transportation very soon. Heck, I know a few people the have Teslas and run them in self-driving mode on the freeway when they commute to and from work so it’s already happening.

One challenge that self-driving cars run-into is operating in extreme conditions. That’s where TriEye comes in, they’ve developed a SWIR camera that works well in extreme weather and low light, and they’ve done it in a cost-effective way. Don’t be surprise if the next car you buy has TriEye built in.

NoTraffic.tech – this company solves a problem that’s been a personal pet peeve of mine for years. Tell me how often this happens to you. You pull up to a traffic light, there’s no cars going the other direction but you sit there staring at an empty intersection for what feels like an eternity.

NoTraffic.tech has built the first AI-powered traffic signal platform that connects the people on the road with the city’s grid. The result is cities that have smart traffic lights that are more prepared for things like self-driving cars, scooters, and all the other new modern transportation solutions that are coming our way.

Of course, there were a lot more than three companies branding on .TECH at CES, here’s the full list of .TECH companies at show:

Wearin’www.wearin.tech
Vervet Srlwww.vervet.tech
TriEyewww.trieye.tech
Tauon LLCwww.tauon.tech
Taiwan Tech Arenawww.taiwanarena.tech
Panacurawww.panacura.tech
Ottopiawww.ottopia.tech
OAXIS Asia Pte Ltd.www.myfirst.tech
nScribe Technlogieswww.nscribe.tech
NoTrafficwww.notraffic.tech
MoNoAwww.monoa.tech
Kallion, Inc.www.kallion.tech
iWater Tech LLCwww.iwater.tech
Innoviz Technologies Ltd.www.innoviz.tech
Fluidity Technologieswww.fluidity.tech
Facecodewww.facecode.tech
Eyewarewww.eyeware.tech
Existowww.existo.tech
Dreame Technology www.dreame.tech
DataGenwww.datagen.tech
Daan Technologieswww.daan.tech
BT5 Technologies, LLCwww.bt5.tech
BrainCo Inc.www.brainco.tech
Aico Technologies Pte Ltdwww.aico.tech
ABEyewww.abeye.tech

Congrats to all of these companies, they’re doing incredibly cool things and I’m glad they got to showcase what they’re doing to the world at CES this year! 🙌

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Question

There’s been an ongoing debate in the domain industry that has been top-of-mind for me lately, so I thought I may as well pose the question to all of you. While the title of the post pretty much says it all, I may as well go into a bit more detail here.

When you get an inbound offer on a domain name I’ve found there’s two different opinions on what you should do. Some people recommend responding as quickly as possible, you have a potential sale ready to happen so you want to jump on it before they possibly pick another name.

Another school of thought recommends waiting a day or two to show the potential buyer that you aren’t eager to sell and therefore strengthening your position and helping you secure a higher price.

Of course, any time I pose a question I have to answer it, so here’s my two cents. Personally I like to respond quickly. At the end of the day I am trying to sell my domains and I want to let a potential buyer know that if they email me, I’ll get back to them right-away.

In my opinion, when it comes to sales, it’s people dealing with people, and I personally like to work with people who are responsive. While waiting a day or two might potentially give me some leverage or show that I’m not as concerned about selling the domain, I also think it could show that I’m going to be a pain in the ass to deal with, so if the buyer is looking at multiple domains, I’ll end up at the bottom of the list.

That’s my two cents but I want to hear from you. When you get an inbound offer on a domain name do you think it’s better to respond right away or leave the potential buyer hanging for a day or two?

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A week from today Domain Investors from around the world will start flying into Austin…and like most humans, they’ll probably be hungry. As many of you know, I lived in Austin for three years and so I thought now was as good a time as any to share my three favorite restaurants.

Before I go any further I’ll address the elephant in the room, or the elephant that will soon be in the room once you see my recommendations. I’m not a huge BBQ fan. While I do like BBQ every now and then, even when I lived in Austin I only had it a few times a year. Yes, Austin has amazing BBQ and I’ve tried all the top spots but it’s not really my jam so I won’t be sharing any of them. That being said, if you love BBQ, you’ll find a ton of options in Austin so go nuts!

Okay, now for my three favorite restaurants in Austin, in order:

1. Perla’s (Fresh fish/Oysters) – while it may sound crazy, just hang out for a minute here. I’m a big seafood fan and have to say that Austin actually has some really exceptional seafood restaurants and Perla’s is my personal favorite. They fly in fresh fish and oysters daily from both coasts and have an amazing patio where you can sit, enjoy great food, and people watch on South Congress. Couple this with awesome cocktails and great services and you’ll understand why this is my top restaurant pick and where I ate the most when I lived in Austin. (visit website)

2. Red Ash (Italian) – this restaurant actually didn’t exist when I first moved to Austin and opened up about a year before I left. I lived less than a block away so safe to say it became one of my go-to spots. The pasta at Red Ash is made fresh daily and their wood burning grill and oven (seen above) makes the whole place smell amazing. My personal favorite is the Spaghetti alla Chitarra “A.O.P.” – seriously, this is some of the best spaghetti I’ve had outside of Italy! (visit website)

3. Fixe (Southern) – okay, so I obviously can’t recommend three restaurants in Austin without including one Southern gem, and Fixe is definitely my favorite when it comes to Southern food. Like Red Ash this restaurant also didn’t exist when I first moved to Austin but it became a favorite of mine once it opened. First things first, try their iced tea – it will blow your mind. Second – get the fresh biscuits, they will also knock your socks off. Everything else on the menu is amazing, if you’re looking for good Southern food, this will help you get your fix. (visit website)


Austin is packed with great restaurants, I have plenty of others I’d recommend but these three really stood out to me during my time in Austin and were my regular spots. I’m sure no matter where you end up you’ll enjoy amazing food while you’re in Austin, but if you happen to add any of these three to your list I can tell you, you won’t be disappointed.

Stay-tuned, next up is my three favorite Austin bars. I can’t wait to see everyone next week, Austin here I come!

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Snow Backpacking in Yosemite

I got back to San Francisco a few hours ago after spending the last three days in Yosemite on a snow backpacking adventure. While I’ve been backpacking for over twenty years now, snow backpacking is a new challenge that I just started last year.

What I really appreciate about snow backpacking is all of the hardships you have to overcome to do it, and the reward – the opportunity to really get out into nature at one of its most peaceful times. On top of that, I’ve been backpacking with the same group of friends for two decades now and it has become such an incredible experience to share together.

Okay, but let’s get real here. When I tell most people “I’m going snow backpacking this weekend!” They look at me like I’m crazy. And yes, it is a whole different adventure than regular backpacking. With snow comes a lot of new challenges like making water without the use of filters or iodine, building camp without, well, anything but snow, setting up a kitchen, and the list goes on.

For me and my friends, these little challenges are a lot of fun, overcoming them feels triumphant and to experience almost complete solitude on top of a mountain in Yosemite, it’s absolutely magical. Of course, you do need to have the right gear, and missing even one element can make a trip completely enjoyable. For example, a normal cold weather sleeping bag goes down to 15 F which isn’t going to cut it for snow camping, you need a 0 F bag, period. As for camping mats, one won’t do – you need two since you’re sleeping on snow and the cold will cut through your first mat.

The list goes on and getting prepared for a snow backpacking trip takes time and careful planning. Hiking with a heavy backpack is already a good challenge for your legs, adding snow and snowshoes to the mix is a whole different story…and as you can probably tell, I love it.

I’m feeling refreshed, recharged, and yes, my legs are sore. If any of you are interested in seeing a bit more about the snow backpacking process, here’s a few photos from the journey:

Hiking in the snow in Yosemite

This is what most of the hike to the campsite looked like with varying levels of tree density. Some areas were more open like this, others were more densely populated, we weren’t the first on the trail which made our hike quite a bit easier since we could walk on an existing snowshoeing trail.

Snow Backpacking Setting Up Camp

Unlike normal backpacking where you can usually find a logical spot to setup camp, with snow backpacking it’s up to you to find a suitable place and make it your own. The first step in setting up camp is padding down the ground with your snowshoes so that eventually the ground will be hard enough to walk on without snowshoes. This can take a while but is well worth it since it takes a lot more work to walk with snowshoes on so taking them off when you’re at the site is pretty darn important.

Boiling Water Snow Backpacking

Making water while you’re snow backpacking is a bit of a full time job, you’re kinda doing it all the time. Unlike normal backpacking where you usually have a spot near a river or lake where you can quickly and easily filter water, when you’re snow backpacking you need to melt snow to turn it into water, the boil it. Since there were five of us, we started making water once we got to our site and didn’t really stop until we went to bed. Water is priority #1 when you’re backpacking.

Snow Backpacking Tent Setup

While you can use a wide range of tents for snow backpacking since most tents doing a decent job of waterproofing, getting a tent that’s meant for more extreme conditions doesn’t hurt. My tent (the one on the left) is called the Storm Breaker 2 and is meant to be able to withstand a heavy rainstorm without letting any water in…which also makes it a good candidate for snow backpacking. No matter what you want to make sure to have a cover that goes over your tent as freezing cold wind is, well, freezing cold!

Morgan Linton Dory Kramer Yosemite

Okay, enough blogging for today, time to take a bath, eat a big dinner, and get a good night’s sleep. Yosemite never ceases to amaze me, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth and I always feel so lucky to be able to spend time there. I’ll leave you with one last photo from sunset on Saturday night…on the left you’ll see the one and only El Capitan.

El Capitan Yosemite

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Domain Investing News

Hello, happy Friday and welcome to my weekly Domain Investing News roundup. This week NamesCon has been in the news quite a bit as the Domain Industry’s biggest show gets ready to kick off in Austin.

A few things to note this week – Alan Dunn, industry veteran and a good buddy of mine launched a new podcast on DomainStories.com. I’m really excited about this podcast, Alan has some great stories and this will be definitely be on my regular podcast rotation.

Go Daddy updated their logo, and FWIW, I like it! Two articles were written with Austin tips, I’ve included them below. If you haven’t been to Austin before, or if its been a while, I’d recommend giving these a read. I’ll be putting out a post with some tips as well since I lived in Austin for three years and ended up with some favorite spots that I’m excited to share with all of you.

On the domain sales side, Uniregistry’s sales were topped by a two-word .COM, RentPower.com and DomainGang shared an interesting post about the sale of NanoSleeve.com that’s definitely worth a read.

Okay, enough from me – onto the news! Below are the stories from around the domain investing world that caught my eye this week, enjoy!

20-Year Industry Pro Alan Dunn Launches New Podcast at DomainStories.com (read more on DNJournal)

GoDaddy Logo Gets an Update (read more on DomainInvesting.com)

Uniregistry weekly sales led by RentPower.com (read more on TLDInvestors)

What to do in Austin during NamesCon (read more on DomainNameWire)

Moving from a .com to a .us (read more on TheDomains)

NanoSleeve.com: From reg fee, to mega sale via Afternic domain brokerage (read more on DomainGang)

Local Tips for NamesCon Austin (read more on DomainInvesting.com)

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BrandBucket

I’ve been a fan of BrandBucket for years now and I regularly send friends of mine to their site when they’re trying to find a good domain for their startup. What I find startup founders like about BrandBucket is transparent pricing and a transaction process that isn’t insanely confusing like it is too often when you’re buying a domain name. Here’s the process for those who might not have bought or sold a domain at BrandBucket before:

This leads to my regret from last year.

I didn’t submit any domains to BrandBucket 🤦‍♂️ So even though I was telling people to go there, I wasn’t submitting my own names and getting them in front of startup founders and entrepreneurs. This year that’s going to change.

While I’ve heard people complain about fees in the past, it’s important to note that BrandBucket doesn’t have a set commission, it’s a sliding scale based on the price of the name. At the same time, I’m never that concerned about commission as it’s pretty easy to just build it into my asking price. At the end of the day, most of the domains I sell are in the sub $5k range so if I have to increase a domain from $2,000 to $2,600 I don’t think I’ll lose a single buyer and I’m happy to pay the $600 to get my domain in front of more potential buyers.

Last year BrandBucket kept coming up at every domain event I went to, which kept reminding me I need to submit domains to them…and well, better late than never so this is the year. I have a batch of twenty names I’m planning to submit this month and we’ll keep it rocking from there based on how many get accepted.

There are two ways you can deal with regrets:

  1. Keep on regretting them
  2. Do something about it

I’m going with option two for now 😊

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Leaving money on the table

I was talking with another domain investor last week about the potential price difference you’ll see on average when you sell a domain outbound vs. inbound. There is a real difference between an inbound and an outbound sale, and it really comes down to leverage.

When someone comes to you and wants to buy your domain, you’re the one with the leverage. When you go to someone else and ask them if they want to buy your domain, they have the leverage.

Sure, you can argue about the nuances and talk about edge-cases where you have the leverage during outbound, the reality is, if someone comes to you and wants to buy something, it’s not crazy to think they’d pay more for it than if it were the other way around.

Before I go any further I’ll address the one edge case that’s hard to ignore. If you happen to own a super premium one or two-word .COM, and a company out there exactly matches the name and goes off and builds a billion dollar business, sure – then you might have the leverage since you have a name that is uniquely valuable to them.

That being said, the vast majority of domain investors don’t have six and seven figure premium names, so let’s talk about the normal case, a domain you own that you think is probably worth say $5,000. The question is, by approaching someone directly (i.e. outbound) are you more likely to end up selling for $2,500 vs. if someone comes to you directly could you get $7,500?

Since I’m asking the question it’s only fair that I answer, so here’s my two cents. I do think you leave money on the table, the exact percentage is hard to guess but I’d say it could be as much as 50% when you’re selling via outbound. You just have a lot more leverage when someone is trying to convince you to sell them the domain vs. when you’re trying to convince someone they should buy a domain name.

But that’s just my thoughts, now I want to hear yours. What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

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NamesCon 2020

Well it’s official, NamesCon 2020 is now two weeks away and that means it’s time to do some “Countdown to NamesCon” posts here on MorganLinton.com. Is NamesCon a sponsor of mine? Nope. But I have had the chance to get to know Soeren, Helga and the rest of the team and they’re awesome and I’m really excited about the show this year.

I’ll be speaking at the conference in a session with me and the one and only Braden Pollock on Wednesday at 4PM. I’m flying in that day on a flight that lands at 1:30PM, so please say a prayer for me that United is able to get this flight out on time, or at least not more than an hour late otherwise I’m in trouble!

On that note, if anyone is flying from San Francisco to Austin at 8:10AM on the 29th, we’re on the same flight. Okay, now onto the topic of this post – five must-see talks for new Domain Investors.

I’m really impressed with all of the speakers and content NamesCon has planned for this year, the top industry experts from around the world will be in Austin and honestly, every single talk looks interesting to me. That being said, I want to break down the schedule and share some essential sessions that I think would qualify as “must see” status for new investors. So let’s get to it.

  1. Domain Investing 101 with Michael Cyger (Weds @ 11:30AM)– common, do I even need to say anything else. It’s Mike – creator of DomainSherpa and DNAcademy. He’s an awesome speaker and this session has been a favorite for years. You can read more about it here.
  2. What is My Domain Worth? (Weds @ 12PM) – one of the most challenging things to figure out when you’re just getting started in the domain name world is how much your domains are actually worth. In this session, Ryan from DomainAgents breaks it down. I had the chance to sit down with Ryan last year at NamesCon in Vegas, good guy and this should be a great session. You can read more about it here.
  3. How to Get the Full Value from Your Domain (Thurs @ 10AM) – this sessions is stacked with people I have a ton of respect for that are sure to give the audience a stellar session. Bill from NameNinja is a legend IMO, one of the most savvy domain brokers I know. Joining him on the panel is Dave from Above.com who I’ve known for years and along with being one of the nicest people I have ever met in the industry is also one of the most knowledgeable. Negar, Marco, and Adam are all experts and the perfect people to have on this panel. You can read more about it here.
  4. Auction Preparations: Domain Sherpa Discussion (Thurs @ 2PM) – okay, this one also feels like it just goes without saying. It’s the DomainSherpa crew – Tessa, Andrew, Shane, and Ammar, all talking about the auction and how to prepare for it. These are four of my favorite people in the domain industry and also some of the most fun to watch on stage, don’t miss this one – seriously, don’t miss it! You can read more about it here.
  5. Transparency of the Secondary Domain Market (Fri @ 4PM) – you all know Braden, and apart from being a serial entrepreneur and successful domain investor, he’s also an amazing moderator. This session should be a really interesting one and would be a good one for new domain investors to attend to really understand the secondary domain market at a deeper level. You can read more about it here.

Of course, there’s plenty of other great talks for new domain investors but these five met the criteria (IMHO) of being must-see sessions. Feel free to share any sessions you think would be good to note in the comment section below!

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SAP Ventures

As we’ve all witnessed over the last few years, .IO has become a go-to domain name extension for the startup world. Today I found another interesting use for the domain extension, a way for a large multi-billion dollar company like SAP to brand their own Venture Fund and Accelerator programs (which they call Foundries).

While SAP could of course just use something like SAP.com/Venture or SAP.com/Startups, they’ve built an entire brand around SAP.IO. And it sounds like they had a pretty busy 2019 – here’s a quick recap from their site:

2019 was a banner year for the SAP.iO Fund & Foundries.  We supported 92 startups through our unique mix of early-stage startup investment and acceleration, as we build the next-gen ecosystem that will help SAP deliver the intelligent enterprise and enable customers to win in their markets, today.

We invested in 11 new startups from the SAP.iO Fund, and made follow-on investments in more than 5 other companies.   We accelerated 81 startups across our global network of 8 SAP.iO Foundries, including 4 new SAP.iO Foundries in EMEA and Asia.  Additionally, we launched SAP.iO No Boundaries – our industry-leading commitment to support underrepresented founders in B2B software.

Our approach is resonating.  More than 300 customers visited SAP.iO Foundries to see first-hand how SAP is delivering on its commitment to innovation and get connected to the most relevant startups who could quickly provide value, especially in an existing SAP environment.  More than 237 press articles were written about SAP.iO Fund & Foundries, including features in the New York Times, CNBC, and Nikkei Asian Review. And, we were recognized as a “Top VC for Women” and a Top 2 Corporate Startup Star in Europe.

(Source – SAP.IO)

I think it’s great to see such a big multi-billion dollar Enterprise company supporting startups, and in so many different ways. It’s also interesting to see them use a .IO domain to brand their startup-focused Ventures rather than adding a section onto their existing website. Personally, I think we’re going to see more and more companies do this as time goes on.

Well done SAP! 👏

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Domain Investing News

Hello, happy Sunday, and welcome to my weekly Domain Investing News Highlights. We’re almost halfway into the first month of 2020 and the domain investing world is in full swing again.

Here’s a quick summary of what happened this week. The UDRPs are coming in hot this year and Lotto.com, a domain that sold for seven-figures was able to fight off what would have been an incredibly crushing UDRP decision. It’s crazy to think that you could spend millions of dollars on a domain name and someone could think that with a ~$5k legal process they could take it from you. Could you imagine buying a $2M house and then someone trying to claim ownership for a few thousand bucks? Crazy!

NamesCon announced that Go Daddy’s CEO – Aman Bhutani will be giving the Keynote in Austin and Ron Jackson had a great article with Soren and Helga about what’s ahead for the event. For anyone interested in bidding in the live auction, or learning a bit more about how to strategize before an auction, DomainSherpa put together one of the best guides I’ve ever seen in preparation for NamesCon this year.

Of course the .ORG sale is still in the news and now critics are trying to see if they can possibly take over the registry to block the sale. Last but not least, a gaming company moved from a .IO domain to a .GAMING domain, an interesting move and something I personally think we’ll see more and more of as the general public becomes more comfortable and aware of new gTLDs.

Below are the stories from across the Domain Investing world that caught my eye this last week – enjoy!

Another reverse domain hijacking finding against DePenning & DePenning (read more on Domain Name Wire)

On the Record: The Story of Print.com (read more on Media Options)

ICA’s statement on the new .COM registry agreement (read more on OnlineDomain)

NamesCon’s Soeren von Varchmin & Helga Neumer Reveal What’s in Store for Revamped Global Event in Austin (read more on DNJournal)

Now .org critics actually want to take over the registry, blocking billion-dollar sale (read more on DomainIncite)

GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani to Keynote at NamesCon (read more on DomainInvesting.com)

Lotto.com : Domain was saved from UDRP – Seven figure sales price revealed! (read more on DomainGang)

Bidding List for NamesCon Auction – and Everything Else You Need to Know (read more on DomainSherpa)

Blockchain gaming company moves from .io to .games (read more on TheDomains)

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