I got slammed in a comment on OnlineDomain.com…and I actually agree with the guy

I was reading one of my favorite domain blogs this morning – OnlineDomain.com (Konstantinos rocks, sharp guy, solid writer) and noticed my name mentioned in the comments, and yes, I got slammed. As I read the comment though I realized, the guy was actually right and brings up a good point. Here’s his comment:

brandon-sagnon-slam

While I definitely have better domains than besthikersnetwork.net (which I’m pretty sure I don’t own, do I?) I do agree that I’m not an expert. Domains that I own are names like Friending.com, ClosetDesign.com, etc. not three-word .NET names. But when I look at the domain name world I look at experts as people like Mike Mann, Michael Berkens, Frank Schilling, people making millions of dollars in the domain industry.

I’ve been using domains as my investment strategy rather than investing in the stock market or real estate, but I’ve never been a full-time Domainer and I probably never will be. I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish, last year I made close to $200,000 in the domain world…but that’s $800,000 shy of $1M which is probably the mark you have to be at to call yourself an expert. In my time in the domain world I have bought, sold and brokered north of $5M in domains but I can tell you the experts have done tens of millions of dollars and been in this space a lot longer than me.

All this being said, I’m not talking about domain names at NamesCon, I’m at an “Expert Table” with the topic “Entrepreneurial Strategy: Tips for launching your startup” which is a topic I’m comfortable talking about since I’ve been running a venture-backed startup for the last four years. That being said, I wouldn’t say I’m an “Expert” when it comes to startups either. This is my first startup and I’m still learning every day and am thankful to have some great investors and advisors helping accelerate my knowledge.

The whole “Expert” term is probably thrown around a lot more than it should. I’m 35 years-old, I’ve been buying and selling domain names for nine years, running a startup full time for the last four years, neither of those things would I call myself an expert in. I am looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned about launching a startup over the last four years at NamesCon but I do agree with Brandon on this one, I’m definitely no expert and we should be careful who we label as experts because the term is definitely thrown around way too much…

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Mark Thorpe October 15, 2016, 11:15 am

    Morgan,

    Overall, I consider you an expert. From domains to startups to owning your own business.
    You are honest as well, a very rare quality!

    Dollars and cents do not always make someone an expert, because sometimes they did not make that money honestly.

    Mark

    Reply
  • steve October 15, 2016, 12:16 pm

    You do realize that scumbag who left that comment you shared is a nasty internet troll? Ignore him.

    Reply
  • John October 15, 2016, 2:31 pm

    Morgan-trust me if you made $200K last year domaining-you’re considered- or should be-an expert. Now if you were a hedge fund manager and made that-you’re no expert lol. I think many of your readers would like to know if most of that 200K came from selling names you own and how long you’ve owned them ( and how you sold them) or did most come from this blog and brokering. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Frank October 15, 2016, 6:44 pm

    First off that’s not a real name on that guy, second Konstantinos is nowhere close to a great writer.

    The hate over there directed at Shane Cultra was way off the charts.

    Reply
  • Joseph Peterson October 15, 2016, 9:26 pm

    There’s far more personal animosity among domainers than we need. It goes beyond criticizing individual statements or actions, unfortunately. Beyond private grudges even. Domainers as a whole are continually trying to divide the community into good bloggers and bad bloggers, ordinary folks and an evil “establishment” … as if we played on rival teams or endorsed opposing “domainer parties”. Insofar as we DO say such things, it becomes true.

    @Frank,

    Konstantinos is a keen industry observer. Why say he is “nowhere close to a great writer”? Nobody reads a domain blog expecting to find themselves awash in the heady, glittering prose of Henry James. Mr. Zournas writes well above the standard we’d expect of anybody – especially considering his first language is Greek.

    Bizarrely, I’ve even had to defend Michael Berkens’s writing from people who mocked his occasional misspellings. Nobody cares. People read TheDomains for the insights not the apostrophes!

    Ideally, we’d all forget about identity and style. Such things are irrelevant. What’s an expert? Someone who knows something. Many domainers do. In this space, no PhDs are awarded to anybody. Everybody is potentially worth listening to, potentially worth criticizing.

    Making money doesn’t make someone an expert. Working full time in the industry (as I do) doesn’t make someone an expert. Nobody is an expert in any conclusive sense. Forget about experts! Listen to everybody’s experience and point of view. Draw your own conclusions.

    Reply
    • Konstantinos Zournas October 16, 2016, 12:35 pm

      No, I am not a great writer. I am mostly a “complainer”.
      I think Frank replied to what Morgan said: “solid writer”.
      I am not a solid writer and half of the times I don’t even have time to proofread my own posts.
      News come first, writing comes second.

      I consider Morgan an expert of many different fields. He may not be #1 in all these fields but in my eyes that is way better than being #1 in 3L.com domains and not knowing a single thing about how to build a business. Morgan as I said in the referenced post below is a great guy and anyone interacting with him will learn something.

      http://onlinedomain.com/2016/10/14/domain-name-news/preliminary-agenda-namescon-2017-just-published/

      Reply
  • Nick October 15, 2016, 11:29 pm

    Meh. I’d trust you to sell my names more than that guy. You ARE an expert to folks like myself. Maybe not to someone who sells more than you, but you’re selling way more than the average domainer – I am sure of it. So yea, you’re an expert without a doubt. Thats my conclusion.

    Reply
    • Morgan October 19, 2016, 2:39 pm

      Great comments everyone and thanks for the kind words @Nick and others.

      @Joseph – great analysis, spot on as usual!

      Reply
  • Joseph Peterson October 16, 2016, 12:28 am

    “I’d trust you to sell my names more than that guy.”

    @Nick,

    “That guy” isn’t a broker who sells other people’s domains. I’d be surprised if Morgan has time for that either. So that’s an odd way to assess expertise.

    Selling someone else’s stuff doesn’t make anybody an expert. Teenagers who sell electronics at BestBuy aren’t experts in electronics. Engineers are. In the same way, sales staff at Afternic and Uniregistry who handle inbound offers all day long probably sell more domains than most real domain investors do, but they’re definitely not experts on the domain market.

    Even selling one’s own stuff doesn’t make a person an expert. Anybody with money can own something and sell it. No knowledge or experience required.

    Reply
    • Nick October 16, 2016, 8:34 am

      @Joseph Peterson: I do not know Morgan from anyone else I’ve never met however between “that guy”, who doesnt point to any track record of his own, and Morgan, who’s reputation precedes him – I’ll choose Morgan. Thank you.

      Reply
  • Joseph Peterson October 16, 2016, 8:50 am

    @Nick,

    There is no choice to make. Why do you think there is?

    Reply
    • Nick October 16, 2016, 1:38 pm

      Because I wanted to state my choice?

      Reply

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