Is .COM Dead? Some Say Yes, Others Say No – I Think Both Sides Are Right In Their Own Way

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It’s a mantra we’ve all heard for years, .COM is dead. Then we read about the millions of dollars in .COM domains that sell every single week and realize, well that just can’t be true. With the addition of over 1,000 new gTLDs coming like a freight train there is a lot of speculation about how this will impact the .COM market.

As many of you know, I have been writing for Medium.com since before it was launched to the public. I really like Medium and in 2014 I plan to put more focus on writing longer essays that might take a few days (or weeks) to put together.

Today history is being made and after a few weeks of writing and fine-tuning I finally published my first essay of 2014: In a world with .XYZ, .APP, .BIKE and many more, will there still be love for .COM?

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As always I would love to hear your feedback (good or bad) and if you do like the essay please make sure to click the “Recommend” button at the bottom. I look forward to sharing more essays with you throughout the year – enjoy!

{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Robbie January 29, 2014, 10:51 am

    I feel your opinion is based on your investment habits, so for that reason it is bias.

    Reply
  • DrDomainer January 29, 2014, 11:04 am

    Premium .coms are going to BOOM like
    a rocket up your ASS!!! Watch dnjournal
    this will prove the FACTS.

    Reply
  • Steve R January 29, 2014, 11:09 am

    Hi Morgan,

    You know. I’ve said it before on other site posts and I’ll say it here. The general public are not domain owners/investers. They are simple users who never know that there are many other extensions out there. With that being said, it is built within their head that the (dot) com is the leading expert of whatever they are looking up.

    It is my belief that it will take many years for the general public to recognize many of the other names and then recognize them as an authoritative site. The (dot) com has earned it’s reputation of the last almost 20 years. I believe that it will take close to this long for any of these other extensions to earn their place as a reputable source for the general public.

    Rick Schwartz said we have to see if the industry will go tall or wide. I believe, as he does, that it will go taller faster than it will go wider. The (dot) com will be worth more because of all the confusion with all these other domains extensions.

    A company will really need to spend a lot of advertising effort to build up their brand with a new extension and even then some of their customers will automatically type in (dot) com out of default. There are a few extensions that may have a chance, but I believe that ultimately these other extensions will help boost some of our original extensions such as (dot) net and (dot) tv.

    For me, I will concentrate my efforts on what works, not what might work, however I am a gambling man, so I have reserved a very, very few names for the fun of it. We will see who comes out the winners in about 10 years.

    Steve R

    Reply
  • Morgan January 29, 2014, 11:09 am

    @Robbie – As I’ve said many times, the vast majority of my portfolio is .COM and will remain .COM. My business and our revenue is heavily based on .COM.

    I see new gTLDs as great brands for startups and companies to build around…not as great investment opportunities for Domainers.

    I think Domainers who dump a bunch of money into new gTLDs will lose their shirts. I think startups that get to go with their first choice brand name are the real winners here.

    While I will be buying some new gTLDs I can tell you this will represent about 5% of my portfolio. My big bet for the next decade is .COM and I think anyone who is investing in domains should look at .COM and .COM only.

    Make sense?

    Reply
  • Morgan January 29, 2014, 11:13 am

    Great points @Steve. I am most interested to see how kids today see the Internet when they grow up in a world of .anything’s. We all grew up with .COM, but our kids will not.

    It’s a bit like Facebook. All my friend and family are on it, however most of the 20 year-olds I know stay away, they think Facebook is for their parents, they use services like Instagram and Snapchat.

    The Internet moves fast. Remember, Facebook was founded only ten years ago…

    Reply
  • Kassey January 29, 2014, 11:26 am

    In the November 30, 2007 blog post by Frank Schilling, he said only 5 to 10 millions of names could be called meaningful, powerful or generic. So, it’s hard to see .com grow much beyond the current 100m+ registrations. I expect .com growth to slow down, but values of good names to go up. Within 10 years, it’s very likely .com’s share will be much smaller — say 20% or 30%.

    Reply
  • Domenclature.com January 29, 2014, 11:33 am

    I still don’t know how one goes to a site hosted on dot com to write an epitaph about .com. And to top it off, one’s own website is on dot com, plus one is pushing Facebook alternatives such as Snapchat, ALL on dot com.

    One must avoid embarrassing oneself with this gaping hole in one’s assertions.

    Reply
  • todd January 29, 2014, 11:48 am

    .CO is really proud of their extension and so proud that they list the most successful .CO companies on their website at Go.CO. One of these companies is Bahamas.CO which we all know is owned by Elliot Silver. Bahamas.CO was launched on August 15, 2010 in a very transparent way detailing every step of the process and he was to keep us updated to its success. Well, he basically has lost interest along the way and has not been very vocal about its success but has said Bahamas.CO is basically just there and doesn’t really doesn’t say to much about it. So where is Bahamas.CO listed on Google? Page 20, and thats after being launched over 3 years ago but its one of the most successful .CO domains on the .CO website. I think this says it all when it comes to any of the other extensions other than .COM. It seems to me that unless you have money to burn like Vine.CO or Jelly.CO that your company will not be successful unless its on a .COM.
    Amex.CO was a stand alone website but now it forwards to AmericanExpress.com same thing for Cnet.CO which also now forwards to their .COM. Virgin also had a site at Virg.CO and all you get there now is a 404 error page. Thirst.CO is a great name but they are going bankrupt. How many thousands of startups start on an alternate extension and don’t get funded or go bankrupt. For every successful .OtherExtension there are thousands upon thousands that fade away. I wonder if that would have happened if they owned the .COM? I ask myself why these companies are not successful on an alternate .OtherExtension? Because as Rick Schwartz says, “Dot Com is King” and chances are always will be.

    Reply
  • RaTHeaD January 29, 2014, 11:59 am

    that’s the stupidest thing i EVER heard

    Reply
  • Morgan January 29, 2014, 12:15 pm

    @Domenclature.com – I think you missed my point…most people would rather have their brand name .COM, period.

    When they can’t get their brand name .COM either because of price or because it’s just in use and not for sale they have to pick either a different name or a different TLD.

    I think in the future more and more people will pick a different TLD rather than a different brand name. If someone else owned MorganLinton.com my blog would probably be on MorganLinton.co, the .COM was available.

    My good friend Jason wanted to get his first and last name .COM but it was taken so he built his blog on a .CO (www.jasonthompson.co) and I don’t think he’s seen any issues there.

    My point is not that all companies should brand with new gTLDs, my point is that if the .COM is taken there are a lot more options to brand around…

    Reply
  • Morgan January 29, 2014, 12:17 pm

    @todd – not fair only to give examples of .CO’s that haven’t worked out. Look at HelloBrit.com who raised over $5M and then rebranded to Brit.co or BarkBox.com who also had a big raise and moved to Bark.co.

    Add companies like 500.co and Angel.co to the list (two of the most successful startups/investors in the world) and it’s easy to see that people absolutely can be incredibly successful with .CO.

    The thing to realize is that most startups fail so most startups that brand around a .COM, .NET, .ORG, .CO or whatever will really have the same chances, at the end of the day it’s all about execution.

    Reply
  • RobbiesBlog.com January 29, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Just to be clear the Robbie comment isn’t me from RobbiesBlog.com!

    I think it’s a great post and non bias!

    Keep up the great work Morgan!

    Reply
  • MarijuanaGuy January 29, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Whether it is gonna be successful or failure, we all have to wait 3 mths from now and hear what the Money God speaks.

    Let wait and see how much $$$$ is changing hands.

    No need to do the Monday morning armchair Quarterback analysis….let the $$$$ do the talking.

    Reply
  • Morgan January 29, 2014, 12:56 pm

    I think the real winners are the companies that get to brand on their top choice name 🙂

    I still don’t understand why everyone is so focused on new gTLDs as investments…they aren’t, instead they are going to be the home of new startups and businesses all over the world.

    This isn’t an investment opportunity, it’s a branding opportunity.

    Reply
  • todd January 29, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Morgan, Brit.CO is on a .CO extension because the brand is Brit + Co, the brand is not Brit it’s Brit + Co and it was a natural thing to use a .CO because of this and also because Brit.com is a software company and those landing there looking for Brit + Co will know they are in the wrong place.
    Your other example BarkBox.com has not rebranded to Bark.CO it is using the Bark.CO as a port such as Virgin does with all of its companies to link all of their companies under the “BARK” keyword. BarkBox.com, BarkCare.com and TheBarkPost.com. Where is this heavily funded Bark.CO you speak of? I got to page 25 on Google and still couldn’t find it!

    Reply
  • Adi Weitzman January 29, 2014, 1:15 pm

    I dont think .com will ever die Morgan. On a side note, do you plan to write autobiographical pieces or observation/analysis pieces on Medium?

    Reply
  • Domenclature.com January 29, 2014, 1:46 pm

    @Linton,

    As you know, I like your blog, and have frequently added my 2 cents from time to time. And I hope to continue, if you’ll allow me.

    Now, I have something to say to you about internet domain names in general, but dot com specifically. The statement about to make may appear to be profound, IT IS sacrosanct!

    The whole established structure and BIG BOYS do not want this to be so. And these characters are people you wouldn’t expect to be doing this, but THEY are. Characters such as ICANN, Google, yes even Godaddy, they all don’t want domain names to be eReal Estate.

    So, know one thing from here today: DOMAIN NAMES, especially dot COMs, are the online eREAL ESTATE! They are as valuable, if NOT MORE Valuable than regular real estate, and they want to kill it. They are doing everything to kill it. BUT it’s impossible to do. Google believes the internet belongs to it; Godaddy could care less about domainers, they believe they can corner domain names; ICANN is clueless. One thing they all have in common? THEY PRODUCE NOTHING. They are irrelevant.

    I own no serious dot coms. SO WHY am I always defending dot COM? Simple, It’s the right thing to do. Besides, I expect to own some good ones SOON. It’s like defending the dollar against Monopoly Money, I don’t have to be loaded to defend US Dollar against Monopoly dough.

    So, the whole battle is a quest to kill DOT COM as eReal Estate, and we won’t let’em do it. They can’t.

    Wise up, Linton.

    Reply
  • Alex January 29, 2014, 2:22 pm

    .com is and always will be king.
    Funny is that I have sold .co and .me one word domains recently for significant amounts of $$$.
    I figured out that my clients bought the .co or .me domains simply because they could not afford the .COM
    I live in a part of the country that most people do not have a clue what domain names in general are and they automatically default to the .com
    My brand was built on a .net extension and I use to get countless emails from people trying to reach me saying that when they went to AlexBusiness.com the domain was listed for sale and they couldn’t find my site. (BuyDomains.com owned the .com version of the name and had it listed for sale).
    Needless to say I had to change something, and that something was either buying the .COM name or changing the name altogether.
    .BIKE, .CRAP, .MORECRAP extensions are worth 0 in my opinion…they may be worth something 10-20 years from now but TODAY are worth 0.
    Ask me how much money I lost when .MOBI extension was launched?? A LOT…so much that I almost couldn’t afford to finish college!!!
    I always recommend sticking with what sells the most. .COM, .ME, and .CO is what I had very good luck with and I am sticking to it.

    Thanks guys

    Reply
  • Techno CAT January 29, 2014, 3:56 pm

    The ICANN new TLD program can not compare to the NEW Peer-2-Peer [P2P] DNS

    ICANN is a lawyer-centric MeatSpace Multi-Level-Marketing system built on
    the Artificial-Reality of Artificial-Scarcity. At best… it will DRAW ATTENTION to the
    changing DNS and P2P.

    Billions of dollars are being invested to FREE Humanity from ISOC IETF ICANN IANA.

    BitCoin, NameCoin, DataCoin are only the tip of the P2P iceberg…

    Reply
  • Joe January 29, 2014, 4:09 pm

    I think. Com is the maximum of the exponents from the beginning not believe a Premium domain name nor has be ever more back to the arrival of the new extensions on a retreat. Com for immediate retirement.

    As always occur at the arrival of new and innovative extensions all stakeholders write and speak warily of what can happen with existing TLDs.

    So at first see who else points have to be the best if not the main one is. Web, the rest are very many god tell.

    Reply
  • Michael January 29, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Morgan is this like a joke? Is there anyplace you can register these new domains for less $12000 like over on enom.com? How long will prices be that high?

    Reply
  • Konstantinos Zournas January 29, 2014, 4:55 pm

    Morgan, Medium is beautiful but your article is not targeted to domainers.
    I expected more on today and not the past.

    Reply
  • Ziggy January 29, 2014, 5:28 pm

    Sorry to disagree Morgan, but I think the gtld’s will fly like a dodo bird in handcuffs.

    With all due respect, I think you totally missed the mark on this one.

    I have zero intention of registering any gtlds and honestly don’t understand why anyone would.

    Reply
  • Cate Colgan January 29, 2014, 6:04 pm

    Great essay on Medium Morgan! Startups, small businesses, etc. are definitely willing to brand on the new tlds – match a great emotional tie name to a matching TLD that fits and bingo! It’s happening ….

    Reply
  • Nick January 29, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Fascinating conversations. I think dot com is the way to go also but .IO has been heating up tremendously too. I dont know about the . yet……. we’ll see.

    Reply
  • DonnyM January 29, 2014, 9:53 pm

    Good headline Morgan
    My 2 minute take:

    The new extensions are going to be ok for some new companies.

    The .com values will continue to rise for many years. Big companies will not change what they have right now it would cost them millions. They may add on something new but when you look at .co and other new extensions they are going to be for new companies not existing companies, and that is ok.

    Look how long and hard it has been for apple to switch over people from microsoft. The difference is they had a vastly superior product and it still took them years to begin to take over.

    What we have here is not superior. It’s like just another phone or computer if we had to compare. Remember this and remember it now G will give away names and this will crush the dreams of the majority of these extensions.

    The odds of anyone reselling one of these names for 100x profit will be tough. But they will exist. You just have to go through 1000 extensions and pick a couple of lucky generics that can be had for under 1k to increase your odds. My final take on this.

    If Go with anything above 3 letters and you will lose. Stick with 3 or less and you will increase your chances of turning a long shot profit..:) It’s like poker or even trends if you see that the top 10 extensions are 3 letters or less that is what you stick with.

    Donny M

    Reply
  • Tauseef January 30, 2014, 1:31 am

    Very well written post. I think, the new registrations for .com may dwindle but premium ones may continue to soar. more than 75% users/companies are already conditioned to .coms and a new mindset for new gTLDs will definitely take good amount of time. Till then all is speculation.

    Reply
  • Michael January 30, 2014, 5:09 pm

    AlexBusiness for $695 for AlexBusiness.com you are being cheap! You should get that it’s a cool business name. And your net version doesn’t work so maybe that is why your people can’t find you.

    Reply
  • Alex January 31, 2014, 7:10 am

    Michael:
    AlexBusiness.com was just a made up example name. It’s funny that is registered and for sale. 🙂

    Reply
  • Techno CAT February 3, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Is .COM dead?
    ——————-
    The NEW DNS software migrates .COM to be the “back office” STAGING AREA ONLY

    Peer-2-Peer Nodes store the Operational Registry – Similar to BitCoin , NameCoin , DataCoin, etc

    There are new features in .COM ~ One is that people will be able to Eclipse, Block, or Delegate newGTLDs via the LEFT SIDE Sub-Domains

    EXAMPLE.WEB is first looked up via WEB.EXAMPLE.COM

    The owner of newGTLD.EXAMPLE.COM can delegate [lease] the rights to EXAMPLE.newGTLD

    No ICANN is needed…

    Reply
  • Joan Holman February 8, 2014, 9:45 am

    Great article, Morgan. I think the new gTLDs can comfortably co-exist with .com, and be a good option for startups and rebranding. I have been involved in online marketing since the early days of the Internet (1995) and have seen a lot of changes, and who knows how things will look 10 years from now. However, naming and branding will always be a critical component of business development, and every business entity and product has to have a name as an online presence in a digital world, and the Internet has created a place where billions of people can establish an online presence for their products and services. A great name can actually catapult a business, a book, a product, to success. Think THE GEEK SQUAD…the company was started in Minneapolis and was purchased by BEST BUY. if you build a powerful brand name like that and do not have the .com, a lot of money invested in branding could be wasted. I have consulted to many small startups about the importance of having the .com, and some of them get really attached to a name and don’t want to give it up even though someone else has the .com for that name and may not have it for sale or be using it for anything related to the new business. I tell the new business owner it is very dangerous not to own the .com, because if they build that brand name, they will be vulnerable to someone else using the .com to exploit or possibly damage that brand name.

    Reply

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