So many people send-out physical cards or emails for the holidays, I’ve never been very good at that but this year I really wanted to do something to honor all the incredible people that have made an impact on me in this industry. This year has really been like a dream come true and I couldn’t have done it without all of the great people that keep me inspired and charging forward.
These are in no particular order except and I would like to apologize to anyone that I may have left off the list. If you’re not on here it doesn’t mean I’m not appreciative and if you ping me in the comments I’ll happily update this post. Okay – now that I’ve got that out of the way, time for my holiday thank you list to all the Domainers that have changed my life over the last three years.
Ron Jackson is first on this list for a reason. Ron has been an inspiration for me since I started in 2007. This year at my first TRAFFIC show Ron invited me to breakfast the very first day. Ron made me feel so welcome at my first show and it really helped me feel like part of the community I had spent the last two years reading about. DNJournal continues to be one of my favorite daily reads and I am so thankful we have someone like Ron in our industry!
Sahar’s blog, Conceptualist.com was the first blog I stumbled upon that exposed me to Domaining. Sahar – you turned me into an Domainer with a single post and my life has never been the same. I had the chance to meet Sahar at TRAFFIC this year, it really was like meeting one of your heros. Sahar not only welcomed me to the show and the industry but really made me feel like part of the group. Sahar is one of the smartest most passionate people I know and the more I talk with him the more inspired I get.
Patrick was my first friend in the industry and since then has turned into one of my close friends in life. Back in 2008 Patrick spent a lot of time teaching me how to build a brand and many of the great Internet marketing techniques that he learned and developed along the way. This made a huge impact on me as Patrick really opened my eyes to the importance or branding and the creativity involved in running a good marketing campaign. Outside of teaching me some very important business skills Patrick also introduced me to everyone I have ever wanted to meet in the Domaining industry. On top of that Patrick has always gone above-and-beyond to include me and make me feel at home in the industry. I had a chance to spend time with Patrick’s family this summer and quickly saw that on top of all the other great things I appreciated about Patrick he was also an incredible Dad and husband. I really can’t thank Patrick enough which is why this paragraph got so long – I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am now without Patrick and for that I am forever grateful!
I have been reading TheDomains for a long time now, it is by far one of the most comprehensive and interesting Domaining blogs out there. Michael is always on top of the latest news and I still don’t know how he manages to post as much as he does but as a loyal reader I win because I can visit TheDomains.com at several times a day and get new content each time. On top of running one of my all-time favorite blogs Michael is also a very serious Domainer and I had the chance to hear more about his Domaining strategy at TRAFFIC Vegas. I was blown-away after talking with him for just ten minutes – Michael is an investment guru, he not only knows the market but deeply understand all aspects of the industry. Still thinking of getting a poster for my room that says, “I want to be like Mike,” only with Michael Berkens rather than Michael Jordan on it – does that make me a huge geek? Seriously, Michael is a huge inspiration and I’m looking forward to learning more from him over the years!
Doman Name Wire was the first Domaining blog and Andrew has done an incredible job of providing an incredible news and information source for the industry. Andrew has an eye for finding great stories and I’ve been a loyal reader since I started back in 2007. I had a chance to meet Andrew in person earlier this year and can honestly say he’s one of the nicest people I’ve met. Andrew is a true entrepreneur and incredible inspiration for me!
Gregg McNair, aka GGG, is one of the most fun and hard-working people I’ve ever met in my life. I often compare Gregg to the guy in the Dos Equis commercial, you know, the most interesting man in the world. Gregg is involved in so many exciting projects I honestly don’t know how he does it! While constantly traveling around the world Gregg keeps an extremelly positive attitude which rubs off on everyone around him. I can’t thank Gregg enough for being such an inspiration for me both in the industry and with the incredible charity The Water School. Gregg has dedicated his life to helping others and he’s one of the few people I can say with confidence wakes-up more excited about life every day!
Elliots blog was one of the first Domaining blogs I started reading on a daily basis. What I like about Elliot is his willingness to bring us all through the things he’s doing in his own business. Elliot also understands develpment and the importance of building brands online. Elliot is already doing big things and I can’t wait to follow-along with the adventure next year!
I’ve been reading the Frager Factor for years and had the chance to meet Owen (via telephone) this year. Owen has been in the industry for a long time and has really seen it grow and develop. What I like most about Owen is that he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Owen is an incredibly smart person and a marketing genious, he sees the value in development and has done a great job enouraging Domainers to build-out their names into useful sites. I was honored to be on Owen’s show this year and consider him a good friend and mentor!
Shane is one of the humble and genuine people I have ever met in my life. Shane’s blog is great because not only does he provide great information – he shares his own opinion and really keeps things in perspective. After touring around Vegas with Shane I know we would be buddies and I think there is a lot I can learn from Shane’s methodical, business-first, approach to Domaining. Shane is already inspiring a new generation of Domainers and I look forward to all our future adventures together!
Michael and David Castello
The Castello Brothers really were a living legend to me and I was more than nervous meeting them for the first time at TRAFFIC Vegas. They made me feel comfortable immediately and then honestly blew my mind when they explained how they view domains. I can honestly say that Michael and David have made the largest impact on how my business runs today. The Castello Brothers taught me to treat my Domains as Brands and that has changed everything. Michael and David are natural teachers and incredible business people, I can’t wait to learn more from them!
Rick has been a major inspiration for me since I got started in the industry. I absolutely love his blog and appreciate his honesty and incredible insight into this industry. Rick is forward thinking and is always looking at future trends and planning for the long-term, no doubt this has contributed to his incredible success. I was so damn nervous to meet him at TRAFFIC Vegas and thanks to Ron I ended-up having breakfast with Rick the first day of the show. Rick welcomed me and made me feel comfortable right-away. For a Domainer like myself this breakfast was more exciting than eating with the President, and for good reason, he’s the King!
While I haven’t had the chance to meet Frank in person yet I feel like I already know him. I’ve followed absoutely every new story I can find about Frank and was so excited to see his blog re-launch this year. Frank’s blog posts are like Gold and I often read and re-read each several times. Frank takes time to share what he’s learned both about the industry, the economy, and life. I received one of Frank’s favorite Rum Cakes this year and have to say it probably my favorite Christmas presents I’ve ever received – yes I’m a huge geek! You should have seen me the day it came in the mail – may seem like a small thing to some but it meant a lot to me. Frank is also on my list of Domainers that I’m still nervous to meet – come’on it’s Frank Schilling! I’m crossing my fingers I’ll get a chance to meet him at DOMAINfest this year!
Tia has been a huge supporter of MorganLinton.tv since the very beginning. I honestly don’t know if I’d still be doing the show if it wasn’t for people like Tia. Tia is an incredible web developer and I’m always glued to her blog posts – hey she speaks my language! I hope to meet Tia at a show this year, she’s made a huge impact on me and I look forward to continuing to share our voyage in Domaining together!
Theo – DomainGang
Theo and Tia actually work on DomainGang together so I thought it made sense to put these two together. I think Theo has done a great job a creating a fun and interesting publication for our industry. Theo is able to take us all out of the stress of our daily lives and gives us a chance to laugh while learning more about Domaining. I think Theo is our John Stewart and I couldn’t imagine the industry without him!
Rob is a visionary and has done an amazing job building-up the Epik platform. Rob is also known to be one of the most reliable people in the universe responding to emails almost in realtime. He does this because he cares – Rob honestly cares about everyone that sends him an email and he has made an impact on so many people. We not only need more people like Rob in this industry, we need more people like Rob in this world!
Bruce has been one of my closest friends in the industry…and I’m convince my cat Samsie likes him more than me! Bruce has this incredible energy that just gets you going – he’s a business genious and someone that really thinks outside of the box. When we’re 70 I can imagine us sitting around playing cards talking about when we saw the “Humpty Dance” live. Bruce will definitely be a friend for life…now I just have to get him to move to LA!
Brian from TeenDomainer.com has been a huge supporter of me and my blog for a long time now. Brian is years ahead of most kinds his age and I can honestly say I’ve learned a ton from his blog. What I like about Brian is that he’s not afraid to try new things and share them on his blog. Brian will definitely be doing big things in this life and I can’t wait to watch!
Rick made me feel at home at my first, second, and third TRAFFIC show. Along with Frank, Ron, and Rick S, Rick was another one of those industry big-wigs that I couldn’t wait to meet. Rick is one of the hardest working people in this industry and is always starting new companies and trying new ideas. If you look-up entrepreneur in the dictionary you’re bound to see Rick’s face there – he is a true innovator and inspiration!
Jodi was the first person that I met when I arrived at TRAFFIC Vegas. She made me feel at home from the moment I got there and I now consider her a true friend. Jodi is one of the nicest people I’ve met and really cares about people and life. Jodi has this passion and inspiration that’s contageous and I’m excited share more adventures in the future!
Mike Cohen is either loved or hated, but I’m happy to say that I’m a fan. Mike is an entrepeneur who isn’t afraid to try new things and understands that development is the key to long-term success in this industry. Mike has built some great brands over the years and it’s always exciting to see what he’ll come out with next. Mike has always been nothing but professional and cordial with me and I’ve learned a lot from his blog and new stories over the years. While you might not always like what he has to say Mike is a brilliant guy who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and in this world that is harder and harder to find!
Toby runs the brokerage business for Rick Latona and is another great inspiration of mine in the industry. Toby is the real deal. By this I mean that Toby knows how to close a deal and is one of the best businesspeople I’ve had the chance to meet. At first I thought Toby was intimidating, heck he’s the gatekeeper for Latonas…however after meeting him I learned that he is a genuinely nice guy who is passionate about what he does. Toby has given me some great advice this year and like everyone else on this list has made me feel welcome in the industry.
Leonard is somone you might not know but he has made a major impact in my life this year. Leonard is the top commentator on my blog and has been a loyal reader for a long time now. Along with commenting frequently Leonard has some of the in-depth and well thought-out comments I’ve ever read. I put my heart and soul into this blog and it’s people like Leonard that make it all worthwhile!
Thanks to everyone on this list and everyone not on the list that made a major impact in my life this year. I’ll probably be expanding this list as I realize people that I left-off. At this point I actually have to end this post so I can get ready to head to my Sister’s house – it’s the Holidays and family comes first 🙂