If you don’t know James, you should – him and his brother, known as the Booth Brothers have played a role in some of the biggest domain deals in history. I often hear the Booth Brothers talk about some monster one-word .COM that they either bought or sold…but today James announced his latest acquisition, and as you can see from the list below, they’re all .IO:
Like most things the Booth Brothers do, the focus is on truly premium names and I think it’s safe to say this is a very solid list of names. My favorites are Smart.io, Gaming.io, and Sun.io but any one of these could sell for five figures IMO.
Of course this doesn’t mean James or his brother are suddenly moving away from .COM, I’m sure the vast majority of what they will continue to buy and sell will be .COM. That being said, they’re making a nice splash into the .IO space with a very solid acquisition.
My guess is over the next few months we’ll see some pretty interesting sales materialize as a result of these acquisitions. If I were to guess I’d say Smart.io will take the cake as the top sale but only time will tell.
What do you think is the best name on this list? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!
There been a new addition to the Domaining world this year that has caught my eye and many others, his name is Johan Jönsson but you might know him as @dosebuy on Twitter.
If you’ve followed Johan on Twitter then you know he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and he’s been particularly vocal about his passion for .CX domains. Of course, he is investing in .COM and in fairly short-order has managed to cover his renewal fees so if he plays his cards right will end up with a profitable first year in Domaining.
At first I was annoyed by Johan’s constant promotion of .CX, I didn’t get it. Then, as I got to know him better, I became pretty impressed with his willingness to try new things and share what he’s doing so publicly. While I might not agree with everything he’s investing in, I have a lot of respect for his enthusiasm for the industry and openness, and something tells me we’re all going to watch him continue to grow his investments and surprise us over time.
I asked Johan if he would be game for an interview and he was all for it, so without further ado, let’s get to know Johan a bit better.
[MORGAN] How did you first discover the concept of Domain Investing?
[JOHAN] I had a couple of domains way back. .se domains for personal use. Then this summer I was in an argument with a friend and we always end up in confirming things via Google. So as I joke I wanted to create a page called CanItBeConfirmed.com. And when you type it in the page would just say ”Yes”. That way I could win every argument.Then it just took of from there I guess.
[MORGAN] What are some of the resources you’ve been using to learn?
[JOHAN] Its mainly Namepros and the Darryl Lopez Domain Talk group. Awesome people all around. Also got a lot of new friends, both newbies and experienced domainers. Its been really fun.
[MORGAN] What do you currently do for a living?
[JOHAN] I work as a Application Consultant for a Warehouse Management System. Configuring and developing stuff so the Logistic processes in a warehouse and supply Chain will be executed in a more smooth way. Yes, I know it sounds super exciting right? Zzzzz
[MORGAN] You’ve been very bullish on .CX domain names, what % of your portfolio do you think will be .CX vs. .COM?
[JOHAN] I have 330 names. Only 18 .cx.I just have a good feeling about them. CX is insanely big as a industry since its the abbreviation of Customer Experience. And also the crypto-crowd are fond of the name. I truly belive it will be some big .cx sales in the upcoming year. So I had to reg some keywords.But I only sold 1 .cx so far. Herbs.cx to Herbs.com.
[MORGAN] You recently made some sales that have now covered your renewal fees. Do you have a revenue goal in mind for this year that would make Domaining feel like a good conversion of time to money?
[JOHAN] No, I only had the goal to cover my renewals. Now I need to sell for around $1500 more to cover my investment. And that will be no problem it looks like.I have no number-goal. Im just glad I can sit safe in the boat for 1.5 years more before panic will arise.
[MORGAN] How many hours a week do you think you spend on Domaining now?
[JOHAN] 2 hours a day maybe. Mostly during lunch-time and the occational toilet break, haha. So maybe 14 hours a week?It has replaced my Facebook/Instagram/Netflix/PS4-time more or less.
[MORGAN] Do you invest in the stock market and/or real estate? If so how do you think about dividing up your investments?
[JOHAN] Nope. Nothing like that. I own some but its long term and nothing Im following to close.
[MORGAN] What are your career goals? Do you plan to continue to work where you do now or is there something you’ve always dreamed of doing that you’re still striving to do someday?
[JOHAN] I’m a journalist at bottom, so to have a chance writing about hockey again I would love. Have worked as a sports journalist before and really love to express myself in writing. So a book or something would surely be fun to produce.
[MORGAN] Are you coming to NamesCon next year?
[JOHAN] Haven’t thought about it. But If I can get some big sales done and the economy allows it, it would for sure be a fun experience. Im all about learning and Im humbled by many of the domainers reaching out with tips and tricks. It’s a great community.
[MORGAN] Tell us one fun fact about Johan that we might not know.
I’m a big fan of the Domain Name Wire Podcast, it’s part of my regular podcast regimen, which consists of only three podcasts so it’s on a very short list. Andrew just recorded his 260th episode and it is one of the best I’ve ever heard so I thought I’d let all of you know, if you haven’t been listening, now is the time to start, or at least, don’t miss this one.
If you don’t know who Richard Lau and James Morfopoulos are, they are two of the nicest people in the domain industry, and also two of the most humble. I’ve been friends with Richard and James for almost a decade now, and while you might know them as the creators of NamesCon, they are industry OG’s that have been making big moves for a long time.
When it comes to people I look up to in the industry, Richard and James have been at the top of my list for a long time and I think everyone from new to experience domain investors can learn something from this interview.
So, I’ll stop there and just tell you to take some time this week to listen to this episode of the DNW Podcast, I think it’s one of the best. You can listen to it by clicking here.
Hello, happy Saturday, and welcome to my weekly domain investing news roundup. There’s been some breaking news this morning that was picked up by Elliot from DomainInvesting.com that IJ.com has been sold for $550,000 by James Booth.
As for the story that I think likely trended the most this week, well that goes to the Examiner.com auction. If you didn’t follow along with this one, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered, let’s just say it’s worth making some popcorn first.
I’m in Southern California for BlizzCon so I’ll be watching eSports (major Overwatch tournaments today) and listening to some pretty fun talks and panels. If you want to follow the adventure feel free to check out my updates on Twitter throughout the day. Now, onto the domain investing news from last week – enjoy!
Emoji domains get a 😟 after broad study (Read more on DomainIncite)
Latest Domain Sales Trends Revealed in Escrow.com’s 3Q-2019 Domain Investment Index Report (Read more on DNJournal)
Doron Vermaat on Growing Efty To 900K Domains & What We can Learn to Sell More Domains Ourselves (Watch on DomainSherpa)
Examiner.com up to $126,000 as some wonder about what’s going on with the name (Read more on TLDInvestors.com)
Since I live and work in San Francisco, it’s safe to say I
see a lot of billboards and ads on the street aimed at startups. Lately I’ve
been seeing a lot of .CO domains so I thought it would be fun to highlight a
few of them that caught my eye.
It’s no secret that startups branding on .CO have raised
tens of millions of dollars or more. The top angel investment platform in the
world, Angel List, has been on Angel.co since inception and along with seeing
.CO around town I feel like I read about another startup branding on .CO
getting funding almost weekly.
To kick things off, let’s start with a startup I literally just found out about this week on my walk to the gym – Mercury.co.
in funding and backing from an incredibly impressive list of investors
including Andreessen Horowitz, Mercury is trying to re-investing banking for
startups. The banking world is a space that is ripe for disruption and as
someone that has banked with traditional banks for a long time I can tell you
that I’m certainly ready to see a startup take on this challenge.
From my experience big banks are old and clunky, their
online systems are difficult to navigate, and connecting to bank APIs is a
nightmare. Mercury has two taglines, “Banking for startups” and “engineered by
engineers” – the second is pretty powerful because I think this is where most
big old traditional banks have fallen short…they’re designed by bankers, not
engineers, which is whey their backend UX is so darn clunky.
Given the amount of funding Mercury has already raised, and
the stellar list of investors they have behind them, my guess is we’re going to
be hearing even more about them over the years. And like I said above, they’re
jamming away building their brand on Mercury.co.
Next up is Mirror.co, a startup that is disrupting the home fitness market with smart mirrors. The idea is – imagine being able to put a mirror in your home that has a workout instructor built into it? If this sounds like something out of Blade Runner, think again, it’s here and given that the company makes a smart mirror, Mirror.co is a solid choice of domain names.
To-date Mirror.co has raised
over $40M in funding from some great VCs like First Round Capital and Spark
Capital. Based in New York Mirror.co is pioneering what I think is going to be
a huge industry.
If you think about it, for far too long working out at home
has been a pretty boring experience. Usually you buy some weights, maybe find a
workout class or two online, then try to encourage yourself to transform your
living room into a gym on a regular basis.
By having both a dedicated piece of hardware with a trainer
built-in, and the ability to track progress and continually get new content, I
think Mirror.co is on a similar path to that that Peloton just took, and is
clearly paying off.
Last but certainly not least is a startup that’s actually only a few blocks away from our offices in SF, Brit + Co which has branded on Brit.co since inception. After working at both Apple and Google, Brit + Co’s founder and CEO Brit Morin decided she wanted to start a company of her own and Brit.co is the realization of that vision.
Now, Brit.co has become a leading online media company with over
$40M in funding and an active community of over $10M members. It’s not
uncommon to find the CEO, Brit on CNN or the Daily Show and given that Brit.com
is already the domain for another company, my guess is they’ll be happy on
Congrats to all three of these amazing startups, Mercury.co,
Mirror.co, and Brit.co – together they’ve raised over $100M and something tells
me there’s a lot more coming given how fast they’re all growing!
Akamai recently released their 2019 State of the Internet / Security Report and in it detailed how criminals are leveraging a range of domain extensions to trick their victims. If you don’t know what phishing is, think of it as essentially trying to trick someone into giving you their username or password, often by pretending to be someone you’re not.
Back in the early days of computer hacking, phishing was actually done over the phone. A hacker (at that time often called Phone Phreaker) would call someone on the phone pretending to be say, an admin from AOL. They would then tell the user that there was a problem with their account and they needed their login and password to get everything fixed. As technology progressed, so did phishing schemes and today many of them are hosted on confusingly similar domains to make users think they’re actually logging in on a real company website when in fact they’re just giving away their user credentials to a hacker.
While phishing attacks target a lot of different company’s users, Microsoft took the cake with 20% of the domains. Here’s a look at the top four from the report:
When it comes to the domain names that are used for phishing attacks it should come as no surprise that .COM is the most-used by a pretty wide margin. If you think about it from the hackers perspective, they want the user to be confused and think they are on a real company website and .COM is what people do know and trust the most.
At the same time, hackers are cheap and often will gravitate towards domain names that offer specials, i.e. promotions where they can buy lots of domains for a dollar or two. Here’s the full list of the top domain extensions used for phishing:
I was pretty surprised to see .SCIENCE on this list, but at the same time, I’m guessing that criminals feel this might be a particularly trustworthy sounding domain extension, or at least that’s my thought. The domain extension that I was the least surprised to see was .TK, it has been one of the most scammy domain extensions out there for a long time so it makes sense to find it in the top three.
The moral of the story here is relatively simple. If you click on a link and land on a site that doesn’t quite look right, it probably isn’t. Even if the site is on a .COM domain, look at the spelling of the domain name, check the SSL cert, be careful anytime you enter your password. This is also why password managers like Dashlane and 1Password are so handy, if you’re not a legitimate site it won’t populate your password.
Were you surprised to see any of the domain extension on the list? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!
In case you missed the memo, last year Google rolled out the .NEW domain extension as a way to easily create new Google Docs. Even though I remember reading about this, I quickly forgot and don’t think I ever tried it out. The concept is pretty simple though, rather than going to Google Docs or Google Sheets and creating a new Doc, or Sheet, you could go to sheet.new and poof – there’s a new Google Sheet a few seconds of your life back.
From what I can tell, this never really took off but it was a creative idea for a way to put a new domain name extension to work.
Now Google has decided to roll out .NEW to the rest of the world so other people can try their hand at using a domain extension to perform a specific action, in most cases creating a new document or video.
The domains are designed to get users straight to the action. That is, instead of having to visit a service, sign in, then find the right menu or function, they could just start creating.
However, some of today’s new domains aren’t quite as seamless as Google’s own. Because most Google Docs users are already signed in to Google, it’s easy to jump right to creating a new online document.
But other services aren’t used as often. That means Medium’s “story.new” doesn’t let you immediately start writing your blog post, unless you’re already signed in to Medium. If not, it drops you on a “Join Medium” sign-up page instead. This doesn’t make it necessarily any easier to use Medium — a better use case would have allowed the user to just start writing, saving their text under a temporary account, then prompt them to join Medium upon exit or clicking “publish.”
I don’t mean to rain on the parade but I’m going to have to put my hand up and guess that this is something that’s just not going to take off. While I applaud Google for trying to find innovative new uses (no pun intended) for new domain extensions – this seems like a habit change that’s probably not going to catch on.
Google is pretty famous for trying lots of things and killing most of them off. IMO there’s nothing wrong with this, innovation is hard and the reality is you do have to try a lot of things until you get something that actually takes off. Google has the resources to try lots of things and yes, they find out that most of the things they try don’t work, but let’s be honest, the things that have worked have made Google one of the most successful technology companies in the world…so I think the formula is working.
If you want to take a look at all the projects Google has killed, there’s a site dedicated to it at KilledByGoogle.com. As many of you know, I’ve tried a lot of different experiments on my blog and killed most of them. I’m all for experimenting and learning from mistakes, continuing to iterate and try new things until something sticks.
So once again, while I think it’s awesome that Google’s experimenting with new ways to use domain name extensions…I think we’ll see this on the “Killed By Google” site in the future.
What do you think? Will .NEW catch on? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!
In case you haven’t been following the incredibly boring world of big companies working out agreements with the US Department of Commerce, here’s the skinny.
Verisign, the company that currently runs .COM has been working on inking a deal that could allow them to increase prices by 7%. They have approved from the US Department of Commerce but in order to get the deal done they need sign off from ICANN.
The good news for Verisign here is that ICANN wants to distance themselves from regulating domain pricing…which means, if it was already approved by the DOC, they’re likely going to defer to them.
Now before you get too upset, the reality is we’re talking 7% over the next four to six years which means very little impact to most people. If you own thousands or tens of thousands of domains you’ll feel a bit of a sting but if you own hundreds of domains it’s honestly not going to impact you very much.
Let’s do the math here. Let’s suppose you own around 500 .COM domains, and you’re going to renew every single one next year. If your current renewal price is $9.99, your new renewal price will be $10.69. So rather than spending $4,995 to renew your domains you’ll now be spending $5,345. That’s an extra $350.
While I know nobody wants to spend an extra $350/year I don’t think it’s going to break the bank for someone that owns 500 domains, nor will it for. someone that owns 1,000.
Now once you’re at 5,000 domains, an extra $3,500/year might sting a bit but I sure hope you’re making quite a bit of money if you own 5,000 domains in which case, it’s all relative and that $3,500 should feel like the $350 does to the person who owns 500 domains.
Of course I know what you’re going to say now. Why the heck should these big companies continue to take money off of normal people for no additional value add? I don’t have a good answer for you there and like everyone I’d love to see things get cheaper, not more expensive. That being said my point is, unless you have thousands or tens of thousands of domains, it’s not really worth getting too upset about because the impact is pretty minimal.
Well that’s my two cents. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!
As many of you know, I look at domain name investing just like stock market investing or real estate investing, it’s an investment strategy, not a full time job or business (for most). While there are people who day trade stocks full time or flip houses full time, most people I know who invest in the stock market or real estate do it as an investment strategy, not a career path. The same is true for most people (like me) who invest in domain names.
Since my week is focused on running a software company here in San Francisco, and I like to really devote Saturday to R&R – Sunday has become the day where I chisel out some time for domain investing and I typically spent between 1 – 2 hours total.
Here’s a look at where the time goes:
30 mins – add any new domains I’ve purchased to Efty and Afternic, make sure any domains I’ve sold have been remove from Efty and Afternic.
30 mins – search for expired domains (usually on Go Daddy Auctions), place bids on any that I want for the week. I don’t actively monitor auctions, instead I just put in the most I would pay for a name and just let it run for the week without monitoring it. If I lose all the auctions I bid on, so be it.
15 mins – follow up with any inbounds that are still in negotiations.
15 mins – send follow ups for any brokerage deals I’m working on
15 mins – review renewals for the coming week
Another 20 – 30 mins can go to any one of these four things taking longer than the time estimate I’ve mentioned above. I’d say it’s pretty rare for me to spend more than two hours, and that’s it for the week. I don’t do anything related to domain investing during the week or on Saturday. I’m very diligent with my time, running a startup forces you to be given how demanding it is.
I’m not a big sports fan and don’t watch football so Sunday has never been a sports day for me. The rest of my day I usually go to the gym, practice Japanese, and make a nice dinner. I try not to do any major social activities on Sunday, my weeks are so busy that I like to try to keep Sunday as low key as possible.
And there you have it. I’d be interested to hear how other domain investors spend their time. Feel free to share your own schedule in the comment section below. I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!
Hello, happy Friday, and welcome to my weekly domain investing news roundup. I can never really figure out what to write in this first sections so I thought I’d spend a few sentences talking about the first story on my list.
This week Elliot wrote a good article that referenced a Tweet from Rick Schwartz about the problem with having a BIN + Make Offer option on a landing page. I think Rick made a really good point here and am glad that Elliot wrote a post dedicated to it. Why would anyone take your BIN price seriously if you make it clear that you’re willing to consider other offers?
To me, a landing page with BIN + Make Offer is more like a page that says, “Looking for $x or best offer,” it takes all the wind out of your sales when it comes to really standing behind the price.
Okay, there’s a little commentary from me on the news, now let’s get to the good stuff. Below are the stories from the domain investing world that caught my eye this week, enjoy!
Hi I'm Morgan, I'm the co-founder of Bold Metrics, a venture-backed startup based in San Francisco, CA. I've been buying and selling domain names and blogging about it since 2007 and I focus on investing in .COM domain names. Want to learn more about me? Then