MMX (Minds and Machines)

MMX (aka Minds + Machines) was in the news quite a bit last year after posting strong for the first half of 2019 with 39% growth over the same time period in 2018. While MMX plans to release a full update on 2019 later this month, they’ve already begun to share data that shows the rest of the year continued at a nice clip.

Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX), the top-level domain registry company, has revealed that it has continued to trade well in the fourth quarter as it announced the completed renegotiation of an onerous legacy contract.

In a brief statement, the group said that further to its announcement of 18 July 2019, all existing and future liabilities, estimated at US$7.9mln, arising from that contract have been settled through a single one-off payment of US$5.1mln.

(Source – ProactiveInvestors.co.uk)

Oh and for those who don’t know who MMX is and what they do, you probably already do but just didn’t know it. MMX operates a wide range of TLDs like .WORK, .LUXE, .WEDDING, .FASHION, .LONDON, .MIAMI and many more. You can see a full list of TLDs operated by MMX here.

I had the chance to meet Toby, the CEO of MMX last year in Portugal, he’s a sharp guy and took some time last year to sit down for an interview to talk about their success in the first half of the year.

If you haven’t watched the video yet and want to learn more, you can check it out below:

Congrats to the whole team over at MMX, it looks like they have a lot of wind in their sails going into 2020 and I look forward to continuing to follow the journey!

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Morgan Linton Blogging

A good friend of mine has decided he wants to start blogging – he reached out to me to hop on a call to share some tips. Our call ended up going on for almost an hour and at the end he read the notes he had taken back to me. Then he said, “wow, that was a lot of information to cover, seriously, you just shared like 10+ years of data with me!”

After we hung up I thought about it a bit and realized, in the process of writing a blog about investing in domain names for twelve years, I had ended up learning quite a bit about blogging.

This made me think…I wonder if other people would be interested in learning some of the things I’ve learned over the years about blogging? Of course, before starting any kind of series on my blog I always want to make sure it’s not just some idea that I think will be interesting that my readers think will be boring.

So that’s where you come in. Would reading a post every now and then about how to start, run, and grow a blog be interesting to you? Let me know and if enough people are interested I’ll give it a go.

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DoseBuy brokers a six-figure domain name

For those who missed the hottest thread on NamePros so far in 2020, let me break it down for you. Johan (who goes by DoseBuy) recently brokered a six-figure deal, he was excited about it, and shared his excitement on NamePros along with some other data about his first six months in Domaining.

Here’s an excerpt if you want to cut to the chase:

And now six months have gone by since I first started. And today I closed my first six figure deal. Its been under negotiation for three months. It’s been a fun and nerve-wrecking negotiation. But todayΒ @Rob MonsterΒ contacted me and say the escrow is closed. Big ups to EPIK for making sure the transaction went smooth.
It’s under NDA so can’t share more details.

(Source – NamePros)

Johan went on to share more about his experiences during his first six months in the Domain Investing world. Most people that read Johan’s thread congratulated him. I personally think it’s pretty impressive what Johan’s been able to do in his first six-months and I think it’s equally awesome that he has decided to share his journey with all of us.

Of course, when it comes to anything, from domain names to politics, you get different opinions. Like I said, the vast majority of NamePros users were supportive and congratulated Johan, but a few people weren’t super happy about Johan sharing a deal that was under NDA.

I also saw a couple people mention that they didn’t learn anything from this thread. I have to say I personally disagree on both counts. Here’s why:

  1. Johan isn’t breaking the NDA in any way, the domain name itself, the amount it sold for, and the buyer are all still confidential. Unless this is some weird NDA that says you can’t even mention you did a deal, then I’m pretty darn sure this is a-okay legally. Of course, I’m not a lawyer so if there’s a lawyer reading this who wants to jump in please do.
  2. I do think there are things people can learn from this. Rob Monster from Epik did share that this was a buyer in Asia, that the domain was a two-word .COM, and that it was a brandable domain sold at a shoot-the-moon price. Feels like there are some lessons there IMHO.

All that being said, the reality is, if you decide to share something publicly, you do open yourself up to criticism no matter how good your intentions are. That being said, I thought it would be interesting to tally up the positive vs. negative comments, pulling out the back-and-forth some members had with Rob Monster and removing duplicates. Here’s the count:

Positive responses: ~40
Negative responses: ~5
~87% positive responses

Some people might count slightly differently from me but if you look at the true reaction to Johan sharing this news, the vast majority of people were incredibly positive.

On that note, congrats Johan, you’ve been working super hard, sharing your journey with all of us and most people are cheering you on as you continue to kick ass and take names (some pun intended). Keep it coming! πŸ™Œ

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Domain Investing Strategy

2020 is here and like most people I’m reviewing the last year, collecting all the data, and making changes based on things I think I could improve on. Additionally, the beginning of the year is a great time to soak up information that other people are sharing since people tend to reflect and share their own data on the last year right about now.

First, if you haven’t read this thread on NamePros by Nikul Sanghvi – read it now, honestly it’s one of the best, data-rich pieces of content I’ve ever read about Domaining. Huge thanks to Nikul for taking the time to put this together and share it.

It’s things like this, along with conversations I have with other Domainers and blogs posts I read over the course of the year that gets my gears turning and helps me continue to evolve my own strategy. I can be almost completely certain that after NamesCon I’ll make another set of changes based on what I learn there.

So, while making changes to your domain investing strategy isn’t a once a year thing, the top of the year is always a good time to set some things in motion that you might have been holding off on and needed a little kick in the pants to get going. That being said, let’s rock – here are three changes I’m making to my domain portfolio this month…and yes, this will change next month, and the month after that, etc. Don’t make changes only once a year, make changes as you get more data!

  1. Moving from “Make Offer” landing pages at Efty to “Price Upon Request” landing pages – I love Efty, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and one thing I really love about Efty is that they’re constantly adding new features. Last year a “Price Upon Request” option for landing pages and I’m ready to give this a try. Rick Schwartz has talked about this a lot and when Rick shares advice like this, I take it.
  2. Updating my BIN prices on Afternic – I increased my BIN prices on Afternic quite a bit last year and well, it resulted in a lot less sales through Afternic. After talking with other investors at conferences last year and reading Nikul’s post I think I need to list way more names under $5k. I’ll still have a nice ROI even with their commission so it’s time to bring some of these down in a range where there are more buyers.
  3. Buying more .CO domains – I’m hearing more and more about strong sales results in the $1,000 – $3,500 range with .CO domains. While I still see .COM as my primary asset in the domain world, I’d be okay increasing my .CO holdings so I plan to start bidding on more .CO domains on places like Go Daddy auctions starting this month.

I think this could be a good post to do monthly since I seem to learn a few new things every month, and the industry also changes all the time. I know I’ll have more changes/tweaks to make in February after I get back from NamesCon and of course I’ll share what I learned there with all of you as well.

As I’ve said many times, I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to domains or Domaining, I’m always learning and try to spend as much time with experts as possible since they’re the best people to learn from.

Do you have any changes you’re making to your Domain Investing strategy going into 2020? If so feel free to share them below or comment on any of mine. Either way, you know how it works here – I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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Domain Investing News

Hello, happy Friday and welcome to my first Domain Investing news update of 2020 – woot! πŸ™Œ Yes, it’s a New Year and we’re back from South Korea πŸ‡°πŸ‡· after spending two weeks there. What was New Year’s like in Seoul you ask? It was a blast and jam-packed with people from around the world. We met people from Tunisia to Russia, Libya to Australia, and of course lots of amazing people from Korea, Japan, and China.

It was an amazing feeling and a great way to kick off the New Year. While the news may make it feel like the world is falling apart at the seams, I can tell you, I’ve never felt more together and unified as a global society, it was absolutely magical and I couldn’t be more excited for the year ahead!

On that note, I just woke up from a four hour nap (yes I’m jet-lagged) so “good morning!” – now let’s get to the news. Here are the stories from across the Domain Investing world that caught my eye this week, enjoy!

πŸ“° This elite startup uses a long numeric domain
(read more on Domain Name Wire)

πŸ“° Reported country code sales in 2019 up over 2018
(read more on TheDomains)

πŸ“° Ruby.com Acquired by Ruby Receptionists (CallRuby.com)
(read more on DomainInvesting.com)

πŸ“° Verisign Reports Global Domain Registrations Reached Nearly 360 Million at End of 3Q-2019
(read more on DNJournal)

πŸ“° NamesCon Increases Hotel Availability
(read more on DomainInvesting.com)

πŸ“° Keyword sales data for 2019
(read more on TLDInvestors)

πŸ“° ICANN and Verisign agree to .com price increase
(read more on OnlineDomain)

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Domain Industry Votes

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time you probably know one of my readers who goes by the name Snoopy. While Snoopy and I don’t always agree (and he certainly lets me know when he doesn’t!) he comments on almost every single post of mine which is damn impressive IMO.

Snoopy has been more active on Twitter lately and he recently ran a poll asking people what they think the biggest domain industry change of the decade is. There’s still two days left but with 119 votes so far I feel like that’s enough to share the initial results, and give those of you who want to weight in a chance to vote yourself. Here are the results so far:

I voted for “Collapse of Parking” because I know so many people that were impacted by this and had to make a fundamental shift in their domain business. I personally never made money parking so it didn’t impact me, but as an industry trend I think that probably made the biggest impact over the last decade.

If you were to rephrase the question to, “What was talked about the most in the last decade” I would definitely vote for “New TLDs” but I don’t think the new TLDs have made a major impact over the last decade, at least when it comes to Domainers.

Like I said, there’s still two days left to vote so if you want to chime in feel free to. Thanks to Snoopy for running this poll, I think it’s an interesting one and will be looking forward to seeing the final results. Of course, you’re also welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below, you know the drill – comment and let your voice be heard!

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With the decade coming to an end I’m seeing lots of posts on Twitter where people review the last decade in their life. So I thought I may as well join in here on my blog. I can only do a post like this every ten years so may as well not miss the chance! So here we go, in the last decade I:

  • Got married to the love of my life Daina ❀️
  • Became an Uncle (three times!) πŸ§’ πŸ§’ πŸ§’
  • Left my day job (Sonos) after nine years πŸšͺ
  • Bought a bunch of Sonos stock πŸ’°
  • Started a software company – Bold Metrics πŸ’»
  • Lived in Los Angeles, Austin, and now San Francisco πŸŒ‰
  • Blogged daily for the entire decade ✍️
  • Invested in domain names rather than stocks or real estate πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»
  • Traveled the world 🌍
  • Had some great backpacking adventures πŸ”
  • Had some amazing skiing adventures β›·

It’s pretty surreal to be writing this post while in Seoul, South Korea. One constant in my life for the last two decades has been traveling around the world. People who know Daina and I well, know that we plan to live in Asia for quite some time, possibly the rest of our lives and it has been so satisfying to explore Asia and try to find our next home.

I love the US, it has been great living the first 38 years of my life there, and I look forward to spending the second half of my life on the East. No, we aren’t moving yet, we’re still probably a couple years away, but the gears are in motion to find the next country we’ll call home, and that’s damn exciting.

Here’s to the decade ahead, there’s no doubt in my mind it’s going to be a grand adventure…and of course, I’ll be bringing all of you with me as I plan to blog for at least the next five decades!

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Domain Investing News

It’s hard to believe it but this will be my last Domain Investing news update of 2019. This has been a fantastic year for domain investors around the world and I know many of them are even more excited about 2020.

This was a slower week in the Domaining blogosphere, especially on Christmas Day which I think might just have been the slowest day for posts this year. That being said, there was still a lot going on for a holiday week. Here’s the stories that caught my eye – enjoy!

Palestine to release all one-character .ps domains, at a price
(read more on DomainIncite)

Saw.com Founders Jeff Gabriel and Amanda Waltz Give Us Their Domain Sales Forecast for 2020 (and Beyond)
(read more on DNJournal)

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

Samsung to launch Neon.Life in time for CES 2020
(read more on Kickstart Commerce)

11 Great NamePros Topics from 2019
(read more on NamePros)

The cultural reason 2 letter domains are valuable in China
(read more on Domain Name Wire)

Postmark Secures Postmark.com Domain Name
(read more on DomainInvesting.com)

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South Korea

Now that I’ve been in South Korea for about a week I can tell you that .kr and .co.kr are everywhere, seriously, just about every ad, billboard, receipt, etc. has a .kr or .co.kr domain on it. Earlier this week I wrote an article about the sales history of .kr and .co.kr domains in 2019 and well, there isn’t much of it.

While it could be that not many sales are reported, given that South Korea does have a population of 51M which is larger than Canada, and there’s lots of publicly reported .CA data, I think the reality is there’s probably a lot more domain sales volume here than we’d think.

I know a number of domain investors in Canada that have done quite well with .CA, so I imagine there are domain investors here in Korea that are doing well with .kr and .co.kr, but who are they and where are they buying and selling their names?

I’ve decided to start to ask around to see if some of the domain investors that I know in Asia know a bit more about the domain market here. While Sedo came up as the main venue for sales based on the NameBio data I looked at, I’m guessing there’s a go-to domain marketplaces here that none of us know about that’s probably facilitating a lot of these deals.

If any of my readers know more about the market I’d love to hear more. Either way, I’m curious enough to investigate since it’s been pretty eye-opening to see just how prevalent the .kr and .co.kr extensions are in a country with a very meaningful population and that’s also famous for their proclivity for technology and innovation.

South Korea was named the most innovative economy on earth (source) and the US barley made the top ten clocking in at #8…so if the US has such a thriving domain market, I’ll bet South Korea does too, we just don’t know about it.

So stay-tuned, as I continue to learn more about the domain market here I’ll be sharing it with all of you. Know something about the .kr or .co.kr domain market? I’d love to hear from you, comment below and let your voice be heard!

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Morgan and Daina in South Korea

I wanted to wish all my readers around the world who celebrate Christmas a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. My wife Daina and I are spending the holidays in South Korea, the photo above is from Seoul where everyone is definitely in the Christmas spirit.

Right now we are in Pyeongchang Korea where the 2018 Winter Olympics took place. We were excited to wake up this morning to snow, here’s what it looks like here:

We’re getting ready to hit the slopes for a day of skiing so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet. I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays and spending time with friends and family. Okay, now into the snow we go!

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