How I First Learned of Richard Lau

Yesterday afternoon, Richard Lau posted an article about NamesCon, a domain conference taking place in January that he is organizing. I want to share a brief story about how I heard of Richard, who I have come to respect over the last several years.

In August of 2007, I received an email from a strange email address:

Dear Domain Buyer,
I want sell my domain name [“”] , If you intersted to buy this domain, please send your offer in USD.”

When I did a Whois search and then a historical Whois search for this domain name, alarm bells went off. It seemed pretty obvious to me that the domain name had been stolen because all information was exactly the same in the two Whois records, with the exception of a deceptive email address (think domain name at Hotmail rather than info @ domain name as it had been).

I called the person who was still listed as the registrant, a person who lived in New York City, and we spoke at length about the domain name. The owner confirmed that the domain name had been stolen and was working with someone who had made contact a few hours prior to help get the domain name back. The person who helped ¬†recover the domain name (at no cost) was Richard Lau. In looking at the domain name’s current Whois information and website, the person with whom I spoke still owns it and is operating a business on it.

I’ve heard a few stories like this about Richard, and I want to share this one with you.

Since this story was never made public before, I am not going to reveal the domain name. I wanted to share it with you this morning.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Credit to Richard Lau for that, sure. But that was in 2007. He is a domainer of 2004. In couple weeks we have 2014. I think his time is gone. Period.

    • Elliot: Richard’s personal website, his “about the author” or any other “about…” notes say same old stuff for 7 years or so. If he accomplished something great in domaining for last 7 years, why it is not listed then? It is just outdated and boring to read same that old news for so many years. This is an advice for him, not just critic.

      Richard: Trash your old “about” suit and write something better about yourself. You don’t have to go into details (same as Elliot haven’t published details about his story), but refresh your look with something nice after 2007…

    • And who the F are you ? What does one need to do to be a domainer of your caliber ?
      The guy owns multiple registrars, premium category killer generics, a folio of ppc income and then some. He’s also one of the most charitable guys I know. You sir are just a shit stirring jealous twat. Go away from this space.

  2. He doesn’t need to be on TMZ on a daily basis to be relevant, lots of guys do great things behind the scenes. I would love to hear why he hasn’t sold to the NHL yet though lol…

  3. Richard’s not been a sitting duck in recent years – to the contrary; he has bought and sold numerous top-class domains and obviously has other things going on behind the scenes. He’s just not announcing his every move.

  4. @Mark – You know, you are absolutely right. I have not got a great description on my personal page. But boy, you really should have seen my old one! That one hadn’t changed from about 1998 until earlier this year.

    I have definitely kept a low profile since about 2006. But I will take your advice to heart and look at updating my description.

    I have indeed been very busy. Not all of it within domaining certainly. But I have definitely that my hands full in the Internet naming business. I thought the bio I had provided on yesterday’s article would be enough of a glimpse of what I have been up to in the past few years. Not all of my projects are successes. I certainly do not have a golden touch. But success is measured in the balance of your successes exceeding your failures. If you are looking for someone to critique then I am definitely an easy mark as you won’t have to look far for bad decisions and failed projects.

    But your advice is well heeded. Obviously my public profile is not up to snuff. I would say that is a cross between intention, laziness, and my preference for not being in the spotlight.

    • Remember, even bad PR is better than no PR. I am sure there is enough good to write about. I think every serious investor’s profiles should be up to date. Current Richard’s profile is focus on very short period of his business, listing stuff that entire world already knows… Richard, skip that and show us the rest, what you did in last 5 years and what you are doing now…

    • I think that anyone in this business who needs to know who he is already knows him or knows someone that would vouch for him without any hesitation.

      Why don’t you tell us exactly who you are and what you’ve done.

  5. Mark,

    These past years Richard has dedicated a lot of his time for the association and just for this he has my respect.

    You should really refrain your bashing comments when around me I can tell you Richard is known as a first class person.

  6. I actually know few people in this entire industry with the brass of Richard Lau. He is on the shortest of lists when it comes to people i look up to and respect in domaining and business period.

    Most of the people whom are in the spotlight and whose successes are known, turn to Richard as an advisor when advice is needed or a strategic partner is wanted.

    Richard’s hand or influence has and continues to touch nearly every corner of this industry.

  7. @Mark – You sir, are no Richard Lau!

    Anybody that really knows who does what in the domain business has lots of respect for Richard. He’s what I call a ‘Quiet Tiger’ – going about his business quietly, and selflessly doing good work for others with no expectation of recognition or publicity. He is on a very small and uncrowded platform and he has my unconditional respect.

    Unfortunately I can’t say the same about you ‘Mark’! If that’s even your real name! Didn’t your mamma teach you that if you didn’t have anything nice to say about somebody you probably shouldn’t say anything at all?!

    Stop focusing on what YOU believe to be other people’s shortcomings and work on your own! You’ll be a much happier person!! Maybe then you won’t feel compelled to take cheap shots from the shadows at people that you don’t know. Besides – it’s just bad karma, and you don’t really want that do you? Think about it….

  8. For the Lau haters: there’s a fine line between love and hate. As Rich said earlier, hug it out — unless he ran over your cat or something.

  9. Not sure why an event’s organizer’s background is a subject of this level of scrutiny.

    I’ve known Richard since something like 2002 or 2003 when I still worked at Tucows and he always was at the forefront of this industry. And that goes beyond domaining and expands even beyond the registrar world. I can always rely on him responding when I reach out to him and even though I don’t know all of the things he’s working on, I have a huge respect for him and the people he works with.

  10. Mark, you really did a disservice to yourself here. I don’t know anyone who has been in the industry for more than 5 minutes who hasn’t at least heard of Richard Lau and his achievements and virtues.

  11. It sure would be amusing (and telling) if the various fake identities used to talk against Lau since announcing his domain conference were exposed for who they really were.

  12. Mark,

    You have given the opportunity to many to set you right with respect to your unworthy and erroneous comments about Richard Lau.

    I am involved and on the Board of the Water School because of him and I can say with out hesitation that he is a friend, businessman and philanthropist of the highest order.

    His humility is his response to you (above) is typical of the man of great strength and wisdom that he is.

    I am involved and support Ricahard and I am sure that his NamesCon conference will be a resounding success because in seven years in this industry I have never heard anyone with any thing but good things to say about him……except you Mark!

    Sure his profile may need updating… but believe me your research on your targets for criticism certainly needs some serous overhaul.

    All power to to you Richard. You certainly dont deserve this mindless diatribe.



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