Juan Diego Calle Responds to Comments

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There were a number of comments critical of  Juan Diego Calle in an article I posted this morning as well as an article posted by Rick Schwartz.  Although the video Rick and I shared was primarily about LeWeb’s move from LeWeb.net to LeWeb.CO, the founder of LeWeb referred to the owner of LeWeb.com as a “squatter,” despite his having registered the domain name before LeWeb.net existed (and he successfully defended the UDRP – well, not really “defended” since it was a win without filing a response).

In response to some of the critical comments, Calle posted an article on the .CO blog entitled “How I feel about domainers.” You can read the article for yourself and post comments there, but some of the takeaways from his article include:

  • Calle is a domain investor, and one of his other companies owns names like ParisHotels.com, NewYorkHotels.com, MiamiHotels.com…etc.
  • Cybersquatting makes the domain industry look very bad
  • There is a distinction between cybersquatting and domain investing

One issue I take with Calle’s article is the last paragraph: “if you’re a cybersquatter, or even a mass speculator, leveraging technology to register thousands of names, please do so in someone else’s backyard.

Some of the biggest companies in the domain investment business could be considered mass speculators. One of the most successful .CO investors stated that he  uses technology to buy domain names (“we have 150,000 names many of which a machine registered“).

I am bothered by cybersquatting as much as Calle because it does make us look bad to the general public and to people in the tech space. However, there is a big difference between cybersquatting on someone’s brand and speculating on descriptive domain names. I am sure Juan would be upset if someone filed a UDRP on one of his descriptive domain names and called him a cybersquatter simply because Juan wasn’t using it in the way that a complainant thought it should be used.

I still think the news of LeWeb switching to .CO is very big for the .CO Registry because of its audience. I do think the video backfired though.

** 5/14 Update **

Juan clarified his comments on leveraging technology to register domain names.

41 COMMENTS

  1. @ Owen

    No… .CO is still advertising above the post (rotating banner), which is the same as it’s been for well over a year.

    I like Juan and think the .CO team is very smart. I have always been very clear about my .CO investments.

  2. If .co wasn’t concerned about typos or cyber squatters they could have limited it to the residents of Colombia, officially this extension has nothing to do with Colombia.

    Speculation in precious metals, oil, real estate, stock market, makes the world go around, this guy should shut up, and leave his 2 minutes of fame at the door.

    Domainers should boycott .co, I know the generics are going to stay strong, but stay away from any SPECULATIVE purchases.

  3. @ Ron

    I disagree. I think it was a smart idea for .CO to open things up, much like .TV and .ME. All three of these registries are years ahead of gTLD counterparts, which will serve them well. I think .CO names will be good long term investments (depending on acquisition cost of course) when/if the general public adopts gTLDs. I happen to have better investments to make with my money today and I don’t like sitting on inventory, so I haven’t invested much in .CO domain names.

  4. Juan Calle is a hypocrite.

    He says “if you’re a cybersquatter, or even a mass speculator, leveraging technology to register thousands of names, please do so in someone else’s backyard.”

    Ah, Mike Mann is a mass speculator who owns and has sold many .co domains for HUGE amounts of money.

    So, Juan, you’re telling Mike Mann to take his business elsewhere?

  5. Just the whole tone and smug look of this Juan Calle and LeDude was enough to make me wince. What a smarmy looking little prick this guy is. For a company that has been pretty savvy about PR, this is a huge mistake, he used really bad judgement posting that video. Outside of speculators, he has lost the support of the whole domain community in one fell swoop.

  6. @ Dean

    There have been plenty of times when people have said something about cybersquatting to me when I tell them what I do, and oftentimes, it’s not the right time or place to rebut them or try to correct them. I don’t think Juan was expecting this comment and I think it would have been inappropriate to correct him and have a discussion given the topic was announcing this news.

    I’ve met Juan several times, and I can tell you he’s an engaging entrepreneur that has built several businesses, and I am sure he is displeased with how this video appears, which is likely why he wrote today’s blog post. Juan and his team have been very supportive of the domain industry and they come from within the domain investment space (team members would call themselves domain investors).

    I also think most of the negative comments come from people who have been outspoken about .CO since its infancy though 🙂 Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I don’t think much has changed after this video.

  7. What percentage of .co is developed, I am guessing not a damn lot. If it wasn’t for speculators he would have gone bust with this investment.

  8. @Ron

    Good point.

    How much did Juan Calle make pre-selling domains to Mike Mann… a speculator who is only reselling .co domains for HUGE profits.

    Juan is showing his true colors, just a PT Barnum carnival barker of the 2010s and there IS a sucker born every minute.

    I am NOT one of them. Never registered a single .co domain and never plan to.

  9. Elliot,
    I admit it was a bit of a cheap shot on my part calling him a smarmy prick without ever engaging with him face to face. I guess what I was trying to say was that in the video he came off as someone completely disingenuous.

  10. Juan is King of a vast vast span of endless Kingdom.

    you all are nothing but dust in the wind

    trying to pick a nugget of gold from the King by making adieu about nothing.

    get my drift,

    shorties.

    In other words don’t trifle over the little things.

    this whole article is actually Elliot’s buyer’s remorse because the story of

    theweb.net upgrading to theweb.Co was so deliciously jealous that he felt he had to write something to dampen the excitement.

    no can do.

    the writing is on the wall now,

    you must upgrade to

    .Co

    to be taken seriously, seriously.

  11. one thing I forgot to mention is

    that as a

    .Co

    owner

    we have a sense of pride.

    Juan, theweb.Co now, and everyone else that owns

    .Co

    knows this.

    Owning a

    .Co

    comes with it a sense of pride, sense of something greater, bigger than just I

    so you cannot discount the power of pride of ownership.

    .Co is current, hip, recent, up-to-date, trending, fashionable, respected worldwide, recognized worldover

    Worldwide, for heaven’s sake, that alone is worth the price of admissions.

    but I do request a life line of sort, I hope there will be some renewal coupons floating out there from time to time, because, god knows I will need them. Stupid stock market has not been kind to me of late.

  12. Mr. Cale@
    So the fact that i bought 1500 co’s (2yrs$90,000) makes me a cybersquatter now.
    The fact that i invested so much in .co,now you are telling me to go piss in some one else’s yard.This is how you honor the people that got you where you are.
    In the first two hrs of .co being public i had 1% of your company.You know that?People like me and others have invested heavily in this extension just to be insulted by your comments on the video and blog…well shame on you.
    well…I got news for you,I’m here to stay.
    Magnum Domains

  13. @ Rich,

    “…So the fact that i bought 1500 co’s (2yrs$90,000) makes me a cybersquatter now….”

    Yeah, it’s terrible that Juan called all domain investors who owned thousands of domain names are….. “Domain Squatters”

    So, you guys are all squatters….that’s official !

  14. It’s very interesting to see all the hatred introduction of .co has awoken in some people. Since I’m new to domaining, was it like that when .tv and .me were introduced?

  15. I don’t want to kick someone when their down but…

    “if you’re a cybersquatter, or even a mass speculator, leveraging technology to register thousands of names, please do so in someone else’s backyard.”

    makes it sound like he doesn’t want our money. Oh well

    And just curious, how many top names did Juan hoard or “speculate” before opening up the registry to the public? And did he hand-reg those names or did he reserve them by leveraging some of his company’s technology?

  16. Calle is one of the biggest “mass speculators” on .co domains there is.

    He kept back hundreds, possibly thousands? of .co domains, they never were released, never went to auction and are now they are sitting with FOR SALE signs on them.

    In fact he has 800 .co domains listed on Sedo with prices ranging from $15,000 to $150,000

    Here’s a small sample of them.

    Thailand.co “This is a .CO Premium Domain Name that is for sale.”

    England.co “This is a .CO Premium Domain Name that is for sale.”

    UnitedKingdom.co “This is a .CO Premium Domain Name that is for sale.”

    Russia.co “This is a .CO Premium Domain Name that is for sale.”

    Spain.co “This is a .CO Premium Domain Name that is for sale.”

    Italy.co

    Cyprus.co

    Ireland.co

    Austria.co

    Latvia.co

    NewYork.co

    Hungary.co

    Greece.co

    NY.co

    NewYork.co

    Egypt.co

    Norway.co

    Sydney.co

    Switzerland.co

    Germany.co

    Berlin.co

    Poland.co

    France.co

    Portugal.co

    Belgium.co

    Jamaica.co

    LosAngeles.co

    Washington.co

    Taiwan.co

    Denmark.co

    Sweden.co

    Rio.co

    Croatia.co

    Liechtenstein.co

    Bolivia.co

    Cancun.co

    Hawaii.co

    Elsalvador.co

    Salvador.co

    Bangalore.co

    Austria.co

    Ukraine.co

    Delhi.co

    Israel.co

    Qatar.co

    Estonia.co

    Capetown.co

    Virginislands.co

    Jamaica.co

    Alexandria.co

    Madagascar.co

    Fiji.co

    EA.co

    IT.co

    BT.co

    BA.co

    FT.co

    LG.co

    KC.co

    MG.co

    XE.co

    MS.co

    EM.co

    KC.co

    TO.co

    PE.co

    WE.co

    XW.co

    JM.co

    KS.co

    RD.co

    BB.co

    NR.co

    AN.co

    AR.co

    OK.co

    EC.co

    PG.co

    AB.co

    DA.co

    DS.co

    CC.co

    TI.co

    TA.co

    XW.co

    DA.co

    DS.co

    CC.co

    TI.co

    TA.co

    XW.co

    V.co

    “But, if you’re a cybersquatter, or even a mass speculator, leveraging technology to register thousands of names, please do so in someone else’s backyard.

    Juan”

    The phrase “The pot calling the kettle black” springs to mind!

  17. It looks like he’s sitting on over 2,700 .CO domains for one reason or another, probably mostly for sale.

    Email Search:
    Premium(AT) cointernet is associated with about 2,711 domains.

  18. I didn’t say it was.

    But he is “mass speculating” much more than most his domainer customers.

    The Registrar has become the domainer/speculator.

    ps) I only bought one but I dropped it after first year, I don’t own any .co’s

  19. Wow, what a hypocrite. Trying to sound cool with his new French chum! I have registered a few .co but will stop now and clear off to someone else’s back yard. BTW .co do not cost $30 – you can easily get them for $9 from godaddy. Snakeoil.co is still available if anyone wants it !

  20. everything Mr. Calle says only helps

    .Co

    owners.

    Yes, I want to be the only one holding 900 .Co domains

    and everyone else holding 1 .Co domain at a time.

    This only helps me and you idiots.

  21. Quality over Quantity

    that is what Mr. Calle stresses.

    This is why I am an advocate of wiping out .com

    entirely in favor of requiring everyone to switch over to

    .Co

    just type in any word.com and 9 out of 10 times you will see garbage after garbage parked sites.

    I bet there are fewer than 5% developed on .com

  22. can you ban robert cline’s IP address from making comments. i’m amazed people still allow him to fill their comment sections with trash.

  23. Robert, you know .com is #1, obviously you made an investment in .co, which cannot be doing all that well, .co is usually a last resort when other major extensions, are not taken, and for sale.

    On another note, POF.com is the largest free dating site online, POF.co is being held by .co registry, other 3L’s were released, why hold back POF? SQUATTING? What possible purpose does Calle have for this 3L, make the .com owner pay him a premium for it?

    Hypocrite

  24. “This is why I am an advocate of wiping out .com

    entirely in favor of requiring everyone to switch over to

    .Co”

    “I do make some good points.”

    LOL, the .colombian flying .piggy has you hook line and sinker.

    Don’t hold your breath on that one Robert !

  25. As far as I am concerned Juan Calle just identified himself as the enemy of domain investors.

    As was said previously, no putting this genie back in the bottle ; He let his true colors show and now we know who he is and where he stands.

    I’ll make sure to trash .co from now on and I never have before. That’s the truth. Attack me, I attack you ….simple as that.

    Don’t put a derogatory label on me Juan.

  26. Arrogance kills business, specially a business with such volatility as the domain business – Calling someone a cybersquatter because he registered 1500+ domains or even 10 domains and seeking profit from it by leveragin it with technology – it is simple stupidity – this business, even before the .co era,is, was and will be still a profitable model, once people realize not to mess around with TM’s – and protected brands – Putting all domainers in the same category as “cybersquatters” is a very dumb statement, there are professionals in the field making a good living with .com’s and happended to register some of the .co’s – and perhaps that is the sticking point .. Maybe the .co pretends to be a no-cybersquatting brand ? – again ..stupidity at its best .. – I think, Mr Calle is the clear example of the inverse ratio, between the size of the brain and the size of the mouth … word to the wise .. you don’t bite the hand that feeds you …..

  27. im glad to read some good things on .co’s..i own a few good brandable .co’s now and others i could buy. there are some great .co’s left on the table, so im going to keep the ones that i have and hope in the years to come they will be a good value.

    im glad to see that godaddy has been pushing the .co’s on their nascar commercial’s , instead of godaddy.com….its godaddy.co.

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