I was looking in my trackbacks today and saw a trackback from a blog to my post “.Mobi Meltdown” where I linked to another blogger with whom I agreed about .mobi names at the TRAFFIC auction. I was going to respond in the comment section of that person’s blog, but I ended up writing quite a bit and figured I would give my thoughts more exposure rather than burying them at the bottom of someone else’s blog.
“I must reiterate that I find it disenchanting and absolutely remarkable how so many credible, domain industry veteran investors appear to still be missing the mark when it comes to understanding these fascinating domain extensions. Instead of exploring the many possibilities and communities that are building up around these unique extensions, they continue their relentless attacks.”
First off, I disagree that I have been a source of “relentless attacks.” Before last week when I asked “Is There Money in .Mobi Development,” (which only received one affirmative response with hundreds of page views) the last time I even mentioned anything about .mobi was a February 7th post where I was commenting on someone else’s post about the trouble facing .mobi in getting consumers to recognize and adopt the extension. Prior to that, my last mention was way back in December – a lifetime in this business. If this is considered relentless, that’s pretty weak.
Aside from this inaccuracy, I must ask one important question. Why would I care about .mobi or .any other extension when I can do the same shit with my .com names? If I believe many mobile users are navigating to my websites, I can make sure the mobile browser is detected to give the visitor an optimal experience. Whether I own the .mobi or not, my websites can be mobile-ready, just like thousands of other large companies who may not have even heard of .mobi (or own their .mobi names for protective purposes).
I don’t have the time or bandwidth to develop more than a few domain names at a time. Why would I want to mess around with an unproven extension when I can stick to .com? I am sure there are plenty of people who have plenty of time to experiment and try to earn a return on their investment, but I don’t have the time or the desire to become a .mobi missionary.
At this moment, I don’t envy people who paid mid 5 figures recently for .mobi names to see the 13 “premium” names sell for no more than $18k at last week’s TRAFFIC auction. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, people like Rick Schwartz can afford to take a $200,000 gamble on a .mobi or .whatever domain name. If he hits paydirt in 5 years, people will still probably be jerkoffs to him, but it is his prerogative. I don’t see a very active market for .eu domain names, and I am not familiar with too many that are developed, although there were many people who spent thousands of dollars on those names.
When I buy a domain name for development, I make sure the name is as liquid as possible in the event things don’t work out. If I wanted to sell Lowell.com, Burbank.com (currently under development), WeddingEntertainment.com or a few other names I own, I could make a profit because I bought them for fair prices. If I paid $25k for a non-“premium” .mobi name, I wouldn’t be happy at this moment knowing what these recent “premium” names did. That was the point of my last post.
Sure, maybe 5 years from now some alternate extension domain owners will hit paydirt. IMO, it would have been smarter to invest in more liquid domains in the .com extension either for development or to flip. Are condo investors in Vegas or Miami happy when they see much lower comps on similar condos that they own? Are they willing to wait out the market? Some are, but many are just trying to not lose their shirts when they sell rather than waiting out the market.
Sure, maybe I am “missing the mark,” but I think we are aiming for different things.