Domain Articles

In depth articles on domains, the domain industry and how investors can get the most from their assets.

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Posted by on in Domain Industry
Namescon - The Week After

So it’s about a week after Namescon and I’m sitting at my desk still feeling a little sorry for myself due to the jetlag. It’s always a mad scramble after returning from a conference.

Conferences are the place where an incredible amount of business is conducted in a very short time. I could be a bit rude and suggest that it’s similar to other activities in life but I think that I just won’t go there.

Escrow.com

My typical Namescon day began at about 7:15am where I woke up with the sun on my face. I always sleep with the curtains wide open to help shove my body into my new time zone. It may sound stupid (my wife thinks it is anyway) but it seems to help me out.

My first meeting is usually for breakfast at around 8am and I end up with a meeting scheduled every hour until 8pm that night. On the last day the time slots typically dwindle down to 30 minutes. So when I say that it’s a hectic pace, it really is.

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Tagged in: namescon
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  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Hey Dietmar! That is so true! Please accept my apologies and feel free to add the event to the domaining events calendar here.

Posted by on in Domain Industry
Namescon - There and Back Again

After the short flight from Vegas, I once again find myself in the Qantas club at LAX dreading the 15 hour flight home. I must admit that I couldn't resist going to qantas.club......it's owned by a domainer. If you happen to be the person that currenly owns the domain then I would highly recommend tha that you get rid of it....but onto Namescon.

In one word, Namescon was brilliant. The entire Namescon team should be congratulated for putting on an event that was incredibly well run. I'm sure that there were a number of mad scrambles behind the scenes but from an attendee and speaker's perspective everything appeared to be calm and controlled.

For example, I had to have a few things changed in the setup of the room for my session and nothing was too much trouble for the support staff.

What really struck me about Namescon was the energy. It was buzzing! I felt like I'd been transported back to 2007 and the heyday of the domain industry. The numbers of deals, buying and selling was incredible. I loved rubbing shoulders with a heap of really smart domain investors who seemed to be inspired with a fresh sense of purpose and excitement.

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  • Melissa Dafni
    Melissa Dafni says #
    Sounds like it was a great show. Really wish I could've been there again this year!

Posted by on in Personal Musings
Namescon - here I come!

This morning started like any other morning other than the fact that I was about to head out to the airport and Namescon. I must admit that I really can't wait to get to see all my friends and meet a whole lot of new people....it should be a breat time!

So what's happened today so far? There was a crash on the freeway so we had a little bit of a delay, I could cope with that. The queue at the check-in was a mile long.....I can manage that. I was directed through to the "hi-speed" line for security....always good but soon discovered that my little blue tray was stolen three times before I could sit my laptop in it.

Immigration was.....how can I say......immigration and now I find myself in my all too familiar seat at the Qantas club in Melbourne. For those of you who have been reading my recent posts....yes, I was at the airport yesterday as well after returning from New Zealand.....you've just got to love flying to live in Australia.

So all I have to do now is assume the foetal position, put on my noise cancelling headphones and pray that the nineteen hours to Vegas somehow mystically ends faster than the clock says it will. I must admit that the best movie on the plane is the picture of the little aircraft traveling to my next destination. If it was through will power alone I think that the A380 would get spurred on by my efforts.

One of the great things about Namescon is that I have the privilege of speaking twice! On Sunday I will be completely unpacking what it means to monetise your domain traffic effectively and the best processes for managing a domain portfolio. There's going to be a HEAP of information and dare I say it but I think that it's going to be pretty rivitting stuff. At the end I plan on having a Q&A so come armed with all of your questions.

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  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    I'll make sure that I do a post-conference article. Cheers!

Posted by on in Domain Industry
Namescon - The Place To Be!

It takes me a lot to journey across the Pacific Ocean and even more when it’s in the middle of my summer in Australia. It just so happens that Namescon ticks both of those boxes but I’m still making the journey….so why would I do that?

The first Namescon really took advantage of a gap between TRAFFIC in October and an overly delayed DomainFest. This opportunity, combined with a fantastic team of industry luminaries has powered Namescon from strength to strength.

To date there are over 800 registrants from all over the world attending this year’s conference. The sessions topics look incredible with speakers who are real experts in their fields sharing their incite and knowledge.

I was kindly invited to speak on a session which will involve building an online business from concept through to a 12 month cashflow and final implementation within 60 minutes! I’ll be inviting a person from the audience to share their business idea and then we’ll build the domain out in front of everyone. It’s going to be fast, furious and a LOT of fun!

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  • Matthew Moran
    Matthew Moran says #
    Looking forward to attending your presentation Michael.
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    It's going to be great to catch up with you again Matt!
Developing a Domain into a Business – The Financial Plan - Part 3

Most people know that the finances of a business are a critical in understanding the performance and sustainability of the enterprise. The problem with reports like the profit and loss and balance sheet is that they are all historical. In order to really understand how a business will perform you need to be able to develop a future projecting cashflow.

A number of years ago I was approached to invest in an online business. I was interested enough to show up to the meeting and hear the founders talk about what the business had been doing. I then asked to view the financial projections moving forward….they looked back at me blankly and asked, “What’s that?”

Developing a cashflows in Excel is a great way to help you really come to grips with what is really driving your business forward. Surprisingly, I’ve found that many business owners don’t actually appreciate the underlying metrics which underpin their businesses performance.

For example, I was looking into a business that after doing some quick analysis I concluded that the more it sold the greater the losses! This was obviously not a good situation! The margins were all wrong, the costs out of control and the business was being funded by client prepayments with no thought of delivery. This business was doomed unless drastic action was taken…..sadly, like 80% of start-ups it eventually failed.

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Tagged in: cashflow
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Personal Musings - What's Special About Christmas to You?

Christmas means many things to different people. For some it's a time of presents, family and holidays while for many others it a time of really feeling the loss of a loved one.

For me, Christmas means many things but tradition would have to be right up there. My family begins the festive season with the getting of the Christmas tree which is celebrated with an American BBQ ribs dinner.....it reminds us all of the great times that our family has spent in the USA.

We attend our churches Carols by Candlelight and normally have an after-party with a lot of our friends. The kids also invite their friends around so the house is normally filled with people.

We typically build a ginger bread house on the 23rd. When the kids were younger, more candy went in their mouths than on the house but not that our eldest is 21 things aren't really that different.

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Tagged in: christmas
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Saturday musings - What's an Australian Christmas?

For those you that don’t know I’m actually from Melbourne, Australia. If you have no idea where that is (and downunder doesn’t count) then find China and go a long way south. If you can’t find China, then look for South America and head west. If you can’t find South America then I give up….!

One of the peculiar aspects of our lovely planet is that it’s tilted at 23.5 degrees and this is what gives us our four seasons. This is very unlike Uranus which is slanted at 97.77 degrees, which means the planet basically has two seasons.

escrow.com

So why am I giving you both an astronomy and geography lesson? It’s really simple, when the northern hemisphere is in the midst of winter, Australia is experiencing summer. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to be having 40 degree days (that’s Celsius). For those of you that have no idea what’s Celsius, Google provides a cool little converter that will allow you to quickly work out that 40 degrees Celsius is 104 Fahrenheit (click here for the calculator). Why anyone would want to use Fahrenheit is still a mystery to me…..but I digress.

Strangely, we still sing “Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh” even though there isn’t any of the white stuff around. Many Australians have actually never seen snow and presume that it’s just a myth. For heaven’s sake, frozen ice falling from the sky in summer! The first thing we would do is scoop it up and chill some beer.

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Tagged in: australia christmas
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  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    I had a lot of fun writing that post.....I hope that people realise that it was a lot tongue in cheek and for just plain good fun!
Taking Traffic Analysis to the Next Level

I have a really simple question to ask you, “Do you really understand your numbers?” For years now many of us have been staring at traffic statistics produced by different parking companies but do we actually understand what they’re telling us?

In this article I’m going to take you through a high level view of an account on ParkLogic (please view this article as a case study) and some of the analysis that we conducted to understand what was going on with the portfolio. Any client identifiable information has been removed.

Escrow.com

The portfolio has over 48,897 domains and has a baseline revenue of $303.33/day over a 30 day period. ParkLogic was producing a revenue line of $287.09/day for the last 7 days or $16.24 less than the baseline. Most people would immediately suggest that we have failed to improve the results……and they would be wrong.

This is where we need to get under the numbers…..

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Developing a Domain Into a Business - Part 2

Raising investment money is often seen as the “holy grail” of many budding entrepreneurs. After all, once you have the investment then the worlds your oyster! This couldn’t be further from the truth.

A number of years ago I had a business partner that was absolutely convinced that our company needed to go and raise some capital. I told him that he could go and try doing that if he wanted to…..and I would just grow the business. In the end he didn’t raise the capital and we still had a successful business.

Escrow.com

I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to raising capital. It’s the old cliché, “When you need capital you can’t get it and when you don’t need capital investors want to throw it at you.”

Let’s imagine you have one of those incredible businesses where you believe an investor would have to be crazy to not invest. A common practice for VC’s at any level is to believe your “conservative” cash flows and then add a ratchet to the shareholders agreement.

So what does this mean?

Tagged in: investment investors
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  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Thank you for your kind comments. I think that anyone that gets involved with a VC or other investor should do so with their eyes
  • Fred Mercaldo
    Fred Mercaldo says #
    Excellent article and advice! Very true.
Saturday Musings - Give When You Can't Get

A few years ago I had the stupidest idea come to me as I stood at the check-out of our local supermarket. The idea was perplexing, somewhat terrifying and definitely made me incredibly nervous. No, I didn’t plan on robbing the store…..I planned on doing something much more adventurous.

I said to the lady in behind me, “I hope that you don’t mind but I’d like to pay for your groceries.”

Escrow.com

I could feel my heart beating like crazy as I said the words but at the same time I felt oddly good about the state of the world.

She thanked me for the offer but said that she’d pay for her own groceries. I smiled and said, “I’ve had a really good year this past year and I really want to share some of that around. Please let me pay for your groceries.”

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Tagged in: give
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  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Kassey, what a great story! I'm sure that the experience you related will be a real highlight for you for the rest of your life. I