NameSilo

Domain Microfinance Program

Labeled as discuss in General Domain Discussion started by Rob Monster, Sep 19, 2019.

Replies:
242
Views:
10,903

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What do you think of the idea of a grant and microfinance program?

  1. Brilliant idea - Go for it!

    52 vote(s)
    42.3%
  2. Good idea but you are in for a tough run

    19 vote(s)
    15.4%
  3. Long shot but it just might work

    22 vote(s)
    17.9%
  4. You are going to lose your butt on this one

    30 vote(s)
    24.4%
Total: 123 vote(s)
  1. HappyW

    HappyW Owner of NamesMaker.com Gold Account

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    I have a bold assumption:If all 8 letter names are registered, we may have an opportunity. Just as all the houses in the world are built, people have to go to the aftermarket.;)
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Lox

    Lox ----- Gold Account VIP

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    Show me the list of participants /domains and before year end I will personally chip in and sponsor renewal for some x amount of domains.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  3. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    @JB Lions , I wouldn't call people who are caught in a desperate situation parasites if they are honest, smart, and productive people who just need a helping hand to change their destiny.

    Rob is in a position that he can set the rules for this program, and once the initial domains are donated it can be designed to be self-sustaining , even those who might not make it as domainers can be helped by the ones who are more talented as a condition to take part in the program, if Rob can help them to become successful, they in return can give a helping hand to lift their friends out of a desperate situation. IMO
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  4. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    2 years old, incomplete MITIONLI.com, archive shows incomplete website redirected in 2018. 2 useless backlinks.
    front page: "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin tristique in tortor et dignissim. Quisque non tempor leo. Maecenas egestas sem elit"

    aarmus.com- there is a reason the HD dropped it. Not only that, an Iranian shipping service in the distant past. 1 existing backlink to chinese 190.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20030612191245/http://aarmus.com/
     
  5. lolwarrior

    lolwarrior Founder, Brands.International VIP

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    I totally agree with this.

    Plus, if you want to really succeed in domaining, you need to be clever and spend lot of time on it, put lot of effort in. This means you need to be able to read, process information correctly, experiment a lot, work efficiently, socialize, learn on your own errors (many errors), and mostly to use your own brain independently, so you are able to recognise what is false narrative (aka bullsh*t) and what is not - extremely important in domaining, where everyone is following their open or hidden interests and lot of the information provided is not factual, or is just half-true.

    It does not really matter whether you are from Switzerland or from emerging country or from country where unemployment level is high - if you have that what I wrote above, you will in time overcame all obstacles. This is not 30 USD question, this is a question of intelligence of a person and effort in parallel.

    No "mentor", support, domain courses, or 30 USD can substitute that. Imo :)
     
  6. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    I appreciate the point around vetting and teaching. I also think these special grant-funded accounts can be designed to perhaps prevent people from buying crap. That topic needs more thought but the premise of vetting and teaching as being critical is 100% valid and duly noted.

    Also, the action has to be directed at selling primarily to end-users. My thesis is that an Indonesian is going to have an easier time convincing a local business owner to buy or lease that .COM that they should own in the first place than some non-Indonesian. That local conversation is part of the larger empowerment thesis.
     
  7. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    And what makes you think that some of those people are not as smart as everyone else here.

    In some places people are just deprived of all opportunities and are stuck in a never ending cycle and just need to be given a chance to get themselves out of poverty.

    I just can't understand why some of the members here who are themselves very well off want to prevent others from receiving any help.
     
  8. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    By the way, this is what happens:

    kenttreeservice.com

    A guy from Nigeria buys this domain for $5.49 and now sets it to flip for $249.

    Personally I would set it to Make Offer and see what comes through the door, but he is content to flip it cheap. I would add some staging graphics with tree-trimming.

    Anyway, I will bet $100 that this domain is sold within a year to an end-user. For the Nigerian registrant, it is fine ROI and a way to bootstrap a portfolio. I think that is awesome.
     
  9. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    @oldtimer is right. Set aside your biases. A lot of these folks are smart, articulate and willing to hustle. Often they are operating in an environment that is not helping them. We could debate the reason. Go visit Gran Canaria and enjoy Las Palmas or venture out. It is a wonderful place. It is dirt cheap. The youth employment there is 40-60% depending on who you ask. Many of these kids are smart, and are not all lazy.

    @franka46
     
  10. JB Lions

    JB Lions Top Member VIP

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    It's because you're not reading/paying attention.

    This isn't a group thing. This isn't a group thing. This isn't a group thing.............

    As far as being smart and all that. Some people in this world are just going to be better than other people at some things. I have issues with heights, I will never be a trapeze artist. Some people are just going to be better at domaining. For those that get it, they would be doing it on their own.

    Again, they wouldn't be involved in this type of group. And pick a number, 10, 50, 500, whatever. Some will rise to the top, that's how it goes. There will be people that will just be there, doing not much of anything, hoping to feast off those that do. That's the definition of parasite.

    As far as poverty, this isn't the thing to get into. High failure rate. Some will never get an offer. It might take years. Stuff we've already gone over to death in this thread. Those in this group that are doing well, will go out on their own. Then group falls apart.

    As what was mentioned already. We have people in this forum from those areas putting in work and making money.

    If somebody is literally broke/in poverty, you don't go investing money you don't really have into something with a high failure rate, where most of the names sold are not in your native language.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  11. lolwarrior

    lolwarrior Founder, Brands.International VIP

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    You have misunderstood me I guess.

    I am totally sure that some of those people are as smart as we are here, and will put as much effort to things as we are putting. And if that is indeed so, those people will not need 30 USD or any other form of help.

    That is all I am saying :)
     
  12. manpreet

    manpreet Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Brilliant idea - Go for it!
     
  13. lolwarrior

    lolwarrior Founder, Brands.International VIP

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    Actually I am in Gran Canaria atm on my regular autumn holidays, and was visiting Las Palmas 2 days ago! I agree, it's a very nice place :)
     
  14. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    What matters here is that Rob who is the one that is going to implement this program already knows that it can help some of the people get a head start in domaining.

    It's not an investment for them as they don't have to pay anything, domains are going to be donated.

    If it doesn't work they haven't lost anything, but if it does help just a few to get out of poverty then Rob has done a good deed that is commendable.

    Now as you mentioned yourself earlier in this thread, perhaps some people are just scared of the extra competition that this program might create for them when it comes to drop catching and finding the good deals, but you have to learn that if you don't take even one step to help others you won't have anything to show as your life's achievements no matter how rich you might get. IMO
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  15. JB Lions

    JB Lions Top Member VIP

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    My recent posts were talking about your idea you made today. If your last paragraph was in my direction, I don't even look at deleting names and I wouldn't consider them competition.

    As far as Rob's idea of grants, nothing is stopping him. I don't think it turns out well, will probably frustrate them because they don't have the skills to pick names.
     
  16. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Good luck with that.

    You would probably have more luck just training a handful of people to do that than giving $30 loans.

    Brad
     
  17. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    There are more than 208 Billion 8 letter combos :)

    Brad
     
  18. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I agree, and some of them aren't and are looking for a shortcut to riches.
    That's why you need proper vetting.

    I don't think $30 is really enough skin in the game to get people to dedicate the time and energy it takes to succeed in this field.

    Brad
     
  19. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Here's a little write up I just did of my thoughts on this idea.

    Fair Warning!

    I'm going to go deep into theory for a bit, then come up for air with an example to hopefully make things real. I'm giving this warning so I don't lose anyone along the way :)

    The Theory

    When your path is unclear and seems neither right nor wrong, logic is useless, inconclusive, meaningless or doesn't exist which means it needs to be reinvented.

    So if your journey or cause is just and good, and everything points to failure, you need to invent something new.

    Create something that will change the rules and flip the normal behavior and thought process so your journey does indeed continue and you'll be taken to where you need to go.

    What is normal can't stay normal, instead normal is thrown out and replaced with a new normal.

    The new normal may use some of the elements of the old, but it needs to be retooled to work under different conditions.

    Set the conditions, create the solution to solve those conditions and make that the new normal.

    Don't let the old way block the new because it will limit what is possible every single time.

    An Example

    The normal idea is for individuals to learn everything and be successful with a limited amount of funds. Seems clearly to be a total failure So...

    Flip this around and instead have them be the gofer for all of us to find buyers of our existing domains. They get a cut of any sales they bring us and we make more with less effort. Seems simple enough right?

    This is the affiliate way applied to domaining or if you prefer, we can say they're mini-brokers, whatever. They help us make sales and we support they're efforts with whatever they need because they're helping us. Well actually we're helping each other.

    Win, Win Next

    P.S. I was an Affiliate Manager for several big players awhile back so I'm fully aware of the issues this brings up.
     
  20. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    @BradWilson and @oldtimer .. the problem is that there is nothing new about this .. most people who try domaining fail. There is nothing about this program that will change that. In fact, the goal is to reach out and help those who are economically challenged .. a worthy objective .. but it's an unfortunate fact the majority of people this program would target are even less likely to succeed because of the UNDENIABLE English language skills needed to have the best chance of succeeding at the domain business. It's also an unfortunate fact that there are other elements to successful domaining that myself, @JB Lions and others have pointed out already, that most such people haven't been exposed to.

    I'm not saying there isn't going to be an exception here or there, someone with enough domain intelligence to overcome such obstacles, but even then the vast majority do not succeed .. so compound 2 extremely challenging factors and you'r left asking what's really the point here? To get people's hope's up only to have 99% of them be disappointed?

    Then .. as impossible as it sounds already, they're limited to 3 ($25.50) or 4 ($34) domains and a one year cut-off. The significantly decreases the chances even more.


    It's a really nice idea in theory, but in the end when you look at the undeniable challenges and obstacles involved, the math unfortunately isn't even close .. like truly not even close to being close.

    I'm not saying that there won't be a couple who could succeed, but there's no denying the mountains of others who wouldn't.


    If you want to have something like this succeed, then you have to attack the numbers. Solid domain education is very important. I suppose where something like this could work is for people EXITING @Michael Cyger's DNAcademy course. Like upon completion of the course, Michael could give them a code to use at Epik that would set up a special account with the $30 bursary and other restrictions ($30 needs to be paid back if profits are made .. which in itself it's not an easy thing to set up). That being said, graduating from DNAcademy only (vastly) increases your chances of succeeding in domaining, it does not guarantee it, and more importantly it obviously is limited to teaching you the technical skills, there are still language, cultural and business skills that someone needs in tandem with such domaining skills.

    Plus there's the obvious fact that people (rightfully) need to pay for DNAcademy. It's not a little trivial program. So for most people who have invested in their domain education by paying for the course AND investing their personal time in passing the course .. ultimately for them the $30 isn't really an issue.

    I'm sure @Rob Monster could talk to @Michael Cyger about getting some sort of wholesale rate for such a program, but in the end, if people don't have to pay something, they are going to have less motivation, which ultimately would not be fair to Michael as people with less motivation are usually significantly more challenging to teach (again, I'm NOT saying there will not be some individuals who absolutely shine, I'm looking at the numbers and averages in order to calculate the overall math of the feasibility of such a program).


    In the end the smart money would be to limit any such funds to DNAcademy "scholarships".

    For example, let's say Rob or someone he trusts finds a great motivated candidate .. and let's say Michael is willing to drop the price of DNAcademy to $200 (I'm simply assuming this because the price is $246 and there is an affiliate program, so remove what could have been paid in affiliate fees and you get to about $200). Then perhaps the candidate puts in $50 or $100 (whatever would be significant but not crippling in that person's country), and Rob/Epik puts in the rest at Epik's risk based on their candidate screening process.

    From there, upon completion of the course Epik would set up their account with the initial amount the candidate paid ($30 or $100), leaving them with a total of $200 that was granted to them at two-stages at effectively no risk. So ultimately in theory they would owe the program $200, but obviously if they don't sell any domains and run out of funds, then because it was a grant, they aren't on the hook for anything.

    I'm sceptical the numbers could work for that, and there are still the VERY significant non-technical knowledge required to succeed in domaining, but doing it that way would vastly increase the odds of success from "virtually impossible" to "not very likely".


    I suppose to increase odds even more there could be a mentoring program with Epik staff who have also proven to be particularly skilled AND profitable domainers. Effectively an extra filter of (REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE) to approve/disapprove the very few possible domain acquisitions anyone could make with such limited funding. Because of such a low number of potential acquisitions, it wouldn't be unreasonable to have the candidates submit a bit of pre-research on potential buyers for the domain or why they see value in it. The more information the screeners have to judge, the better the odds as the filtration process would be even more optimised.


    Ultimately it's still a challenge, and in order for it to be self-fulfilling, ultimately the successful candidates to to generate Epik enough PROFIT to pay for the people who didn't complete the course and those who very likely never end up selling one of the VERY few domains they acquired (remember there isn't much profit on $8.49 registrations .. although that could be made up significantly at the end with $9+ closeouts IF the domains are good enough).


    *IF* the pre-screening was an aggressive filtration to see who was truly bright/promissing
    *AND*
    the candidates made the effort to pass a serious and complete course like DNAcademy
    *AND*
    there was a good and easy structured system back at Epik ...

    Then I wouldn't be against donating a bit of time to approve/disapprove acquisition requests by the candidates if it was truly helping someone from a less prosperous corner of the world. In fact, I think if the resulting candidates really made it through all of the above, then I think you'd get a few people like me who could donate what would ultimately likely only be a few minutes a week.


    But it's very important to note .. that even after doing everything I've mentioned, you've still only significantly increased the chances of success ... but increased from virtually zero to a number that ultimately I still don't think would justify all of the above. How the initial screening/filtration process is done and who actually qualifies is obviously the biggest variable. The ideal candidates would be people already at NamePros showing interest and asking the right questions ... but if they are showing interest and asking the right questions, it's still impossible to know what their financial situation is like, so finding the ideal candidates is in itself a huge obstacle.
     
  21. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    @Ategy.com did you even read my post? Maybe I lost you in the theory? :)

    If you did I'm surprised you included me in your reply because I'm not saying you're wrong at all but I'm also not saying you're right.

    What I am saying is to rethink things and do it differently than the normal way. Make this a win-win.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  22. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    lol .. my bad .. I started my ramble with the intention of commenting on the below .. but ended up rambling too long and forgot .. it's more than 40 minutes so I can't edit .. but the problem with this is the potential (aka strong likelihood) for spam. I've seen people offer/ask for such services a few times, not sure what the results were (kinda curious now actually).

    The biggest problem, is that most domains these days (non-geo brandables) aren't really the best candidates for refined outbound .. and there most certainly is also the UDRP/TM risks of targeting companies with too exact a match.

    But taking a step back and re-reading your post, what you're talking about I suppose could be part of the process I mentioned, where after graduation from DNA, but before receiving funds at Epik, mentors give them a domain or two to outbound. A system would need to be set up so that the mentor could view the communications, but yes, ultimately that could indeed even encourage mentors to participate and donate their time .. and give the prospects added knowledge of what sells and how.

    But on it's own, unless integrated into a supervisable system, there's too much risk of spam or other problems when someone doesn't have equity in an asset they are trying to sell. Not so much with existing experienced, knowledgeable domainers, but certainly with newcomers.

    There's also the risk of burning bridges of your best potential buyers for a domain if the initial emails and communications aren't professional in nature.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  23. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    @Rob Monster ... you really need to be careful with this .. what you described with aarmus.com and potentially some of the others, is a very clear case of trademark infringement.

    If you are targeting the exact name of an existing company (particularly those with unique and made up names) then that become bad faith registration under a UDRP.

    Obviously a company would be more inclined to pay $250 to get their exact match .com rather than 10x that for a UDRP .. but ultimately it's still both wrong and illegal.

    That's why a good, deep and thorough domain education is key before anyone ever start .. PARTICULARLY if it's a program sponsored by you/Epik .. because you specifically have the liability (at least in the public eye if not legally) of being accused of harbouring trademark infringement.

    Trademark rights are a very complex element to domaining. Most regular domainers don't understand everything, and that issue can be particularly complicated and amplified by someone new to the industry who doesn't have a strong command of English or of what is or isn't trademark infraction.

    One of my larger sales this year is a domain that most domainers would have labelled as TM infringement, but actually wasn't because there were multiple organisations with the same basic name, but all using their specific geos as part of their names (You actually know about that one because I tried to get it done though Epik, but ultimately they insisted on Escrow.com).

    What's worse is that TM's aren't even black/white .. sometimes what applies to one domain doesn't to another .. in the end this is a huge concern .. particularly if someone can only register 3-4 domains, they're obviously going to want to target domains with clear existing end users ... which depending on the domain could be 100% safe and you'll have a grateful buyer .. but there's also a very good chance of someone getting a domain like aarmus.com .. which is indeed would clearly be a bad faith registration in the eyes of a UDRP panellist.


    I really see your good intentions in trying to help people .. but again ... I think you're asking for a lot more trouble than you realise.
     
  24. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Because I doubt this program will be complete in the next 10 days .. lol, let's base ourselves on the standard $8.49 registration. At $249, they need to sell 3.5% of their portfolio of such names a year just to break even.

    This is essentially where the problem lies. Offering a even-odds $100 bet implies you're giving the domain more than a 50% chance of selling in a year. But the fact is that, domains like this don't sell at anything close to a 3.5% rate. I'd say even a 0.35% chance is extremely generous for something as specific (and really not good at all) as KentTreeService.com (unless there is an existing exact, which again, would theoretically be TM infringement). So ultimately your math on this is off by a factor of 150x .. and probably more.


    Yes domains like KentTreeService sometimes do get lucky and sell .. but for every such domains that sells, there are hundreds and even thousands that don't .. that's why the math is strongly working against such a program.

    Some of the math can be compensated for by many of the things I'm mentioned above .. specifically great and targeted outbound on non-TM-infringing domains can indeed put a big dent in the odds .. but we're still talking huge odds .. and if you're thinking domains like KentTreeService and aarmus .. then most definitely the numbers are not there in a way that this could be done in a TM respecting way.


    All that negativity aside .. I do hope you find a way to make this work for the most deserving and in need of help getting off the ground .. hopefully some of what I said above will help you get towards something that has a better chance of working ... but again .. you need to be very careful .. ultimately it will look bad on Epik if there are too many cases of outbound to TM holders.
     
  25. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    @Ategy.com everything you've brought up is a valid concern and that's why this needs a different plan.

    I'm going to give just one idea, there can and will be many others.

    How about the NP community submit domains that match a certain niche to Epik for review.

    These domains will need to have been vetted by each member to make sure there isn't an obvious TM issue, that it has good potential and matches the current target audience.

    Epik reviews all domains and filters them for final approval.

    The list of domains is put into an auction or other type of special promotional page.

    An affiliate link to the landing page for this promotion is given to each person or promoter. They go out and find business owners in their community and let them know about this page so they can get help building their business.

    The risk of spam and yes that's always a big concern with affiliate marketing, is greatly reduced because each member will be promoting the page locally and visiting the businesses personally with flyers or just sharing the info directly with each business owner. Maybe they can have a special local business day or event and put on a seminar that includes other tools created by Epik and those who understand business building.

    The promoters will in short be bringing in leads for us and the landing page will close the deal.

    Because the promoter sends the business owner to the landing page with their affiliate link they will earn a cut when the business owner buys the package which includes the domain and any extra bonuses that are included.

    The bonuses are in addition to the domain they purchase and could be online training to help the business owner with any needs they require that will help them build their business and be more successful.

    How about hosting and web design? Marketing info and any suppliers that give discounts? The list of additional products and services is almost endless :) Each of them is a way for the promoter and us to make more money.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019

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