NameSilo

Domain Microfinance Program

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

Replies:
242
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11,087

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

  1. Brilliant idea - Go for it!

    53 vote(s)
    42.7%
  2. Good idea but you are in for a tough run

    19 vote(s)
    15.3%
  3. Long shot but it just might work

    22 vote(s)
    17.7%
  4. You are going to lose your butt on this one

    30 vote(s)
    24.2%
Total: 124 vote(s)
  1. oldtimer

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

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    @Ategy.com , your comments about this program are fair and balanced and all your concerns are valid, but I don't think that anything is set in concrete at this point as far as the $30 grant, or the exact method of implementing this program. There are a lot of smart people in this forum and as challenging as this program might be, but with a little brainstorming on their behalf to help @Rob Monster perhaps the odds of success for this program can be increased. You yourself already provide a valuable service to domainers by the weekly drop list and advice that you give to them, we need a few more people like you who don't mind helping others to come together and help make this work. Also we need to think about how to make the program self sustaining both financially and as far as the few smarter participants who might get ahead early to supervise and help others in the program.

    @BradWilson , you are on the right track as far as coming up with new ideas, I remember you mentioning in another thread that domaining has helped you get back on your feet after being injured in an accident in ways that go beyond just making money, so this program is about reaching out and giving a helping hand to some honest, smart, and productive people who might be locked in a desperate situation with no way out and to prove that there are still some superheroes in this World and that the domain Industry is not made up only of people who just think of themselves.

    IMO
     
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  2. Rob Monster

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

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    I looked into setting up an office there for a company. The Spanish government was going to massively subsidize the salaries of youth new-hires. They did not exactly follow through but the point is that the Spanish government and the EU is working hard to contain a youth revolt through all kinds of subsidies and incentives. As a result, yes, Las Palmas is very lovely. There is an impressive think tank group there called "Casa Africa". If you ever need to do an event involving African dignitaries, they have a great venue.
     
  3. Rob Monster

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

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    Brad - as mentioned prior, the $30 was just a lower limit. I won't call it a "Booby prize", or a "participation trophy" but if someone is not a fraud, and not an idiot, I don't see an issue with giving them $30 if they sincerely worked at learning about domains, appear to have to integrity, and have some record of diligence. The average grant could end up being much higher. It is more of a function of being able to use a finite at-risk budget to inspire an already nascent domainer community like say Nigeria or Indonesia to graduate into a global contender as India is becoming assuming they can keep the fraudsters in check.
     
  4. Rob Monster

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

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    Thanks for all the input on @Ategy.com. I need more time to adequately parse your input and respond thoughtfully. You do bring the analysis!

    I would add just a bit of context. About 12 years ago, after leaving the company called GMI that I had spent 7 years growing 100+% per year, I set up a LinkedIn profile. It is here:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/enlightenedcapitalist/

    The user handle was "Enlightened Capitalist". The thesis at the time was that it should be possible to do well, by doing good, and to do good by doing well. It was admittedly a bit idealistic.

    Since then, as you know, I have gone down many rabbit holes and have a deeper understanding of how the world really works, as opposed to how it purports to work.

    In other words, fast forward 12 year, there is an overlay of RealPolitik and also a very large overlay of Biblically-inspired faith. I think you know what I mean.

    Now, in the context of digital empowerment and economic development, Epik is in fact engaging in a marketing strategy. Emerging markets are going to be an overwhelming focus. I believe it will work.

    So, why speak openly about it?

    1. I hope more domain investors are inspired to take an interest in the lives of Nigerian domainers like Adegbite and Mandu, who could use the money, rather than be too impressed with Bar Rafaeli and Danica Patrick, who clearly did not need the money or the attention.

    2. I hope more companies will recognize economic development and digital empowerment can be a growth engine for their businesses. I think Epik can lift up the lives of about 1 million people in the next 5 years, directly and indirectly. Unfortunately it is a drop in the bucket. So, we need replicable formulas.

    So, the broader question for the domain investment community is what methods and strategies can be employed to create, validate and scale, win-win strategies that put assets into the hands of citizens of developing economies that make the pie bigger for everyone?

    As for the example of that one domain, it is just an example to demonstrate domain selection. I think he is underpricing it for a retail buyer and should instead do Make Offer pricing and push for a price point that reflects value, e.g. the margin contribution of 5 new client jobs that would have been missed if the person did not own that domain name when they logically should have owned it if money was no object.

    I think an important challenge for developing economy domain speculators and investors will be to promote a mindset that developed economy business owners and individuals, are not just rich saps to be fleeced and exploited. There has to be a cultural mentality of win-win, and a desire to promote economic cooperation and cultural understanding through win-win commerce.
     
  5. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    "Would you like to be a domainer? (Yes/No)"






    Just kidding...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. oldtimer

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

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    I wonder if any of the Elites in the domain Industry are willing to donate any domains or time and resources toward this cause.
     
  7. Rob Monster

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

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    Good start -- keep 'em coming!

    Here is my initial input for the intake questionnaire in terms of questions with form validation:



    Introduction

    The domain industry is an exciting part of the digital economy. At Epik, we are excited to introduce more people to the various ways to learn how to become a successful domain investor. If you are accepted into this Digital Empowerment program, we'll even help you get started with a grant. Once you have had some initial success, we will be pleased to extend the possibility of securing an interest-free domain loan for investing in .COM domains, the leading domain registry of the world.



    Page 1


    Email address

    Name


    Country

    Birth date

    Twitter handle: <field validate>

    LinkedIn handle: <field validate>

    Facebook handle: <field validate>


    Page 2


    How long have you been investing in domains? <1 to 10+ years>

    How many domains do you own currently? <number up to 100,000>

    Have you ever sold a domain name? <drop down from 0 to 10+>

    Page 3


    How large a grant are you seeking? <number up to $5000>

    If you were to become wildly successful as a domain investor, what would you do with your wealth? <textbox>


    Page 4


    Are there any additional comments you wish to add about why you believe you can be effective as a domain investor? <textbox>


    Run automated eligibility script to detect if eligible:

    - MaxMind check
    - Speed check to detect implausibly fast completion time


    Page 5

    If not eligible:

    Thank you for application. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept your application at this time.

    If eligible:

    The last step is to complete Identity Validation. Please look in your email for instructions.



    ###

     
  8. SuperBrander

    SuperBrander Top Member VIP

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    I too think that DNAcademy should be the way to do this, rather than give people money (unless the money is the second part of the process). People who don't speak/read English well mostly suck at domaining. One look at the % of horrendous domains listed in the 'Buy Domains' section is evidence to that. So many domains demonstrating terrible grammar, zero understanding of what's considered commercial etc. If Epik would finance DNAcademy for people in order to give them a shot in life, that would really be the equivalent of teaching a hungry man how to fish instead of giving him a fish. Once a person's commitment and knowledge are established (with a test or using some other method), then Epik could give people some money to experiment with. Without an initial training period, it would just be money down the drain 99.99% of the time, IMO. Even after DNAcademy, most people will likely fail
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  9. Kassey Lee

    Kassey Lee 域名世界 VIP

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    Well said. I do it regularly and it adds meaning and fun to domain investing. I often find domains at the garbage dumps that I don't need but are perfect match for a church, a club, etc, I just send them a LinkedIn message to let them know. My latest one is the name of an American actress (not big name).

    Do some investors simply drop their expiring domains instead of selling them on NP for xx when considering the time and effort involved? I do. If there is a way to easily push the domains to Epik, then we can donate unwanted expiring domains to Epik whose team can select those with potential.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  10. Blitzpotz

    Blitzpotz Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    When this thread opened I voted losing your butt in an impulse thinking of Epik and Rob. What are they able to add to their working days?

    Widening the horizon such a program is without alternative if you think beyond domains but think of development aid. In Europe we read daily reports about African refugees - Rob initially spoke about African entrepreneurs - who are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe. These guys migrate because they don´t see a chance to exist humanely in their homeland, of infinite reasons.

    Every additional chance for these people in the Third World to survive in their homeland is absolutely to support.
     
  11. Rob Monster

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

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    Digital Empowerment is the most cost effective economic development engine I can imagine. I think helping folks to buy and sell domains is a fine starting point, but ultimately it extends to the full stack of tools that these folks will need to compete in the Digital Age. I believe Epik can help there but I have no illusions of grandeur there. There are many people doing amazing things these days. We all can do our part.

    As for my work capacity, no worries there, I am keeping up fine. I lived in Europe for 5 years so I do get that it is hard to imagine that people can get this much done and still have fun doing it. Trust me, I am having a blast, have high energy, and a clear mind. There is a theme and connecting thread to these projects. It may not be obvious yet, but let's see how it unfolds.
     
  12. Rob Monster

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

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    Domains are a great way to make new friends. Celeb domains are a good example and worth owning just for that reason, even if you make nothing. I had an inquiry today for DonCheadle.com from a guy who claims to be Don Cheadle the actor. If so, great. Let's see if he calls.

    A for donating domains, it is a great question. I think that is where a non-profit needs to be set up to basically allow folks to paste in a list of domains with auth codes, and get a valuation on the domains that are taken, and then it generates a valid non-profit tax receipt. We need a non-profit lawyer for that one.
     
  13. Blitzpotz

    Blitzpotz Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I would take part with my expiring names listed in my signature, adding. I don´t list these just to earn 10 or 15 or 25 bucks when members discover names with value for them. It´s a community thing and makes me feel better if a name doesn´t drop into Nirvana but in a member´s name bucket. However, I am aware that the big majority of expiring names of a faithful domain collector like me is worthless.

    For newbies in a Domain Name Development Aid Project there should be a filter deleting the real crap from such donation lists. The aim should should be to enable new namepreneurs in the Third World starting with a quite good domain as their seed capital.
     
  14. oldtimer

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

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    Rob how many people are you considering to help with these grants, it might add up to be a huge sum if there are 100 or more participants in the program. But if you gave them access to a pool of donated domains that have been refined by you to make sure that they have potential for resale then it would be in effect the end-users who are going to provide the grants once they buy a domain and there wouldn't be any financial burden on you and that can also make the program more self sustaining so that it can continue longer.

    Also as far as asking what they are going to do if they became successful perhaps you should ask for a pledge as to how they are going to empower others in their community with their new found knowledge and wealth. IMO

    PS: people should not donate their worse expiring domains that have no potential for resale, they should donate domains that can give the participants a reasonable chance for making a sale (and it doesn't hurt to renew them before donating them either), if everyone donates just 5 domains that have good potentials it's probably better than sending hundreds of domains that you didn't want to renew and that might be worthless.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  15. Rob Monster

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

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    Well, I took @Blitzpotz on his offer. I went to buy one of his domains, but he donated it instead. More here:

    https://www.namepros.com/threads/fi...r-less-per-domain.1151475/page-2#post-7403766

    Also, my friend Nathan Schneider reached out. He is connecting me to an attorney that specializes in coops and non-profits. We'll see if we can get a proper entity in place for tax-deductible donations of domains.
     
  16. bmugford

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

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    Squatting on celebrity domains = great way to make new friends.

    That is some awful advice, especially from someone who operates a registrar.

    Brad
     
  17. Rob Monster

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

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    Domain Stewardship is not the same as Domain Squatting. Case closed.
     
  18. bmugford

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

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    Cool. Good luck with that pathetic defense when it comes to a UDRP or lawsuit.

    I can't believe someone who wants to be taken seriously in this field is endorsing squatting on celebrity domains.

    Brad
     
  19. Rob Monster

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

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    With me, it never comes to that. Why? Because I would hand over the domain. I have met some nice people in Hollywood simply by connecting the dots. And, by the way, you are off topic. Start your own thread.
     
  20. bmugford

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

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    I am off topic by responding to a comment you made in this thread...Sure.

    Brad
     
  21. Rob Monster

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

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    Ok, you win, let's go there.

    If some guy in Nigeria picks up a .COM that is the name Balewa.com, which happens to be the last name of the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, is he squatting? I say no. Could he do someone a solid by handing over the domain to the PM and perhaps scoring a meeting. I say yes, very possibly.

    How about the Nigerian singer, who calls himself Davido? 145 million views on this one:



    You have a problem with a Nigerian guy picking up the domain name Davido.com? I don't.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  22. bmugford

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

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    The example you gave, Don Cheadle is clear squatting IMO. He is a well known actor, that you are clearly aware of, with an obscure name. The domain only exists because of that actor.

    From the website HowManyOfMe.com -
    There is 1 person with the name Don Cheadle in the U.S.A.

    I can't see any legitimate defense to owning a domain like that.

    You would have more of an argument if the name was not so obscure and shared by thousands of people like Bill Smith or something similar.

    As far as other examples. They would need to be looked at on their own merits.

    I am pretty sure Davido.com or DavidO.com would have been registered for many years with our without a Nigerian singer. There are clearly almost endless end users for a domain like that compared to DonCheadle.com.

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  23. Rob Monster

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

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    If Don Cheadle himself shows up, the domain is his for free. Hasn't happened yet.

    By the way, that is a very nice tool:

    http://howmanyofme.com/

    Dropcatchers like @Gube should take note of this tool.

    Unfortunately it only seems to work for the US. I am surprised there are only 122 Monsters in the USA....

    upload_2019-9-20_17-31-19.png
     
  24. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    Seriously love this. Thank you. I didnt know it existed
    On a side note, Rob, This is my favorite project.
    Sorry, TrustRatings. :) More Looking forward to this
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  25. oldtimer

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

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    Rob, as far as teaching and training goes, you yourself can write a crash course on domaining (with some help and input from the more experienced members here) to get the participants started on the right track, remember that they don't all have to become experts on day one just teach them the basics and give them a little time to learn the rest, as we all know somethings they can only learn once they start to interact with other domainers here and only after they have done a few sales on their own. Perhaps NamePros can make a special section for this project so that participants can ask questions and interact with some volunteer experienced domainers. As some of the more talented participants become more experienced you can use them to supervise and guide the rest. As I have mentioned before it's very important to make the program as self sustainable as possible both as far as education, finances, and supervision so that way the program can continue indefinitely as new participants join in in the future.

    As far as vetting the applicants goes, as already mentioned you want to give first priority to honest, smart, motivated, and productive people who have a better chance of succeeding so that way they can help lift others out of poverty in their community, but as a devout Christian as you are lets not forget to also give a second chance to those who might have been caught in a bad situation due to the circumstances and the environment that they had to grow up in, so also give a chance to those who are willing to repent and help them make a fresh start in their life.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019

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