NameSilo

Domain Microfinance Program

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

Replies:
242
Views:
11,096

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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. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    I wish I was wrong .. or that it was more opinion than legal fact, but if you're targeting domains of people's name plus their business class, and then you turn around and outbound to them .. then almost without exception all 3 requirements of a UDRP are fairly clear:

    1- They have rights to that mark
    2- You do not have rights to that mark
    3- The domain was registered in bad faith

    There *might* be a rare exception like if the name was also a generic word and the business was very popular, like maybe "Green Cleaning" for example, but even then .. if you are outbounding the domain to them, and they are using their name to represent themselves in that business in any way, then I don't see how a UDRP panellist doesn't check all three checkmarks in bold?

    @jberryhill seems to be following this thread, so maybe you'll trust his interpretation a bit more, but to me it's a pretty easy UDRP decision at least 99% of the time, and most certainly in the case of something so specific like "DlaminiUsedTires.com".

    I won't go so far as to say it's fact that such a domain could still be considered to have been registered in bad faith if it wasn't marketed via outbound .. in that case it's more my strong opinion that it would be ... but if you're outbounding that domain, then it's crossed over into fact.


    Everything you've said is true except that the number of people who have tried and failed to achieve profitability number in the hundreds of thousands .. and quite possibly low 7 figures if you go by NamePros membership count alone (while there most definitely are fake and duplicate accounts, there are also probably countless people who tried domaining who never registered at NamePros .. as tragic as that sounds .. lol).

    Or if you prefer .. look at the NamePros meet and greet section ... of the ~1200 who have posted there, how many do you honestly think are successful and making a profit in less than a year? I think it would be extremely generous to say 2 per page .. which would equate to an extremely generous 8% (even if it's realistically far less than that) .. then take a step back and realise that those are the most confident 0.1% of registered members who put themselves out there and said hello to strangers (an important part of sale). Most definitely there are those who are very confident who just couldn't be bothered to introduce themselves .. but let's assume that for every one person who introduced themselves there are actually 10 others who are also confident to do some outbound outreach but simply didn't bother say hello ... then we're still talking about 1% of 8% = 0.08%!

    These are numbers based on observable metrics ... aka facts. I wish I was wrong .. or that it was more my opinion than fact .. but you simply cannot deny the numbers .. saying there are fewer than 6 figures worth of people who have tried domaining and did not succeed is just not being honest with reality.

    Then you also need to ask yourself .. even if you do choose to completely ignore reality and think I'm off by a factor .. of those 1500 how many were actually profitable in their first year? Before their first wave of renewals hit? It's at this point where you likely lose yet another factor of 10 in the other direction!

    If the natural failure rate of something is 99% (and likely far more), AND you are introducing elements into the equation to make success even more challenging, then I just don't see how you can't see this as giving false hopes?

    YES .. most definitely there are things that can be done to put a dent in the odds .. such as a good course.

    But again what you're conveniently forgetting is that there are so many more aspects needed to succeed in domaining that are beyond the scope of a technical domain course .. marketing .. linguistics .. phonetics .. and a strong gut feeling for business ideas and concepts .. it's not a short list .. and overlooking any such element is inviting failure .. and just giving someone a crash course in the basic technical elements of domaining is not going to make a strong enough dent in the math and numbers to turn this into so sort of miracle.

    Then on top of all of that you putting them in markets where the profit margins and actual demand are significantly smaller than average ... again .. putting another factor of 10 in the opposite direction.

    It's all facts and math .. everything I've said are unfortunately not my opinions .. they are observable and measurable realities of the real world.


    Again ... there most definitely could be people who succeed .. and the rate could go up significantly if there is an excessively heavy filtration process that weeds out 99+% of the candidates to focus on those who score extremely high in all the other non-technical domainer qualities needed to be good at domaining .. but that has not been mentioned in any way so far .. and if anything would go against the spirit of what's being tried to be done here.


    Anyhow .. I hope I'm proven wrong ... or that the program ends up being significantly different than the way I understand it to be right now. Again .. I'm not saying it's not a good thing to want to help others in need .. I'm just saying that there are significantly better ways to do so (specifically direct funding to third-world education)
     
    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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    At least, this program will help in breaking embedded (poverty) mental model and it can affect every aspect of life because it leads to action to set you free from the “framed” picture.

    Domain Industry Culture, behaviors, a good habits ... need to be lifted up.

    Whatever you think of @Rob Monster ... he was smashed w t kitchen sink many times and this wording forces didn’t stop him in shaping an organizational culture that leads to adaptation of the new image “domainer as a salesman, investor, .. “ instead of being flagged s.a notorious name- squatter.

    This aftermarket and industry in general has to change! Take a chance and support the movement instead of flirting with the sharks, front runners, shillmasters, fraudulently influenced minds. I can poke at 1000’s of bad actors ... this doesn’t help. A few people in this muddy waters worked hard to bring the light and culture s.a. Rick, Ron, Andrew, NP management, ... pick your favs, but Rob deserve to be included as one of. Period.

    Act vs Blab

    Regards
     
  3. Rob Monster

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

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    Quick update.

    We also are acquiring Sean Stafford's Domain Graduate program:

    http://domaingraduate.com/

    Sean is an industry veteran with great experience. He will consult for Epik to help develop the integrated digital curriculum. We worked out the deal this morning.
     
  4. oldtimer

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

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    As I have repeatedly said you (and many other people here) are making some very good points to watch for that will surely help @Rob Monster adjust and refine this program as it evolves and is developed further (hence the fact that Rob created this thread to hear all opinions) so there is no problem with you giving your opinion about this project as long as you don't go out of your way to try to convince everyone to do as you want based on what is in effect only your personal view of this program and the domain Industry at large.

    For a minute forget about all the numbers and all the facts and try to think of domains and domaining as an EXCUSE to try to engage this people and to try to create some interactions and friendships with them to give them hope that at least a few people on the other side of the World are thinking about them and who care about their constant struggles in life just to survive. Rob is in the domain Industry and as such domain related projects are perhaps the only way that he has available to him to try to help, if he was a famous painter and owned an art gallery he might have then tried to teach people how to paint and sell theirs (or other people's) paintings or to market painting supply packages.

    Considering all the factors since this is the only way that Rob and the other domainers have available to them to try to give a helping hand to the disadvantaged (other than just handing out cash) then perhaps we should not focus so much on chances of failure (as we all know it's great) and focus on helping Rob by engaging the participants when they come to the forum and try to give them some additional help and guidance. The friendships that are established and the communication and sales skills that the participants can gain through this program makes this a worthwhile project even if they fail at selling even one domain. IMO
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  5. Rob Monster

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

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    1000 Thanks.

    We are co-creating technology, onboarding amazing staff, partners and vendors. We are making the pie bigger, and using time, talent and treasure without paying attention to who gets fame or fortune.

    This is the most fun I have ever had in my life, and I am so tremendously thankful for the input and critique. I apologize to @Ategy.com for not being able to keep up with his analyses and reply thoughtfully.

    Blessings to all for an awesome week!
     
  6. otismo

    otismo Established Member

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    My response to this Thread is :

    One Good Turn Deserves Another,

    So I have just put EPIK on FAV.net :

    http://epic.onfav.net

    ( as a side note, I have just deleted 90% of my pie. subdomains... )
     
  7. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Pretty impressive Epik just got into the Domain Education space just like that with this purchase, and the purchase of NameBrokers.com, things move quickly.
     
  8. jberryhill

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

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    You don't want any direct legal exposure in Switzerland as long as you are going to have this on your site:

    [​IMG]

    The Swiss government would have at least two, if not three (if you count use of the word "bank"), issues with that.

    https://www.rentschpartner.ch/en/trademark-law/swissness/amendment-of-the-law

     
  9. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    LOL. I think Swiss government would be flattered.

    There many countries, not just limited to Switzerland.

    Plus, isn't Switzerland known for being neutral?

    Not to mention, one of the safest places...
    Love what you’re about, winner, don’t change it Rob!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  10. Simpsonrocket

    Simpsonrocket Established Member

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    I'm very glad to hear this from you Rob. I also thank you for appointing an rep from my country Nigeria. I think it might also be helpful to let you know that some forums like where l learnt about domaining offer free training to people. I think it will be wonderful if you can work with this folks too to build up more potential domainers.
    CHECK THIS OUT: https://www.nairaland.com/3430037/what-make-money-online
     
  11. oldtimer

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

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    This is a very valid point, depending on how far @Rob Monster wants Epik to grow perhaps it's a good idea to rethink the use of this logo before it attracts any negative attention from the Swiss Authorities.

    The other Alternative would be for him to try to get an exemption from the Swiss Government based on the Digital Empowerment Program and the Charity work that he is doing, but that's going to be a one in a million shot as it seems that they are very strict about their logo. IMO

    @jberryhill , Do you recommend asking for permission.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  12. jberryhill

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

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    There's no way they would grant it. As anyone familiar with the market in timekeeping and other precision instruments is aware, there has been considerable international enforcement activity in relation to protecting indications of Swiss origin, precisely because of the substantial value of indications of Swiss origin on goods such as timekeeping instruments and various stainless steel products.

    Even the cut-throat competition between Wenger and Victorinox - formerly separate Swiss producers of pocketknives - has come to an end: https://www.thelocal.ch/20130131/victorinox-cuts-wenger-swiss-army-knife-brand

    As to being flattered, no, the Swiss government takes protections of indications of Swiss origin quite seriously, which is why I simply pointed out that someone misusing them would want to stay away from the Swiss as best one could.
     
  13. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    Thanks. I love the Epik marketing message, I have seen many sources (some biased against Epik) always relay the “swiss bank” of domains message.
    It really works, Rob.

    It would be unfortunate, if the Swiss disagreed.
    Saw nothing disrespectful, red cross is a nice touch.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  14. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    It's not a question on if they agree or disagree .. it's that they are effectively using their flag as a trademark to protect the (so-called) good will of their "brand".

    While I'm not really sure that they really could do anything about anyone using "swiss" or their flag in the USA or some other jurisdiction, the moment you want to operate in their country (and possibly even all of the EU depending on rules/treaties related to TM's within the EU) then you need ot play by their rules. Which is that:
    "Services are considered as being Swiss if the provider’s headquarters are situated in Switzerland and the company is actually administered from Switzerland."

    All that said, while Epik might be a big deal to domainers, in terms of global corporations they likely aren't really in the radar of whatever department of the Swiss Government is responsible for this sort of thing. But might be a safe idea to think of a new slogan in advance of any potential future trouble.


    @jberryhill .. now that you're here .. could you confirm my thoughts on the first little bits of these posts above?
    https://www.namepros.com/threads/domain-microfinance-program.1154715/page-8#post-7406780
    https://www.namepros.com/threads/domain-microfinance-program.1154715/page-9#post-7407411


    Commenting on this:
    https://www.namepros.com/threads/domain-microfinance-program.1154715/page-8#post-7406728

    I just want to be sure I'm not giving bad info ...
     
  15. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Top Member VIP

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    Let me know what Mr. Berryhill thinks in case I miss his post.

    I should think you would be more supportive of 'fringe' type domains since you so often put them in you daily lists (some with and some without a TM warning). Careful where those rocks are tossed!

    EDIT: For those that may not know the phrase: "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones" is a proverb used in several European countries. It means that one should not criticize others, because everybody has faults of one kind or another.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Those_who_live_in_glass_houses_should_not_throw_stones
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  16. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    (y)
     
  17. Abdullah Abdullah

    Abdullah Abdullah Top Member Epik.com Staff VIP

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    Yes of course JB.
     
  18. Abdullah Abdullah

    Abdullah Abdullah Top Member Epik.com Staff VIP

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    Thank you very much:)
     
  19. oldtimer

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

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    Absent having permission from the Swiss Government I recommend to @Rob Monster to choose a different logo and slogan if he wants Epik to have Global reach and recognition in the future (just my personal opinion).
     
  20. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    Abdullah, if I had the choice btw Epik or NP mod..

    And that’s with all things being equal, like salary!

    I’m more concerned, after Rob announced new hire, first concern:”cant be Mod anymore, works for epik!” (conflict of bs)^ excuse.

    I think the fact, a Namepros mod, was hired for Epik, wud make me, trust him more, cuz again, love Epik!

    Congratulations, Abdullah!! I think the fact,ur already NP mod, (despite stepping down as a NP mod, lol) makes me believe, you're even more qualified, Lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  21. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    There are 3 basic rules for my lists at NameCult:

    1- Just because a domain is on my list does NOT mean you should buy it.
    2- Just because a domain is on my list does NOT mean you should buy it.
    3- If you buy a domain, please use my affiliate links. :)

    Here is 1 other basic rule of domaining:

    1- You are ALWAYS responsible for the domains you purchase, never rely on anyone else to do your due diligence.

    Seriously .. every day I list what I feel are the most notable and interesting domains at auction. Some people (including myself) SPECIFICALLY like to follow what happens with TM domains. I try to mark the most obvious ones for educational purposes .. but my lists are so long that I most certainly will not find them all.

    While most of the domains on my list are decent to amazing domains, please never EVER assume that just because a domain is on my list that I recommend anyone buy it. Often times for TM reasons .. but also often times because of pricing. I might put a domain on my list when there are no bids .. and maybe think it COULD be a good buy at closeout .. but probably not if it gets a lot of bids and goes up in price.

    Sometimes I even put up domains because they are funny. And there are some domains that I put up that already have a lot of bids that I simply do not understand and would actually recommend you NOT buy them unless you understand why others see value in them (there are a lot of JS###.com domains that go for huge money .. I'm assuming because of pinyin/chinese reasons .. but who know .. I'm too busy making the lists to really look into it)


    Back to the topic at hand .. unfortunately it has absolutely nothing to do about being supportive or not ... it's about the law.

    Doing outbound to a [name]+[specific/refined business type] will always lead to the 3rd requirement of a UDRP case going to the complainant.

    It even has nothing to do with whether I personally think it's wrong or right. If you target a business with a unique name with outbound and there is zero generic value in the name otherwise, then you will lose a UDRP unless you have the same name and business.

    There are most certainly sales of these types of domains all the time .. mainly because the buyer isn't aware of UDRP's .. or more likely because they buy the domain for a price that's less than the bother of going the legal route [education+time+cost].

    The reason I tagged @jberryhill is that I'm effectively 99% sure .. what I'm not sure about is if that person's company were named something else when you contacted him .. I'm pretty sure that could still qualify if you're outbounding .. but I'm not 100% and wanted to be sure.


    But in general there are also cases where it could be borderline .. There are also cases where many think a domain is a TM infringement but it isn't .. and vice-versa.

    In the end, this sort of domain most certainly should not be any part of the foundation of a large-scale program for newcomers. Your original thoughts of Geo+Business would be a safer bet .. although as I said .. in the end it comes down to a lot of handreg alternatives .. so while being completely legal and TM-worry-free .. simply not the best investments given the lower markups in developing countries vs markups in developed countries.

    That's why I think the "Salesman" approach would be better in many ways. As part of the package, the salesperson most certainly could suggest the business person buy Name+Business (at handreg and hopefully as part of a package that includes hosting, email, development, etc)


    I have always (well .. for the past 2 years or so since I started to see and think about TM domains/issues) said that unless it's a historical name (a dead person can't make money on their name .. lol) or a political name (as long as it's not used for profit), then First+Last names should be off the table as they are effectively trademarks. Maybe not legally (although they most certainly can be if someone uses their name in business) .. but morally.

    On the opposite side .. I think Single names (first or last) are most certainly generic enough to be fair game to all domain investors.

    All that said .. I don't really have a problem with someone holding a name and not profiting from it. Like I think somewhere @Rob Monster mentioned he has DonCheadle (in com) and was open to giving it to the actor for free (btw .. I'd also be fine with registration and renewal costs .. ie $100 if you held the domain for 10 years). But it should be clear that the moment anybody tries to make money with the website (that doesn't have the actor's permission) .. there's going to be lawyers involved. And again .. getting back to the point .. the moment you actually try to outbound sell the full name domain to actor himself for any kind of profit .. then you're going to lose a UDRP if the actor chooses to go the legal route.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  22. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Top Member VIP

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    Bingo.

    In my example it was a first name like 'Bob' 'Kevin' 'Chim Chim' etc with no last name identifier (aka 'full name'). Surely you do not expect a UDRP to get filed (that will end with any actionable decision) when only a first name is used? :xf.smile:
     
  23. Rob Monster

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

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    We are starting to explore some themes around "Digital Empowerment". The higher order aspirational outcome is not "make a buck". It is to be "sovereign". Definitely not wedded to the Swiss bank theme. It was there to convey our blue chip customer-first approach to domain asset management. Anyone who has worked with us knows it is true. It was actually a customer, David Roth, who came up with it.
     
  24. oldtimer

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

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    A theme that conveys the idea of having something like a "Digital Nation" sounds good (check for TM).
     
  25. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    “Digital nation”? I know you mean well, but I feel theres more potential in “Cayman Islands” of Domain

    Lol. If they had to, I like the phrases “empowerment,” “Customers our partners” “Safety” “security“ “privacy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019

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