NameSilo

My question to Godaddy's CEO at NamesCon: Domain Liquidity for the industry

Located in Local Events and Meetups, started by Rob Monster, Feb 5, 2020

Replies:
480
Views:
54,164

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Was Rob Monster's question at NamesCon out of bounds or bad form?

  1. The industry needs to be having that conversation and Godaddy should engage

    83 votes
    62.9%
  2. No, we don't need domain assets to become more liquid or bankable

    3 votes
    2.3%
  3. What's NamesCon?

    4 votes
    3.0%
  4. This thread is stupid

    42 votes
    31.8%
Total: 132 vote(s)
  1. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I have never heard Aman talk about empowering any domain investor with micro loans. I think that is more your mandate, and I believe Aman’s is empowering results for Godaddy shareholders, and like he did at Expedia with orbitz and a few other acquisitions it is through growth, and integrations of these units to supplement niches where they fall short to encourage growth.

    Godaddy wants paying customers who want to maybe start their own business online, and they want to offer the total package tool set to start, and maintain those businesses, along with the monthly revenue stream of those services.

    They are not looking to make 1000% trying to sell you a domain, and be done with you, They want you to get your right domain at a fair market price, and use their services to run your company online. They want to be that full package partner; and once they have you. It’s impossible to shift anything anywhere else, you just get comfortable with their email, hosting, bookkeeping etc...

    Your passion for liquidity thru domain loans is more self inflicted, you won’t get them on board,
    today, just keep innovating, and chipping away, at those developing country user bases, and hopefully they notice, but loaning on domains is still high risk, and defaults leave bad tastes; and bad reviews online.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  2. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    First of all, I greatly appreciate your strategic insights. I find your comments on NP to be full of strategic perspective and pragmatic understanding of the realpolitik that pervades much of commerce.

    As for the future of Godaddy under Aman Bhutani, I would be less presumptuous. The man chose the logo that most people rejected as ugly. Why? Because it looks like a heart. It spoke to HIM.

    So set aside for a moment what you think analysts are telling him to do, and consider the possibility that the aspiring monopolist is run by a benevolent dictator. It is possible.

    As for microloans and domain lending, I have the evidence that the business model works. I have shared anecdotal examples as well. The domain industry is about to become a lot more like commercial real estate.

    As for what to expect from Aman, I think we'll get a much better sense in the coming weeks, starting with today's investor conference call that will add context on the pieces that are being moved on the chess board.

    Thanks
    Rob
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  3. Magul

    Magul Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Blue Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Robert is right on point. Our industry needs liquidity like roses need rain.
     
  4. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    The reason I had trouble voting in the (in my opinion, ill-designed) poll is that the option said the following. I totally agree with a more liquid domain world (and a few recent innovations, including NameLiquidate and @Josh R new wholesale market) are working towards that. I personally am not sure that I agree with assets being more bankable, although I do see logic in those that argue for that, like @Rob Monster. I would have preferred the poll separating the two ideas. More liquid can be good on its own, with or without more bankable.
    "No, we don't need domain assets to become more liquid or bankable"

    While on the topic of the poll, I also had difficulty with the wording of the first response. I might agree that the industry should talk about valuations, liquidity and bankable assets, I do in fact, but it is possible to believe that without saying that GoDaddy necessarily should engage. Or even if we think GD should engage, by making this the poll in a thread on the appropriateness, or not, of asking the question at the end of the GD CEO keynote, I think the wording sort of slants responses, in my opinion. One might think GD should engage but responding off the cuff to a question from a competitor after a keynote is probably not the place.
    "The industry needs to be having that conversation and Godaddy should engage"

    The other two possible answers are essentially meaningless, I would argue, so to me the poll was not nearly as useful as a four-response poll could have been. I think you do a much better job in innovative ideas, industry co-creation, and personal support, than you do in poll response construction, Rob :xf.wink:

    Just my opinion. And yes, I do realize how difficult good poll construction is :xf.eek:.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  5. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks.

    I got the conversation started. That was the goal. Mission accomplished.

    As for designing polls, did I tell you that I used to run a market research company, sold to WPP Group for 9 figures cash and spent 9 years at P&G where we ran tons of consumer research?

    The poll was just a part of starting the conversation. Shane took the bait and recruited his buddies to vote in it and they did it faithfully under the cloak of anonymity.

    It's all good -- this is the #1 new thread of 2020 and we are still talking about practical solutions for making the domain industry more liquid at a time when Aman is crafting the foundation of his legacy.

    So, yes, the poll was trash but it confirmed my hypothesis that there are 2 primary groups: (1) people who are serious about solving problems, (2) people who prefer to throw rocks. And (1) is winning. Cool.

    Regards,
    Rob
     
  6. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I agree that controversy drives popularity on NamePros, but I would have thought, given your background with a market research company (no I did not know that!), that a better designed poll might have not only started the conversation, but also derived a more accurate feeling on the topics as well. Anyway, I said my 2 cents worth.
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  7. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It was not about controversy.

    It was just Hegelian dialectics applied to NamePros:

    - Problem: Maverick blogger speaks out of school

    - Reaction: Outrage, discussion, debate

    - Solution: Some type of industry consensus around liquidity either peer to peer or major underwriter.


    Or said another way:

    Thesis: Rob is a crazy MoFo

    Anti-Thesis: Rob is not crazy, and we need a solution

    Synthesis: Here's a co-created solution conceived on NamePros


    The end-result is not division. The end-result is progress. The vocal critics that are sincerely engaged in the debate and not just devil's advocates (literal meaning) help shape the outcome.


    This community is a treasure. You need thick skin here at times, but on balance, I cannot imagine the industry advancing to the next level without the town square.
     
  8. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It is. But, do top level "decision makers" @ GD visit us? Anonymously?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  9. trelgor

    trelgor Top Contributor VIP ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Don’t know. I put them on ignore.
     
  10. bmugford

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

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    https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/cgi-bin/uy/webpages.cgi?/logicalfallacies/False-Dilemma

    When only two choices are presented yet more exist, or a spectrum of possible choices exists between two extremes. False dilemmas are usually characterized by “either this or that” language, but can also be characterized by omissions of choices.

    For instance, a third option. People who don't think domain loans are practical for a large number of reasons from valuation to a very small % of domains actually having resale value.

    I have asked some specific questions that you did not answer. Instead you just continue with the trendy buzz words and platitudes.

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  11. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    What is it you don't like? It seems you are making a generalized case that loaning people money is a bad thing. You seem to be making a case that loans are evil, because debt is incurred and debt leads to default. You seem to be arguing more about social economics and capitalism than what this thread is about.......of course maybe I am wrong.:xf.smile:
     
  12. bmugford

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

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    You are. :)

    Brad
     
  13. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    How?
     
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I agree 100% with this part at least, Rob.

    I find NamePros an incredible online community, and see the more industry co-creation and interaction the better.

    Have a good day.

    Bob
     
  15. bmugford

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

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    Feel free to read all my posts in the thread. It outlines the reasons why I don't think domain loans are that practical, as well as why I don't feel debt is some magical solution without risk.

    It might be right in some situations, but for many it is not. Substitute domains for any asset like portfolio based lending instead. It can end up being a complete disaster for the borrower.

    I feel like the potential negative issues are just being glossed over.

    Also, when I asked specifics Rob just ignored them.

     
  16. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I am sure many of them do from time to time, and/or their staff pass the highlights.

    As some now, I am here by accident actually but now that I am, no regrets.

    Looking ahead, I expect to see a lot more C-level engagement in the town square.
     
  17. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    Loans are are an important part of economics, more specifically important to capitalism. Loans allow or empowers people and businesses to grow at a faster pace with more capital to reinvest.

    Sure, there are some stories where defaults happen and hurt. The 2008 mortgage crisis is an example. Many people lost their homes as a result. However, when the dust settled it was loans, on the assets of homes, that pulled us out of the recession.

    Giving loans on domains creates an asset pool that grows the market cap. A higher market cap establishes an asset to be more secure, more trusted and most importantly, more liquid. Something we all could live with.
     
  18. bmugford

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

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    That is how many market research & polling companies operate. They frame a question and the options in a way that will get a specific outcome. Famous Fox pollster Frank Luntz, and others, have talked about this before.

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  19. eternaldomains

    eternaldomains Established Member

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    I voted against loans as well. Didn't read the whole thread, just wanted to say that loans only remind me of all the financial crises that have been happening till today. It's never good no matter how anyone structures them. If you don't learn to make profits from scratch, then you'll only burn yourself endlessly. All the early age domainers never needed loans anyway, only patience and foresight. So should domainers now.

    IMO @Rob Monster if you have time/resources to lobby for such a thing then I suggest that you instead lobby against VRSN/ICANN. No point lobbying for "bankable" domains if the powers that be in the domain world can just some day jack up .com prices to $1mil/year/domain, or implement TM policies that allow companies to simply and instantly steal domains from investors with just a notice (eventually..........).

    Over and out.
     
  20. bmugford

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

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    Good point. I checked the ICANN comments and did not see one from Epik or Rob Monster.

    I figured someone so interested in digital empowerment, and developing countries surely would have something to say on the subject.

    You can see my comment here -
    https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/comments-com-amendment-3-03jan20/2020q1/000256.html

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  21. eternaldomains

    eternaldomains Established Member

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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  22. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    No, I did not say that.

    I gave a very specific suggestion on how to win in the court of public opinion. We all have finite time available to advance specific causes and to propagate thought leadership.

    I do think commenting in an echo-chamber is of limited utility, but it can be extremely helpful for refining a framework, e.g. a concise set of talking points.

    Have you seen a concise top 4-5 reasons for why the price increase should not happen? Does exist in the form of a virally-spreadable meme graphic?

    Here is my quick and dirty attempt. Edits welcome. No pride of ownership. The battle in an ICANN conference room is not the relevant battle in my view.

    no-com-price-increase.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  23. Magul

    Magul Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Blue Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Commenting will not suffice. A class action lawsuit might.
     
  24. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Com price increase - now. Earlier, it was .org sale. Many comments to ICANN - who, starting from at least ~2008, no more acts in public interest. They (not-for-profit corporation!) reported some of their $$$ lost in 2008 financial crisis - stocks crash, was some sort of investment as far as I remember (needs to be rechecked after 10+ years). Writing comments to them is of course something we all should do at this time. But it would not solve the problem. Because it can not. ICANN cannot be "fixed". It should be completely reorganized, with 100% change of staff and control. This is what the industry should be lobbying for. Imo.
     
  25. eternaldomains

    eternaldomains Established Member

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    True, at least not exactly. I just interpreted it that way since it felt like it.

    I like that poster though, especially the subliminal message telling verisign to "risign"
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020

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