NameSilo
 23:04:03:35 

The 'Mom' Test

Labeled as branding in Domain Industry News, started by J4wd, Feb 23, 2021

Replies:
16
Views:
588

  1. J4wd

    J4wd Upgraded Member Gold Account

    Posts:
    132
    Likes Received:
    126
    In 2013, Rob Fitzpatrick released a book called The Mom Test, with a simple premise: that you shouldn't ask your mom if your business idea is any good, because she'll never tell you the truth.

    The same applies to domain name purchases. How do you know if your domain name is any good?

    On the one hand, it may not matter. I've purchased many domains that I consider have no value beyond the fact that I like the sound of them. I consider myself a collector as well as an investor, and enjoy the idea of owning a unique name on the internet.

    On the other hand, I want to generate an income from my domain names, and so I need to be able to make an informed decision about the domains in my portfolio.

    The simplest way to do this is through outbound sales. Reach out to prospective customers and ask them for their feedback. In The Mom Test, Fitzpatrick advocates for direct customer feedback as the best way to push a business idea forward.

    But in the absence of customer feedback, what other sources might you reach out to?

    In my opinion, the best alternative source is other domainers.

    Now, the astute reader will immediately cotton on to the fact that there's a good time and a bad time to talk to other domainers. You can't talk to other domainers before you buy a great domain, because if it's so great, they'll buy it themselves. No hard feelings, this is a business after all.

    But once you own the domain, what's the risk? In fact, many people already do this via the Appraisals section on Namepros.

    In the week since the launch of PeerIdeas, I've spoken to dozens of domainers about this idea. While many love the idea (and have been active participants), some are naturally apprehensive, and some are sceptical.

    The most common feedback I hear from the latter are two-fold:

    1. Asking for appraisals publicly risks undermining a future sale if discovered. Fair enough, so I've introduced the option to hide polls from search engines.

    2. It's subjective and offers no value, because other domainers don't put much thought into it. This is also a fair point, however as with every community effort, if you don't put an effort in for others, they won't put an effort in for you.

    And yes, it's subjective. For me that's the whole point. For many buyers, it is a subjective choice. They buy because they like the name, not because they've researched the competition and sales history and feel it's a sound investment.

    Subjective feedback is good.

    When I first started listing domains on curated brand marketplaces, I was taken aback after the first rejection. I was convinced my domain names were perfect - how could anyone reject them?

    In hindsight, they did me a favour. By giving me subjective feedback, I gained valuable insights about my choices and it helped me become a better investor.

    In The Mom Test, Fitzpatrick says that everyone will lie to you at least a little. And that's a fair point. But I'd still prefer to have the feedback I can choose to act on, than not having any at all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

    Posts:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    10,384
    Looks like the people giving appraisals on your site don't know their arse from their elbows....

    Put 1 domain domain on the site as a test, it's had 2 votes both below 1k

    The domain is worth high x,xxx - low xx,xxx

    Good job I chose not to index it and won't be using it again, also there is no option that I could see to close my account.....
     
  3. J4wd

    J4wd Upgraded Member Gold Account

    Posts:
    132
    Likes Received:
    126
    Hey NickB,

    Thanks for giving it a try.

    I doubt you’ll get much value from just two votes. That’s why we run polls for 2 weeks.

    Also, the site has only been live for a week so I’d encourage you to give it time to grow. Most polls have 20-25 votes after about a week, and that should be enough to make a reasonable judgement from. Those numbers will increase as more domainers come aboard.

    Having said that, if you still want to close your account, please DM me and I’ll be happy to do so.
     
  4. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

    Posts:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    10,384
    Fair enough....I need to work on my patience thresholds by the look of it, will stick around fir the whole 2 weeks
     
  5. bmugford

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

    Posts:
    12,306
    Likes Received:
    20,317
    I agree that asking your mom something is often not going to yield an objective response.

    It is not just the subjective nature of valuation, another important thing is you need qualified advice. Can you trust the judgement of some random person who has limited experience and success in the field?

    Have you seen the average quality or registrations in the appraisal section? Would someone registering bad domains really be a great judge of the value of other domains?

    Brad
     
  6. AEProgram

    AEProgram Top Contributor VIP Blue Account

    Posts:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    3,592
    The only way to learn in life is to experiment, fail, get up and do better, fail again, not give up, until you make it.

    The biggest losers will always be the ones that have to many people or forums to ask questions about every move they make.

    The other day a guy here asks about what domain to use for a new project. He gave three choices, out of like 15 people 12 said one of the names. The guy posts he wants more feedback. Obviously he already made up his mind and won't stop asking people until he hears what he wants to hear. The one the majority suggested obviously is not what he wants. So why ask? My point is, asking people is not just flawed because other people tell white lies, know what you want to hear, will give feedback based on limited knowledge and based on a mood, but also because we as people are always bias and will filter out what we don't want to hear.

    If someone needs to ask about a domain value they are in the wrong business. There is enough material out there that can guide you without asking anyone. If you still need to ask, just delete the domain or don't buy it.

    As far as the appraisal section, I give a lot of credit in respect to those there speaking the truth. In my honest opinion, many there are lying to people because they feel bad.
     
  7. Kris88

    Kris88 Upgraded Member Blue Account

    Posts:
    24
    Likes Received:
    13
    One of the best ways is just to look if anyone has done something similar, or on the same level and see if they've had success. If not the next thing is to just try the idea, so if it gains even a tiny bit of traction and go from there. I got into SEO affiliate a few years back, was good at SEO but wasn't sure if it would be a success. Made a site, wrote about 50 articles in an easy niche, built backlinks etc, after about 9 months it was making 600-700 a month, not enough to quit my job but still, showed that it can be done and if it devoted myself to it full time, more articles, links, more sites you could make a full time living of it
     
  8. Mytz.com

    Mytz.com Top 4L [email protected] ieie.com CuTu.com NeSu.com QAMI.com PRO VIP Gold Account

    Posts:
    9,614
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  9. J4wd

    J4wd Upgraded Member Gold Account

    Posts:
    132
    Likes Received:
    126
    That’s a great question, and one I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.

    I could likely talk about this topic for hours, but in reality nobody knows what a domain is actually worth, only what they think it should be worth.

    I look at the NameBio sales reports on most days and often find myself quite surprised at what people have bought and sold domains for.

    I think every domainer considers themselves an expert at valuing domains, or they wouldn’t get into the business. And those that sell might attribute it to skill but it could just as easily have been down to luck, timing or persistence. Or sales network.

    I did at one point consider asking new members a series of questions to determine their experience, but who am I to judge someone who buys and flips domains wholesale vs those who buy and hold for the long game, waiting for a big payday?

    I believe we all have some insights to offer.

    Having said that, from a pure valuation point of view, we’ve barely scratched the surface. Would you have paid $5,000 for Nordeen (com)? I certainly wouldn’t, but someone yesterday did.

    I don’t have all the answers. I doubt I ever will. But as long as we’re all learning, I think that’s okay.
     
  10. J4wd

    J4wd Upgraded Member Gold Account

    Posts:
    132
    Likes Received:
    126
    I’m not going to agree with you on this one, for a few reasons.

    Firstly, and speaking purely from my own perspective, domain purchasing isn’t always rational or logical. Most of the domain names I buy are those I like the sound of. That doesn’t mean I have a handle on what it could be worth to others, despite spending hours perusing past sales reports and reading dozens of articles on the subject.

    Secondly, the value of a domain changes over time. If someone owned bitcoin (com) 10 years ago nobody would have paid $10 for it. I read the other day that Twitter (com) was bought for $7,500.

    Thirdly, investors in other asset classes spend ages discussing the value of those assets. Perhaps because they can all own a piece of the same asset at the same price, whereas domain names are unique and can only be owned by one person or business at a time.

    But it’s clear to me that we need to be able to ask each other questions, and there really should be no stigma associated with that.
     
  11. AEProgram

    AEProgram Top Contributor VIP Blue Account

    Posts:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    3,592
    There should be a stigma of lying and deceiving others. A stigma with telling people what they want to hear because you don't want to hurt them. We need a serious stigma with that or we will continue seeing newbies dash into bankruptcy court.

    Do you prefer this be a place where we just talk pretty and prop everyone up regardless of the reality of the matter? Is that what you find the perfect world to be like?

    You could also opt to believe that the rare events will happen to you. For every one bitcoin domain there are a million shitcoin domains that will just phase away.

    You compare other assets to a domain? You could doodle all the metrics of a domain value on a the tip of a nail. Obviously when someone has junk you need to go dumpster diving finding justification for its value.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  12. J4wd

    J4wd Upgraded Member Gold Account

    Posts:
    132
    Likes Received:
    126
    Not at all. In fact, one of the reasons I built the website is to allow domainers to appraise anonymously. I think that’s critical.

    We are all very polite and encouraging here, which is great, but sometimes what we need isn’t encouragement, it’s raw and honest feedback.

    Of course, but who’s to say what is junk and what isn’t? One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

    Within reason, of course. Those that think they can sell My-Nonsense-Name-23.com for $15,000 are likely fooling themselves and need to be set straight. But there’s always a chance they can sell it to someone who owns My-Nonsense-Name-1 through 22. It might just be a long shot. 😏
     
  13. AEProgram

    AEProgram Top Contributor VIP Blue Account

    Posts:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    3,592
    One of the saddest things one can read, because everyone in this business knows the ending already, good luck.
     
  14. HotKey

    HotKey Made in Canada VIP

    Posts:
    3,057
    Likes Received:
    7,648
    I don't know, I mean my mom was never one to gloss over my business. Which is why every time she asks me "What's that Google thingy you do?" I always always just respond, "Ma, same as always, domain names. Places you go in the internet." And she just kind of looks at me like I was dropped on my head and bounced back up with two of em'.

    She can sure tell me how to do a mean cooking recipe though!

    But look, if your mom is one to gloss over your business, just ask your wife. I'm sure she'll give it to you straight! That being said, I think like-minded professionals are a great go-to for constructive feedback. But for me personally, nothing beats intuition.
     
  15. domainflipper1000

    domainflipper1000 Established Member

    Posts:
    39
    Likes Received:
    35
    The best way to pick a domain is to ask, what could this be used for? a domain like iceymenswatches indicates a store that sell mens watches. Of a particular flashy category. While a website like blue is 4L, there isn't much you can assume the website is about, except for the color blue. Blue cheese, blue crayons, blue benjamins?
     
  16. J4wd

    J4wd Upgraded Member Gold Account

    Posts:
    132
    Likes Received:
    126
    100% this! Subjectivity is underrated, but it plays a bigger role than most want to believe.

    It's a nice idea that we can distill value down to a mathematical equation, with a handful of points to verify, but the sales data doesn't reflect this at all.
     
  17. TauseefKhan

    TauseefKhan Established Member

    Posts:
    680
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Good message. "In The Mom Test, Fitzpatrick says that everyone will lie to you at least a little."
     

Want to reply or ask your own question?

It only takes a minute to sign up – and it's free!
NameWorth
  1. NamePros uses cookies and similar technologies. By using this site, you are agreeing to our privacy policy, terms, and use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...