Paul Sloan’s latest Business 2.0 article features last TRAFFIC auction and the people behind the current boom.
In a rare interview, Business 2.0 extends its coverage of the domain name market by profiling Kevin Ham. Kevin Ham was early in the domain dropping business and he’s also the person responsible for the .cm typo wildcard.
The story starts with a scene from the latest TRAFFIC domain name auction in Las Vegas:
Kevin Ham leans forward, sits up tall, closes his eyes, and begins to type — into the air. He’s seated along the rear wall of a packed ballroom in Las Vegas’s Venetian Hotel. Up front, an auctioneer is running through a list of Internet domain names, building excitement the same way he might if vintage cars were on the block…
When Ham wants a domain, he leans over and quietly instructs an associate to bid on his behalf. He likes wedding names, so his guy lifts the white paddle and snags Weddingcatering.com for $10,000. Greeting.com is not nearly as good as the plural Greetings.com, but Ham grabs it anyway, for $350,000.
Ham is a devout Christian, and he spends $31,000 to add Christianrock.com to his collection, which already includes God.com and Satan.com. When it’s all over, Ham strolls to the table near the exit and writes a check for $650,000. It’s a cheap afternoon.
The article also talks about Frank Schilling, Yun Ye, and other famous domain name investors. It also discusses domain valuation and the differing views about pay-per-click multiples and their use for valuation.
A sidebar for “You can still play at home” discusses how people can get involved in the domain name industry. Don’t laugh at the notion that it’s not too late. A Business 2.0 article from a year ago was the impetus for Richard Rosenblatt starting Demand Media. The sidebar mentions NamePros and DomainState as domain name forums and mentions the blogs of Frank Schilling and Rick Schwartz. Both are great domain name blogs, but I’m hurt that Domain Name Wire wasn’t included. Really. But perhaps DNForum also feels left out.