Rather than complain about outside forces destroying their business, they grabbed the bull by the horns.
The past decade has been one of ups and downs for domain name investors. Domain parking busted around the same time the overall economy imploded. Domain values faced downward pressure as investors no longer had rich parking profits to funnel into domain purchases.
Since about 2008, many domainers have trudged on to domain conferences, complaining about domain parking and their dependency on Google. They blamed others for ruining their gravy train.
One small band of domainers didn’t spend much time worrying about domain parking over these years. Rather than rest on their laurels, they found a way to make a huge profit from domain names.
Rather than build a portfolio of thousands of domains, they registered literally trillions of second level domains. Instead of holding out to sell all of the domains for six figures, they sold most of them for under thirty bucks. They also found a way to get the people who bought these domains from them to pay an additional thirty bucks every year, so the domains became an annuity.
They knew they wouldn’t sell all of their portfolio. Just a fraction — 1.7 million to date.
And it wasn’t easy. They couldn’t just sit behind a computer all day playing the drops and listing domains on aftermarkets. But they didn’t bitch and moan about this, either.
They worked hard to build a sales channel. They traveled the world telling people why they should buy their domains. They risked a lot of cash.
It all paid off, though. To the tune of $109 million.
Congratulations Juan, Lori Anne, Nicolai and Jose.
Domainer Extraordinaire says
It didn’t hurt having an infinite amount of .com typos to sell. Any domainer I know would have happily jumped on that gravy train when it left the station.
Michael Piotrowski says
Congratulations to the .CO Team!
I think the beauty of it is the exit point, in relation to the change of the domain landscape with the introduction of gtld’s.
Shaun Pilfold says
You can’t argue with the results. Very impressive.
You left out the bit about engaging with the Colombian government, which I imagine was no minor achievement!
Andrew Allemann says
Indeed, especially in the face of competition to run .co. The government did the right thing giving this to Juan and his team as opposed to Verisign. What do you suspect Verisign would have done with .co? 🙂
That was really interesting article, thanks!
BTW, as I am a fresher in domains business, I would like to ask you, if should I investet in .GE domains as a solution for new domain names in Germany. I found out several websites, which are offering .GE extensions like a new solutions for online business owners in Germany.
Looking forward to hear from you!