opportunities in domain names?

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931)

Many new domainers feel that the domain name train has left the station. They look at the pioneers like Rick Schwartz, Frank Schilling and Kevin Ham and think, “Those guys took all the good names. There’s nothing left. It was a one-time deal.” Is that true? Can you still get rich with domain names, or is it too late?

Sahar Sarid recently wrote a post comparing the domain market now to Florida real estate 80 years ago. In response, Steve of Alledia.com (an SEO club for Joomla users) commented:

Chances like this don’t come around very often. Domaining had its window 13 years ago. Fort Lauderdale property had its window 80 years ago. It may well be that there are no such opportunities available right now. One may develop next year or not for the next several years.

To be fair to Steve, many folks struggling to enter and succeed in the domain name market express the same frustrations.

True, a beginning domainer with a limited budget cannot acquire a Business.com or Applications.com type of domain name, and maybe not even BusinessApplications.com. Does that mean that opportunities to get rich do not exist?

I’ll write a post soon outlining some specific ways to find good domain names. It’ll be a good one, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let me point out some broad trends:

1. Population Growth. The human population continues to grow, creating increasing demand in every consumer sector. The world population is expected to grow to 9.4 billion by the year 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Insane, huh? Of course only a small percentage of these will be internet users, but with the spread of internet-capable mobile devices and cheap laptops, that percentage will continue to increase.

2. Internet Evolution. The internet itself is still developing to say the least. If you count from the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and others at CERN in Geneva in 1990 or so, then the web is in its teens. It’s an industry in its infancy, yet thundering ahead like a hurricane. Can you imagine declaring 17 years after the invention of electricity that the moment had passed and there were no further opportunities in electric devices?

3. Internet Users Growth. The number of people with part time or full time internet access continues to mushroom, especially in the developing world. There are a billion people with internet access now, and there will be 1.5 billion people with internet access by 2011, with the biggest growth in the online population occurring in Brazil, Russia, India and China, according to a new report by Jupiter Research.

4. New Technologies. New types of handheld devices, new internet browsers for mobile phones, and new internet services for mobile users are all going to dramatically change the way people access and view the internet in coming years; these trends will also open up the internet to the masses of people who have cell phones but no computers.

5. Domain Trends. Like the World Wide Web, the doman name industry is constantly developing. Important new ccTLDs are being introduced, many more people are taking up domaining as a hobby or full time job, media companies are being formed based on domain names, and price appreciation is extending to previously quiet sectors.

In the next twenty years technology will evolve in ways that will boggle our minds. As for the domain name market, it’s busy and getting busier. When a market is busy it creates opportunity. As Thomas Edison pointed out in the quotation up top, opportunity is a function of the work you put in (and keeping an open mind). Study, learn and don’t shut yourself off to new ways of thinking.

Lastly, let me change the direction of this piece and point out, since we’re speaking of opportunity, that every sunrise grants you an opportunity to be a better human being. I hope that you achieve financial wealth and success in the domain name industry. More important than that, however, is that you keep peace with your own soul and be a force for positive change in the world. That’s what we really need, and that will benefit you much more than any domain name.

4 Comments to “Are There Still Opportunities in Domain Names?”

  1. Karl | November 1st, 2007 at 1:18 am

    There are still plenty of oportunities. Those that say all the good names are taken can join the ranks of other famous predictions like:

    “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
    –Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

    Of course it’s not easy, but it can be done.

  2. WinAndFun.com | November 21st, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Yes there are many good domains available…

    With a little imagination you can compile 2 good words and get a nice domain

  3. Shycon Design | December 11th, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Yep… even as someone new to the domain name business… it’s still possible to find good domains out there (un-regged 2 word domains) I think your Fourth point, new technologies (or rather, entire new industries: green, renewable), allows for some of the biggest untapped opportunities.

  4. madfish | November 16th, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    We have approximately 150 registered domain names and are just starting to market them. Any suggestions as to where to look for buyers and valuation techniques would be greatly appreciated.

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