Domains: Land You Broker or Develop
Domains are viable investments, and the domain registration trends closely follow broader financial markets. Examine the chart below, comparing the NASDAQ 100 with the regitration of -dot-com domains over the past few years.
When the domain name system was introduced in the mid-1980's, few would have imagined what would become of the world wide web. It took until 1991 before a cogent routing system was in place to enable a domain to really resolve. By 1995, all the major media outlets were working on websites, and by 1997 anybody who was anybody in business likely had an email address.
Fast forward 15 years. That's right. It's only been 15 years since 1997, but look how the world has changed. Imagine what the next 15 years will bring! But the one constant, from then to now, has been the domain name. You don't type 188.8.131.52 to reach this website. You typed FidelityFunding.com. Perhaps you used a search engine, and that search engine found the domain name, not it's IP address.
BUYING, SELLING, DEVELOPING OR LEASING?
Property owners of old have often wondered whether they should buy property and flip it, buy it and develop it, buy it and lease it, lease it and develop it ... the list continues. But you get the idea. The same goes for online. The best domain names, like the best real estate, make powerful and life-changing investments.
Depending upon the name, you can gain enormous traction by developing a name or just holding it for someone else to develop.
CANDY.COM AND PROPERTY.COM
We love the examples of Candy.com and Property.com; these are two domains that are owned in a partnerhship with the original domain name investor. These online properties generate thousands of visits per day, and the revenues of these domain names are divvied up between the property developers and the land owner. If it sounds like an old formula retooled for the technology age, that's because it is!
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
There are myriad options for investing in domain names. Many companies and people buy domains from investors for use in their business. There are online real estate investment trusts, and these online REITs are used to purvey groups of domains or single names to other investors. There are domains that, like candy.com and property.com, are best developed in partnership with a business. But the specific option will depend upon the quality of the domain name, the brand potential of the name, whether it is generic enough to withstand possible registration challenges, long-term user trends, and a host - pun intended - of other considerations. Some of those considerations are often quite foreign, literally; that brings us to ccTLDs versus old-fashioned generic TLDs.