Tangling with Rick Schwartz

Recently, I have been tangling with Rick Schwartz on Twitter (nested replies). His upset may have started last month when I commented on his blog and wrote about his bashing of new TLDs on this website.

I wasn’t looking for trouble when things went south, I was just defending my view that new gTLDs like .nycs (geoTLDs) and .tech or .toys (keyword gTLDs) are not aimed at domain investors but they do provide end users a real option to acquire a perfect fit domain name at a great price when the .com is out of reach (being used or offered for sale at a price the end user cannot justify).

Rick’s position seems to be that either the end user should stump up the cash for the .com or choose an alternate version of their name but stick to .com. It’s a shame that Rick resorted to name calling and not to addressing the points I made – we could have had a great discussion but he muddied the water, it got a bit weird and I’m not sure why!

Back in 2013 the panel at the TRAFFIC conference did a much better job of debating the pros and cons. See the two videos below in which Monte Cahn, Jeff Sass and Frank Schilling and others do a great job of describing the roadmap and pros and cons of new gTLDs which especially the younger generation may adopt sooner than older folks.

You will need to click the blue button in the video to watch it on Vimeo.

gTLD Madness: Team Schilling vs Team Schwartz, Part I from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. on Vimeo.

gTLD Madness: Team Schilling vs Team Schwartz, Part II from T.R.A.F.F.I.C. on Vimeo.

Anyways, I still believe Rick Schwartz is one character that you should watch, but add his voice to a mix of what others are saying but it’s dangerous to listen to any one person in isolation – especially outliers like Mike Mann and Rick Schwartz. I recently wrote some of my thoughts and advice for new domain investors – take a look if you’re interested.

Full disclosure: Rick did block me recently from replying to him on Twitter after I left a comment to his video below.

Rick starts the video with some obvious thoughts about not initially expecting to be dependent on domain income to pay rent and buy food and the need for other income sources. He also has an analogy about domaining being similar to operating a pawn shop. It all seems like reasonable advice.

He mentions earlier in the video about not investing in stocks without having an income stream or nest egg as it’s risky but then later said “Go day trade stocks if that’s what it takes to get an income stream!” [… to support domain name investment]. 😲

My comment below was the last straw for Rick.

The result of my comment – blocked!

While Rick may not like to hear opinions that differ from his, and I’m a little sad that he blocked me, he was an early visionary and no one can take that away from him. Many call him lucky and others say it was his skill and raw talent – I think it has to be a combination.

He has many times promoted the power of saying no and having patience in achieving maximum value for his domains but I cannot help but think that it’s easier to say no and be patient when you have no *need* to sell. Rick gathered premium generic domain names in the 90s and selling a few earlier on allowed him hold out for more later on.

His blog lists 10 domains that he sold between 1996 and 1999 for $100k+ each so sitting on a million+ in those early days makes saying no in later years much easier.

While patience and saying no is the best strategy if you can, for many of us, it’s not as easy as he suggests – there are more variables. Keep in mind I’m definitely not saying agree to the first offer you receive, if it’s a good offer consider it or consider countering.

I also have to disagree with another part of Rick’s pawn shop example. Rick says that if you buy something (as a pawn shop owner) for pennies on the dollar, that you know has great value, that you must wait a long time to sell.

Sure, to get the best price you may have to wait a long time, but if it has great value you should get reasonable offers coming in periodically because of the great value – you shouldn’t necessarily have to wait for the value to improve. 10 minutes after buying something for pennies on the dollar, that has great value, you should be able to make a call and get someone interested at 10-20x what you paid.

Anyways, Rick if you read this I wasn’t trying to offend you – I just don’t think your advice that new domainers should go and day trade was the best advice.

I may have different views about new gTLDs being a real option endusers than you do, but we can be friendly about it in debate. I’m not sure that our points of view are that far apart – especially when it comes to where domain investors should put their money (we both agree .coms). I just think endusers (including myself on another project) have really good choices with some new gTLDs.

So anyone wanna comment? 🙂

3 responses to “Tangling with Rick Schwartz”

  1. Day trade!! This guy should change his name from Domain King to Domain Clown.

  2. Did you see Rick Schwartz’s video tackling being a pornographer, head on? https://twitter.com/DomainKing/status/1130587174884302849

    He is comparing himself to being the company who owns the building that is rented to Apple!!! He says he is 3 times removed from the porn before his adult related domain names serve up porn, so he isn’t a pornographer. That is an interesting way to look at it.

    He said that his mom and dad approved of his adult domain name choices and that is all that matters. Have you seen some of his names?

    I wonder how he discussed these purchases with his parents… “Mom and Dad, what do you think of me registering bighardc*ck.com, russiansl*ts.com and biggestt*tscontest.com?” His mom said, “That’s great son.”

    Does he really consider himself more of an eRealtor that someone profiting from porn?


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