After 7 years of investment in brandable domains, listed in all the top venues, of which I for the last few years have preferred Squadhelp, I’d like to share some learnings.
I have seen many come and go. Even marketplaces.
I have seen pretty well equipped and successful new investors, on par with my own skills, “file for bankruptcy” after over-extending or interpreting things in a skewed way. The reason has always mostly been crediting the marketplace for sales. You can credit the marketplace for expediting sales. But you will need to credit yourself for sales, because otherwise, the all important sales input will lead you astray. Why? You will have nothing to accredit it to that you can rely on for further investment.
I have but one rule (to rule them all).
It’s about the name.
Anyone that hopes to sell brandable domains needs to be generally knowledgeable about industries and the trends within them. Sure, they need to have a framework (letter count, extension, word count, syllables, et. al), but even more importantly, they need to imagine the end-user and their business, and sufficiently well gauge the demand for every specific domain through it’s potential usage.
They need to seriously consider this for each and every domain. before investing.
Having a list of keywords and creating a list that within the framework fits the bill - will not cut it. Every investment still needs a decision based on what you believe will sell and why. What you believe will sell, and why. (What you believe will sell. And why).
A marketplace gives you exposure. Without exposure you will rarely sell brand prospect domains that will take a 10-year old more than 30 seconds to guess - atleast in any time frame that lends liquidity enough to grow.
A brand prospect domain needs what I call “character integrity”. The framework won’t reveal that. For that you need to gauge the width and depth of applicability, for every name.
A name can generally either go for width, through low character count and general linguistic appeal, or depth, through applicability and more or less appeal of meaning - for one or several more limited use-cases.
What I am noting here does not apply to target-oriented domains (registered because businesses using the name exists, that is without gauging general demand based on the name) or search-keyword names. You can pretty much sell those just fine without a brandable marketplace.
My idea (there are other ideas) of domain investing is that good names will find traction. The catch is to find them and secure them at a point in time when your conviction beats the competition. It is an attractive idea to me, because it means that creativity matters, that hard work matters, and that time will work in your favor.
Please ask me anything.