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Keeping Open-Minded about Creativity when Considering Domain Portfolios

Just some thoughts captured, as a reminder about the importance of accommodating creativity, even when it seems so very awkward.

As a consultant to super-successful people, I have often witnessed leaders/decision-makers suffer through obviously awkward, cringe-inducing moments when ideas were first proffered by creative thinkers. Too often, IMHO, those decision-makers discounted the ideas, and I believe the cringe-factor played a role.

Sometimes a successful business person simply cannot stomach a really “out there” idea, and decides to simply move on, without considering it.

When considering domain strategies, for example, some industry players will skip right past a domain idea that is too far “off base”. Yet years later, the whole team realizes that if they had built that little side project, it would be super valuable in a practical sense, today. Or they see it sell on the aftermarket for 100x the initial price.

What would ave been a sub-$200 “investment” would now be worth thousands…evento them. Yet they passed on acquiring it, because it seemed too far off-base.

Priceless has a Cost

Creativity is a priceless commodity. In my experience, when things seem most awkward to us, that awkwardness is a sign that we would almost never consider the idea on our own, suggests it is really “out there” from our perspective…. and that is precisely why we should give it some consideration.

Don’t act on it, but certainly explore it as a possibility, and gleem what you can from the discussions of the potential of the “crazy idea”.

But That Would Never Work

Maybe it could never work, but if it was considered a possibility by someone on your team, doesn’t it, by definition, have some merit as an idea?

If not, you have the wrong creative people on your team. You should not have people you do not consider credible on your team, contributing ideas. Read Ray Dalio’s essays/books for more on that topic… people can be trusted based on their past performance, provided you actually know about their past performance.

That would be Nuts!

Yes, some true innovations seem crazy at first, but if an idea was obviously good, the chances someone else is doing it is very high. In SEO and domaining, first-movers can win big. Profits from organic SEO strategies can flow UNTIL everyone else enters the game and dilutes the traffic. A truly innovative idea SHOULD seem crazy when first considered, in my humble opinion.

But where do we Stop? 

With domain portfolio investing, this is a common retort to the “it couldn’t hurt to hold this domain, and it just might be important down the road” situation. The “only $15/year” holding cost of a domain is not substantial, but what about 100 of those? Two hundred?

Creativity is priceless, as is Discipline  

The answer is easy : you stop when your portfolio value goes down.

I believe a portfolio of 100 names evidently important to your marketplace is worth $100/domain, plus the market value of each name, as a conservative estimate. That means 100 names that are evidently important… ones that would be recognized as meaningful by your prospects (including search engines), is worth at least $10,000, even if every name had no acknowledged aftermarket value (so-called “reg fee” names).

That floor value is a low-end estimate of selection and opportunity costs, plus competitive value. BEFORE adding the market-recognized value of any names within the portfolio. The fact that reasonable people on your team considered them evidently of value to the marketplace, establishes that minimum value.

What’s your Portfolio Worth?

Not so easy to value the portfolio? As in any business, if you are in it, you need to be good at it. If you can’t value your domain name portfolio, you shouldn’t be investing in domain names. And if you don’t see value in a particular domain name that is considered evidently attractive to your online audience, you perhaps should not expect to be a winner in your online marketplace.

Happy Independence Day!