Generic domain names
Before the web happened, there was FTP and email and Gopher. In those days, I was entranced by how much domain-names resembled the call-letters I used to get for radio stations -- very cool way to "name" things. So, long before the domain-name land-rush, I got a handful of generic domain names. The list includes the domain for this site (haven.com oops, that one accidentally sold, replaced with haven2.com), bar.com, grill.com, pub.com, place.com, shelter.com, cafes.com, corp.com and a few that got sold -- television.com, ing.com and company.com. Some of those last ones made me a buncha dough.
Before you approach me about the ones I still have, please read this FAQ about my domains. It will dampen your enthusiasm, I bet.
Mike's Pretty Good Domain FAQ
In an effort to reduce my email load and save you time, here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about these domains of mine.
1. Is this domain for sale?
I'm not actively marketing these domains. I really do have a scheme in mind for each, but haven't gotten around to cranking them all up. On the other hand, everything's for sale if the right offer comes along. I'm just not a terribly motivated seller.
2. How much are you asking?
Without going into a huge long rant, my belief is that these "generic" dot-com domain names were (and are) pretty valuable. They're sort of the Internet version of real estate and I represent the Internet equivalent of a farmer who finds himself next to a rapidly growing city that’s going through rapid boom and bust cycles. So my stupid names (which people thought I was nuts to get) are worth a lot of money (and used to be worth even more).
How much? It's still hard to say. The market for domain names has matured a lot since the early '90's when I got these domains. There was a period in 1999 and 2000 when prices went crazy. My take as I wrote this in 2002 was that it would take another 3 to 5 years for things to really settle down. I'm still waiting.
Meanwhile, ICANN has just opened up the application process for new top level names and guess what? Four of my names are being applied for as new top-level domains -- .corp, .bar, .pub and .place. Maybe there's an angle in that pile. All the more reason to sit tight for a while and see what develops.
Please don't write me to debate this point. Consider it the ravings of a lunatic if you like. The point is that I'm reluctant to sell right now because I don't think the market is valuing these names very well at the moment.
That's not an answer, is it… Here's another way to approach that question.
3. What's the biggest offer you've turned down?
So far the biggest is $1.75 million. I've turned down lots that are smaller.
4. Will you take equity instead of cash?
I'll consider it, if the deal and the valuation are right. But dot-com deals aren’t very attractive these days, so be prepared to win me over.
5. What are your deal criteria?
These are probably pretty much the same as any venture capitalist would apply. Why? Because basically you are asking me to contribute a valuable asset (instead of cash) to your enterprise and I need to decide whether your idea represents a good risk. So I'm looking for a team of great folks, who have a track record, pursuing a great idea that has a business plan that is likely to succeed. If you're still reading this and still want to contact me about the name, you need to either be prepared to offer a solid chunk of cash or present a solid business plan for me to review.
6. No no no! How much are you asking for the domain?
I never set a price for the domains. If you really really really want it, you have to go first. Make an offer.
7. Do you have other domains?
8. Bah! I spit on you! You are one of those slimy "cybersquatters" -- why don't you just give the names back if you're not using them?
To put a fine point on things, I don't consider myself a cybersquatter. A cybersquatter is a person who gets domain names with an eye to selling those names to somebody else (or profiting from the traffic) -- either a trademark holder, or a business that just hasn't been quite fast enough on the ball. I didn't get these domains for that reason -- I got them because I have an idea for each.
If you look at the list, you'll see that I'm a community type guy -- in most cases these names will some day be used to build communities on the Internet.
But under no circumstances will I just give the names up. Any more than a farmer who finds himself on land that is now worth too much to farm would just give it up.
9. Have you ever sold a domain? How much did you get?
Yep, I’ve sold or exchanged several domains. Nope, I’m not at liberty to tell you the terms of the deals. The domains were;
10. Where can I go to sell a domain? Are you a broker? Will you do it for me?
I’m not a broker; I can’t help you sell your domains. Remember, I’m just a geek who got a handful of interesting names long before the Web happened. I don’t know much about the hurly burly of the domain-name marketplace, except these super-premium generics that I have.