I spend a lot of time reading about domains. Most of it comes from online reading of blogs and forums, but when I came across “The Domain Game” by David Kesmodel, it caught my eye. Based on its subtitle, “How People Get Rich from Internet Domain Names,” I thought it was going to be a descriptive process of how to buy and sell names in the domain market. Instead, it is a fascinating and detailed history and evolution of domaining. Different than I had expected, but not at all disappointing. What is most fascinating to me is that many of the large players mentioned in the book can be found online today on forums, blogs, and business sites of their own. The history has barely passed, and new history is still being made.
The book opens with some interesting stories of the early domaining days and Internet successes. A watermelon farmer with a vision, a bankrupt furniture salesman (Rick Schwartz) with forward looking business sense and many more similar stories. All presented in a way that paints a historical and promising view of the dawn of domaining. We learn about the Network Solutions, their struggles, and the birth of other registrars. The author presents ICANN and difficulties with dispute resolution. The evolution of pay per click advertising and the companies/people behind it. We see how picking up names on the drop became a strategy that some were better at then others. I found the large domain portfolio owners stories most interesting and the processes they went through to collect and sell their names.
Some of the domainers today were a part of this history, for others, it’s an excellent history lesson. If you are new to domain names, I highly recomend reading “The Domain Game.” I don’t know that it will bring you any direct success in your business of acquiring and selling names, but if you strive to know all you can about the industry, it will give you a solid background to build on.