Domain Suggestion Tool Produces $1,200 Domain

tld

You may have recently seen TLD.org advertised in the Sponsored Headlines section of Domaining.com at some point over the last week.  The site claims to  find quality unregistered domain names and list them for domainers to sort through and register.  I had a look at the site early today and had a look at some of the names.  I actually took a look about a week back and the inventory of names seems to have grown quite a bit in that time.

The site features the ability to hone in using search criteria and as the inventory of names grows, I can see that feature being more useful.  At the moment, it’s easy enough to browse through the list of available names, page by page.  The are lots of adjective/noun combination that don’t always work, such as BrownKnobs.com or WhitLevers.com.  I didn’t sift through the whole list, but a couple of names did pop out at me. I did a quick check on Valuate.com and here’s the results:

Domain Estimate

Do I  think these domains are worth that price?  Well… they are not names I am in the market for and I didn’t register them (they are both still available to hand reg).  But I think the site does have potential and is a tool to watch over the coming weeks.  As I mentioned, I didn’t review all the names so there could be some prizes in there.  I’m not sure how the site or the owners generate these names, but I’d keep an eye on this site and see how it continues to develop.

finds quality unregistered domain names and list them for domainers to sort through and register.

How to Build a Successful Startup

startup mixology

On Thursday, I attended the Tech cocktail Startup Mixology in Chicago.  Originally, my intention was to hit the social event that followed the conference.  I thought would be  a great opportunity to meet with some of the speakers and mix with some entrepreneurs.  The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to go to the actual conference, so that’s what I did and ended up skipping the social event that followed.

The conference consisted of a great lineup of speakers, some leaving more of an impression than others.  Over all it was a great experience.  There were some individual speakers and others were represented on a panel with moderators.   Topics ranged from building a team to legal and accounting perspectives.  Some areas were a bit dry, yet necessary.  Other areas were intriguing and enlightening.

I found the most helpful and influential speaker to be Travis Kalanick, an Internet entrepreneur and investor.  He’s got his hand in many different things including Honestly.com (great keyword domain) and is a co-founder of Uber(cab).   Travis seems like the type of guy that makes things happen.  I’ve embedded his portion of the conference below.  In fact, the entire conference was captured and is available at Ustream.  I suggest checking out Travis and some of the other speakers when you have time.

Bottom line, the conference covered much of what you would want to know about a successful startup, from the people that have done it themselves.  Some of the information was obvious, while other pieces were more detailed and helpful.  If Tech cocktail comes to your town, I’d suggest checking out a conference they put on.  You’ll learn something and walk out a little better than you walked in.

How Did Zappos Do It?

delivering happinessI recent finished reading Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. If you haven’t read it and want to be truly inspired, this could do it. The book has a solid focus on some of the management and leadership philosophies Hsieh employed to deliver a successful result with Zappos. But I found his background and mindset to be far more interesting and inspiring than the customer service focus of the company.

We’re not all Harvard graduates like Hsieh, but he comes across as your average guy. He was an entrepreneurial dreamer as a kid, working on a failed worm farm in his back yard. But that first setback didn’t stop him. He continually worked on ideas and tried things until they worked. Then he tried to make them work better. After college and landing a job with Oracle, he quickly realized that he wanted to do his own thing. A result of that was the development of Link Exchange which was sold to Yahoo in 1999 for $265 million. This positioned him for his later involvement in Zappos.

In the book, you’ll learn that the original name of the site was ShoeSite.com (which still points to Zappos today). The journey from the sale of Link Exchange to the development and eventual sale of Zappos to Amazon is an amazing story, well worth the read.

If you’re looking for the next book to pick up for entertainment and to learn something along the way, Delivering Happiness is it.

Create a Poll for Your Blog or Website in 30 Seconds

It’s well known by now that I’m a Google freak.  I like what they have done with things like Gmail, Voice, and I’m always looking for more.  I just discovered a pretty cool feature within Google Docs as I was updating a shared spreadsheet.  It’s something anyone can use and maybe of interest to blog writers and domain developers.  It allows you to create a poll for your website or blog. It’s simple to use and easily captures results.  You can use a plain version like I have here or you can add one of 95 themes to it.  Here’s what it looks like.

And here’s a sample of how the results look when you view them:

Poll Results

If you’re interested in how to set it up, here are the quick and easy steps.

1.  Select “Form” from the Google Docs “Create New” drop down menu.

Website Poll

2.  Next, fill out the questions and select the type of response you’ll allow.

Google Form

3.  Click “More Actions” and “Embed”.  Just paste the code on your site or blog and it’s that easy.

google poll

I haven’t done any polls on this blog in the past, but I can certainly see how useful this can be.  Not only on a blog, but any developed website could use this code to get a better view of the users.  Let me know how you use it if you choose to.

Domains at Tax Time

Taxes on domains

It’s one of those things you just can’t avoid.  But, when it comes to taxes, I have to admit I’m far from an expert.  I usually procrastinate and then spend hours getting my books in order for an accountant to make sense of.  Then, I let them do their magic and blindly accept whatever they deal me and happily pay the bill.  Up until now, that is.

I’ve been thinking more about my business and I just can’t continue passively accepting my accountants services without understanding what’s going on.  In fact, I recently read through Sandra Brooks’ 2010 Domain Tax Guide and I question whether my accountant really understands the domain industry.  The book gave me plenty to consider.

What makes Sandra the expert?  Well, she’s currently the VP of Finance at SA Recycling.  She’s a CPA and graduated as the Most Outstanding Student of the School of Business and Economics at California State University.  She worked at Ernst & Young and also managed her own tax and accounting practice for nine years, consulting for individual and corporate clients in industries such as advertising, e-commerce, entertainment, and staffing.

The key points I found most interesting included:

  • Determining if you have a business or a hobby
  • Are you an investor or a business? – There is a difference.
  • A great review of the types of business structures and the pros and cons of each
  • Capital assets and Capital Gains
  • How to classify your domains depending on your primary business
  • How to treat domains that you let expire

The e-book goes into other things such as additional business expenses and home office deduction information and there are links to more tax forms than I’m willing to look at.  This is one e-book that is actually worth reading and well worth the $79 price in my opinion.  If want to make the most of your business (and yes, if  you are buy and selling or developing domains, you have a business) this book is essential for you and your accountant or tax adviser.

I’m adding this one as an affiliate link (staying true to my promise of maintaining transparency). I definitely endorse this book and the value it brings.