Michael Saylor: Bitcoins & Domain Names as Foundation & Framework for the Future

MIT-trained rocket scientist Michael Saylor was at the heart of the development of the internet back in the day, co-founding MicroStrategy, which continues to be a leader in business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. Last June, he sold the domain name Voice.com for $30 million. Today, he continues to make waves, recently becoming the first CEO of a publicly traded company to convert over $400 million of the Microstrategy’s balance sheet into Bitcoin.

Michael joins Media Options CEO Andrew Rosener to discuss domain names, domain valuation, the dematerialization of assets, and so much more! Highlights:

  • Avoid the “tyranny of the keyboard” (elegance, simplicity, fewer characters)
  • How his personal journey of combining fantasy / SciFi literature with engineering contributed to his visionary perspectives
  • It’s time to rediscover the criticality of owning your own domain. Why to sell, market and service your value proposition through your own domain.
  • Why you’re email address- and the domain name with it – is paramount more than ever, as it bypasses all other mediators
  • The advantage of the economic density of the English language, and how that won’t be changing any time soon.
  • The dematerialization of assets, and how bitcoins & Domain Names are the foundation & framework for the future.
  • If you don’t own your .COM, you’re odd, confusing, and diluted: the vitality of digital sovereignty, immortal sovereignty for your brand.
  • Your domain is your keystone!

We reference and recommend you check out these 2 interviews with Michael from Sept 2020:

This show is vital for ANY CEO, entrepreneur, bitcoin investor, or domain investor! Jam packed!

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This Show’s Sherpas

Michael Saylor
Michael Saylor
Mr. Saylor is a technologist, entrepreneur, business executive, philanthropist, and best-selling author. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of MicroStrategy, Inc. Since co-founding the company at the age of 24, Mr. Saylor has built MicroStrategy into a global leader in business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. In 2012, he authored The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything, which earned a spot on The New York Times Best Sellers list. Mr. Saylor attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving an S.B. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an S.B. in Science, Technology, and Society.

More shows with Michael Saylor »

Andrew Rosener
Andrew Rosener
Andrew Rosener is the CEO of the industry-leading domain name broker Media Options.

Andrew is widely considered a thought leader and expert on domain name value & methodology as well as domain name sales & acquisitions. With 20 years experience with domain names, Andrew has leveraged his knowledge and expertise to make MediaOptions the go-to domain name firm for startup & company domain acquisitions as well as high value domain name sales.

More shows with Andrew Rosener »

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Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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Episode Transcript

Very raw transcript:

CEO and founder of MicroStrategy Michael Saylor. Most of you know him from his $30,000,000 sale of voice.com he was recently in the news making waves as the first public company CEO to switch corporate dollars from US Treasury funds to Bitcoin and this would be an interesting conversation through his journey from early days of software technology domains all the way over to recent news. Media Options CEO Andrew Rosener will be conducting the interview and we’ll take it from here.

Michael, welcome, very very glad to have you this is I believe going to be a very exciting podcast for the domain industry you are somewhat of a celebrity whether you know it or not domain Twitter is a bit smaller than crypto Twitter and I know you’ve taken a recent liking too crypto Twitter and you know reading it and the commentary and there’s some brilliant minds there but you’re also famous in the domain Twitter world so I am excited to sort of dig in deeper and get inside your head and understand the way you think about domain names because you know you’ve got a pretty impressive portfolio of generic domain names that you’ve owned for a number of years and you’re clearly visionary and in the painting those so I think our audience would love to hear about your mental model and the framework and the way you’ve thought about these things over the years what was your ahha moment you know back well First off is there anything you want to add in in terms of alright you know your intro and and your background and I mean you know I sorry that I keep diverting but I want to get a little hat tip to route plow and and pump you know you did an amazing interview with both of them on real vision or palm podcast and so I take a lot for granted from listening to both of those things and I’ve already learned from you and so I don’t want to detract from my listeners but I also don’t want to be too redundant and so I highly encourage everybody to go listen to those interviews on realvision.com and the palm podcast you can find that on YouTube and we will link to those in the show notes but is there anything else that we should sort of shine a light on why do I say things that I didn’t say on those podcasts that are relevant to the domain industry and let me let me start with one observation I was always a big science fiction fan from very early on from first grade and by the time I was in 3rd grade I was a massive fan of Arthur C Clarke Robert heinlein and Isaac Johnson and so I read everything they wrote I eventually you know tripped into more modern science fiction and I read hold on a second I’m putting on my do not disturb OK then I read modern works by like William Gibson neuromancer as he introduced cyberspace and that was fascinating to me that led me to have an interest in science and technology and I ended up getting a degree in astronautical engineering and I studied spaceship design at MIT and there I met a lot of science fiction fans and I saw the creation of the Internet my fraternity was like the first place they wired for Ethernet and they I I watched them develop carboneras an Ethernet in the Internet and and they put workstations then there we just thought this was magic stuff and I I was next to a lot of the computer scientists that invented a lot of foundations of what is modern Internet and that always had an impact on me I think that with regard to domain names the ah ha moment for me was we first started getting email an when we got email I’d started a company MicroStrategy and we need it we needed an email address right this is before the Internet right yeah the first use of domains where for email they weren’t website and so are we were going to coursegetmicrostrategy.com and so we got microsurgeon.com and I typed in [email protected] you know and you know there’s a great quote by saying exupery I guess about design when there’s nothing left to take away it’s a perfect design something to the right and the symbols remember so I always loved elegance I don’t know you never see you ever see a 3 year old that knows how to dance just knows how to dance and I’ve seen variables and know how to dance it’s genetically encoded in them seem 30 year olds that took 22 years of dance lessons and they still can’t dance yes you can’t teach it it’s just and so from a very early age I just appreciated elegance of design so when you start typing your email address and you write someone says your your email address is going to be Michael Saylor at microstrategycorp.com I think no sailor at MicroStrategy public no sailor at MicroStrategy Corporation no sailor at microstrategy.com OK but then I said is there any company namestrategy.com like I think I’d like that one and so I sent my lawyers off hunting around to see if if there was strategy.com and obviously in the early day you could get these things for like 13 bucks you know you we got some good ones for whatever the $13.00 because we we just figured this is cool I mean why wouldn’t you but we I mean we didn’t get strategy outcome for $13.00 but I think probably back in the day for like 25 or $50,000 people thought $25,000 for domain name is a lot of lot of money the engineers going yeah I got I got whatever hope.com and I sold it for $27,000 and I got myself for I was one of the guys on the other side like I was not like mega businessman we were like we did $4,000,000 in business in 1994 with four $1,000,000 a year was another you could swap up you know a number of $25,000 assets so I don’t know the exact date between 94 and 2000 we started getting interested and we got strategy.com and I you know I still have the email address so you were at strategy.com and I thought that was kind of cool you know because I typed Wiley I just thought the tyranny of the keyboard was an issue so I didn’t want to type more characters than I needed to type and it’s pretty obvious to methatstrategy.com was betterthanmicrostrategy.com so then we went on and we thought well done I mean everybodywas.com back then we didn’t think about dot IO or dot ever seen those came later dot DER dot fill in the blank I thought well it’s kind of obvious everythingthat.com behind it there’s a word in front of it we’re English I happen to both you know I spoke English I didn’t speak Portuguese I didn’t speak Chinese not I wouldn’t know how to buy up all the Portuguese German French translations if I wanted to Fast forward 20 years English is the most important language in the world economy and over the next 20 years it emerged to be the 800 pound gorilla of all languages so englishand.com became the dominant logical domains for economic Commerce I was like if you want to be global there is the only choice you want to be global and there is no other choice I would challenge lucky to be born in American speaking English and come of age at the time I did coming out of MIT when the Internet was getting invented and starting a company when email was getting commercialized just right place right enough money enough money to be able to buy up some stuff but you know not enough that I was distracted chasing after other macroeconomic issues so right place right time and you intuitively understood that shorter was better you intuitively understood the function of these things what they were going to represent and that if you wanted to conduct Commerce online you needed a place for people to find you and it needed to be included it’s it started with give someone a memorable email address like what what could be more memorable than Michael at strategy.com or sailor Michaels even better than sailor right because sailor there’s multiple commit type exactly are these hurdles can you type it that’s the first hurdle well that’s a big hard alot of people that don’t means that they have complicated characters and you couldn’t type and the second hurdle is can you spell it and so a name like hope or a name like Mike or a name like like wisdom it’s likely you’re not going to misspell it and then the third hurdle is can you remember it because I want to meet you in a business meeting or whatever I want you to be able to contact me it’s the principle that was the precursor this is vanity license plates and vanity phone numbers is like what’s your phone number I’m like 703-444-4444 ah I get that or better yet or 44444444 paid money for you know it’s interesting you bring that up because I have a client that that that is their business is bending phone numbers and those things are still selling for huge money huge and you know people don’t blink an eyelash sort of this fits into the premise that I believe you know we’re still really in the infancy of this whole Internet thing and you know we got hired by you probably remember hooked on phonics remember hooked on phonics works for me dial one 800 abcdefg hired by you know they went bankrupt they got sold whoopee firm they stripped out the assets that you hired us to sellthehp.com domain name I sold that to a French airline called pop and then I had this this one 800 number that’ll hold for 400 but the best one was the one 800 abcdefg and that was a lot of fun to try and sell it and ultimately sold it to a lawyer and he said billboard everything drives by 65 miles an hour they’re going to remember 100 abcdefg remember it’s like you couldn’t market a phone number or 973-1943 no ’cause people so if you it’s like a high frequency thing I’m going to give you one second and I you know I want you to remember this me at home you know something like that that in the early 90s these domains were handles to email and so that was the first usage and we didn’t contemplate any other but that was enough because we thought email was going to replace surface Mail and and we wanted to handle and then around 94 people started working on this Internet thing and by 96 it was kind of you know I’m I’m sitting in Northern Virginia and you know uunet was coming into Northern Virginia and you know and and and all the domain registries and stuff some of the earlier more innovative people are just social friends of my friends and they come to my office there pitching me on this Internet this web thing yeah started looking and I realize Oh well so now microstrategy.com can be our website and then I’m like well I’d rather I got another reason to type it and that was before Google or anything else right like how do you find this thing so now domains became a handle to a website and I think that kind of kicked me from low gear I’m like OK now I want to go by and then like over the you know I said guys off on a I wanna hunt you know and I was like find every English name that I could put a business on so by 1995 it was very evident to me that these are awesome assets so we went and we bought Angel Angel like it’s like God like right I mean I think God but I mean I thought Angel is better than God God’s a little bit presumptuous where is Angel yeah I know we bought alarm and we bought alert and then we only bought strategy we bought wisdom and we bought courage and we bought hope where we bought and we got glory so we got positive English words with a positive connotation that we started working on names and I know I thought go by Michael I’m Michael hey we actually found a dude that will sell us Mike yeah I want that 1 blaze it might you know four letter word you know that Michael Michael and a lot of people can’t spell Michael they could spell Mike just like 3 fewer keystrokes so he bought Emma and William William is my father’s name and also is buying my name’s by my thought we bought Frank and then we bought ring of one of the most iconic domain investors spread Schilling I’m sure you know it’s been much to his chagrin that you’ve got break.com I’m waiting for the right offer maybe will go into business together like trading cybernetic AI Franks and I think yeah then we picked up speaker I thought speaker was kind of cool and yeah and then they work that those were all the primary one single words either one syllable or two syllable positive connotation names or or characteristics or ideas and then we started picking up like secondary things MicroStrategy and every single domain Microsoft you’re not ded MicroStrategy dot F or microsurgery anyway by all these other things we bought I dream we thought you know I was ready for Apple right to come and have an iPhone I dream I you know as you put other qualifiers my wisdom Myspace these becomes secondary and you could do something I’m just not so enthusiastic about them they’re just like voice we bought point I don’t know we might have spent 100 two $100,000 I don’t know exactly but it was not it was not enough money that by the time I bought it did it even register with me like the sum total of all of these domains if we spent $2,000,000 on all of them together I don’t think it’s 3 million it might have been 2,000,000 divided into 15 or 20 awesome ones so 100 grand for that piece for the awesome ones and then picked up thousands of secondary ones primarily just to keep people from squatting on cyberspace near us and then re run and so you know you spent one 2,000,000 bucks buying up the 20 you know absolute lights out top notch nexteer 1 right voice.com what is that 20 years later 20 years later turn around I bought it and I huddled it I guess in my Treasury on the balance sheet and 20 years later I finally found I finally found someone motivated but I but our intent intent was not to sell these things that’s not why we bought them click clearly write down angel.com you turn that into a person business sold that to develop them as businesses and what we did for the 20 or so for example Clock back we built a business on strategy.com back in the late 90s and it was personalized intelligence you go and you subscribe you give us your interest in stocks or whether it was like we did personalization before Google and Apple 20 years before they did so I would say Andrew where do you live what stocks do you follow what subjects you’re interested I’ll generate personal news personal finance personal weather personal traffic all those ideas and and we launched a business around it and we had some interesting success with it then we back in like 9899 I had I had a friend and she told me his story of someone breaking into her house And she lived in Arlington VA and she said someone broke into my house she ran into her room she locked the door and she was like hostage in a room for two hours and this is I’m trying to remember did we have mobile phones we didn’t really have a lot of mobile font maybe she had a phone and she called a friend who eventually came to two hours later and then the the burglar or whatever left her home but was receptive free and I started thinking why can’t we actually create home alarm systems plug them into the Internet so that if she was actually in her house she could have just a motion detector would have gone off why wouldn’t you want a motion detector to go off and tell you why you’re at the office that someone’s in your house before you go home and so I had this idea that there’s the Internet thing and then there’s alarms and the alarms were not on the Internet any you know and and OK this is not a it’s kind of a straightforward thing for a techie to think put the alarm on the Internet yeah Genesis of the idea for alarm.com I thought we were going to credit company that’s going to that’s going to allow people to take all of their heat fire detectors motion detectors glass breakage detectors alarm systems plug it in the Internet use the ideas we have like alerts to a personal alert remember the word alert by the way that all ties in alerts to your phone if someone goes in your house based upon an alarm system dot com and we launched a business doing home automation and this is 1999 OK and you know you can read headlines about Amazon doing it last week and last week and Apple doing it last week OK so by the way this is a Segway just ’cause you have the idea 1st and you have $20,000,000 or 10 or whatever to put behind doesn’t mean you’re going to win the market big early is just about the same as being wrong you have to write team here that ties all this together is that you know I would argue you’ve been incredibly visionary across all of these fields that you sort of dabbled in and from what I understand from some of the other interviews at some point you just said you know look this is my team but you know what I want to dive into is like what was it that you know what was the intuition that gave you that vision of of course we should be tying home alarm systems to the Internet you know of course we should be creating these personalized qualite I call IT service you know alert systems what was it what why did you see that stuff and then you know I want to segue into some of the more recent stuff I was always a technologist first right by my first grade I was reading science fiction when I went to MIT I got another degree while I was getting a degree in aeronautics and astronautics and the second degree was in the history of science and so I spent a lot of time reading about how science radiation antibiotics aviation railroads transportation networks communication networks oil energy how all steel gun guns germs and steel that stuff that they got that’s all I thought about you know from a very early age what’s the impact of all these things on civilization and economics like so it was kind of it was baked into me and of course MIT does stand for Institute of Technology I mean we all everybody I went to school like we all thought nonstop about how the world was going to change based on technology so so that on that point you know I want to push back a little bit because you know our Business Media options were domain brokerage firm and what I do all day long is and we really only focus on let’s say the top 2% of.com domain names and so by definition all day long everyday I’m speaking with the smartest brightest most successful entrepreneurs investors executives worldwide everyone from Amazon to venture backed startup Anne I gotta Samuel of these guys they went to Stanford they went to MIT they went to harbor they went to jail very few of them understand the implications of some of these technologies be it Bitcoin domain names you know be at any of these sort of regime changes in technology paradigm shifts very few of them actually grasp the implications and very even less of them do anything about it OK so Andrew that reminds me of something I forgot to say while I was reading science fiction I also stumbled across fantasy and the most famous magazines were science fiction and fantasy magazine I think that a lot of people are linear thinkers and engineering thinkers and they just think about the engineering implications and they don’t think about the fantastical application so they don’t have creativity and I illustrated this in my book the mobile wave and I wrote that in 2012 and I wrote about what happens when a product or service dematerialize is to software and I think that if you’re only a science fiction fan and if you’re only an engineer you’re living in a newtonian universe an it’s constraining OK but here here’s the idea you’re not a technologist you toss a baseball on a field it’s subject to subject to the universe you’ve grown up and there’s friction there’s gravity the baseball phones to the turf after about 100 at 300 feet that’s the conventional thinker now I convert the baseball the entire exercise and to software but I think with a engineers focus called you know call that science fiction and I and I think well if I was tossing that baseball in outer space don’t just keep going that’s going to go around the earth forever in a ballistic orbit object to the all the gravitational pull around it OK that’s more interesting but Andrew if I read fantasy and if I read I read all the fantastical things written along the science fiction my mind opens up a bit and I say you know I’m going to toss that baseball and it’s going to convert itself into a dragon and that dragon is going to burn down my enemy and it’s going to flip into a million white doves fly circles around me they’re going to land and they’re going to sing beautiful Symphony by Mozart while I bask in the glow of family that’s fantasy magic baseball it’s not constrained by the by the laws of time and space and anything so when you think about everything is dematerialising to software first you say what can I what can I do from an engineering point of view then you say what it was a magic baseball and so I guess most people that are conventional thinkers but they can’t imagine throwing the baseball through a vacuum and if they can if they were just an engineer and they didn’t study the liberal arts and they didn’t read the works of Tolkien and think about elves and dwarves and the light they can’t really conceptualize the rest and by the way there’s a very important there’s an important idea in the world of fantasy and it’s very relevant to domains and it caused me to think about it triggered it it’s in the world of fantasy there’s the concept of demons and you know Anna demon will come and it will kill you wearing your town down take everything you have make your life living hell and the most important thing is don’t mention its name what’s the name of the devil right every demon got a name you summon the demon with the name there always listening if you know the name of the demon you can summon it if you did not the name of the demon you can never summons it and it will be listening but but Lord help you if you mentioned that name and so what’s in a name right we’re back to this idea and this becomes really important in the modern world of high card anality search I’ll give you the example like on Alexa if I you know we started with a domain name as a handle for email you’re going to type it and you’re looking at a business card and then it became a handle for a website and you’re going to type it into a web browser we’re not going to have no hands and I tell Alexa Alexa Google Google domain name blank Google MicroStrategy Google Michael Saylor right I have no hands I’m speaking OK so speech is is as a tech what you eliminate the need for Google if you have a name that’s recognizable right you don’t you just cut Google out and say Siri apple.com Siri take me to strategy.com Siri take many glory.com or help.com I think this the semantically meaningful and very easy to say very difficult to confuse these types of names become critically important to verbal search I used the phrase there’s a word for that right there’s a word for that learn your words and if you’re talking to an AI you could say how many words in the English language is a lot the English language has words than any other language in the history of the world and we keep adding words so that is that true that is true that is true you can Google that there’s no English there’s no language with more words in English The English language became the language of science because we invented so many words and you need specialized words to describe yeah and it’s a it’s a very important reason why the English language is if I had to guess 80% of all the economic value on flows to the English language and that’s meaningful for domains we come back to that in a second I could talk for hours about the light but but the more important point is I’m talking to Alexa and there’s 500,000 words OK which of the I have to remember the word there are companies that have names and their names are misspellings cute they try to get cute and they think that they’re saving themselves money but overtime they’re just costing themselves you know in that reputable it’s an irreparable leak in the dam let let’s take lift right yeah it’s left L ift or is lift LYF T and if you’re talking to Alexa and you say you know I’m interested in lift or I’m interested you know I want to lift its like it created an ambiguity and now you have to spell it now imaginary to hurdle huge hurdle but this is lost on so many people they don’t understand that but you know you say hey Alexa take me to lyft.com that easy fed icatu to LYFTLI ft.com and now Andrew let’s go back let’s go back to a basic principle how many people on the earth today studied English in school because it’s gotta be at least a billion right yeah OK and if you were probably billion people to speak English fluently and then if you’re anybody else right 7 billion people on earth if you’re anybody else that wants money Learn English basic principles is English is the ultimate probably more than a billion people if you think about all of the people in the Philippines India and China those three countries alone never mind Africa where you know I don’t know what the percentages are but it’s gotta be a very high percentage that are there that learn English in order to engage with this global economy and I’ve travelled everywhere in the world and I do business just about everywhere in the world where there’s money software is expensive where where people can afford to buy it we do business and here is what I observe have observed if I go to a non English speaking country those people that speak English fluent if you’re a cab driver and you speak English fluently you get paid triple also are you for triple what the what the cab driver that that speaks the local language page if you’re any kind of white collar worker and you speak English you know in China the differential between someone that knows how to code software and speaks English and someone that knows how to code software and doesn’t speak English please easily a factor of 2 maybe you know so if every kid in America just my assistant makes 3 times what the average rate would be for her you know demographic speaks English well and otherwise you know she’s going to do the same job somebody else does require English speakers you can earn a third we could I don’t know the exact number but I think that the uplift is somewhere between 2X and 3X on average everywhere on earth in some places it could be 5X the tenant if you’re if you’re in difficulty and so imagine if we told every kid in America that if you spoke Spanish we would double your wages at age 22 I told you I was going to triple your salary at age 22 if you spoke Spanish yeah think happens next finally I I live in Miami Beach and there’s an economic benefit to speaking Spanish in Miami Beach because you can you can manage and acquire labor and products services products in England and inspect you can hire people to speak Spanish and they work for you or you can sell to people so on both sides of the transaction you speak Spanish there’s a lot of americanos that grew up speaking English and they make Spanish their second language ’cause they so so English becomes that incredibly powerful thing now there’s gotta be a billion but maybe there’s billions of people that are taken here’s another one I have a sailor.org free education for the world we give away education we’re trying to give away a college degree to the entire earth for free we got with 500,000 students so far I’ve come wow 70,000 students 1/4 and what do you think is the single most popular course we offer Andrew English is a second language English and ESL English as a second language you nailed it the most popular course in the world across every everybody wants to learn English as a second language because they want the money the economic benefit if you sell anything in English you’re going to get paid more if you’re purchasing anything in English you’re going to buy it for less English is the most liquid market now just like that very clearly with domain names I want to give an example and then I’m going to come back to one of the first principles that we were discussing so Spanish Spanish word right so Spanish second largest or most spoken language in the world but certainly not the bread is economic benefit but you know Spanish domain name you can have beta.com BID a.com light in Spanish man you’re really good right but at best attempt or it could have been 100 of what the value of light.com is even ignoring the IP different created by Life magazine and the media at the present but John sees what it is that the economic benefitofwhite.com is at a minimum 10X and potentially 100 X greater than the economic benefit of the same exact word in Spanish both have 4 letters very easy to spell consonant vowel consonant vowel all the same attributes other than what is Spanish one is yes I want to come back to this idea of vaporization of everything because I believe fundamentally might might pieces on the value of domain names is that domain names are the proxy for commercial real estate on the Internet and you said something about how you take everything and it basically thank you from its physical form vaporized it turn it into software and you’re creating your unlocking just tremendous amounts of value in attributes that didn’t previously exist and so I think we’re witnessing this implosion of commercial real estate I believe whether you agree or not that value that’s being displaced from commercial real estate is being replaced in the digital real estate and in the digital economy what do you think do you think that that seemed logic that you’re using from physical economy to software economy design planning domain names is that the physical real estate being vaporized into digital real estate OK Andrew I would use the word dematerialize because it’s ’cause I like it when my superheroes dematerialized and they walk through walls and they vaporize it makes me a bit yeah negative connotation but but I think that the theme for the last 30 years but certainly for the past 10 years Is the dematerialization of everything and so Apple can be explained as the dematerialization dematerialization of every mobile device your camera your phone you know your your your video recorder your television they’re all just deem it you’re booked their old IMA junior magazines or dematerialising onto an Apple device and Facebook is the dematerialization of your social relationships the conversion of the intangible into a tangible yes software and you see this Amazon is the dematerialization of the retail storefront yes right into the Amazon store Bitcoin is the dematerialization of brick sold and then yeah and just anything that’s a store of value property as value dematerialising into coin domains are the dematerialization of right now commercial real estate I don’t you know if you look at commercial real estate or commercial and commercial real estate for the most part dematerialising into domains and if you take an example obviously you know you see 90% of the retail stores going away and you have to find them on cyberspace and everybody just thinks I can just go find them at Amazon and in order for Amazon to dematerialize all of those retailers they had to they had to enter all those categories so any category that Amazon couldn’t enter legally there’s a lot of categories that they can’t legally or technically or logistically then those exist as their own businesses and they have not been eaten by Amazon but if Amazon could do it they would do it and that’s definitely their intent now if you look at just what’s happened in the past six months we’re going through what I call a virtual wave and that’s what comes after the mobile way and the virtual wave is is the dematerialization of most most of our traditional sales marketing and services techniques in in the world if it could be dematerialized it gotten it getting dematerialized so in our business 80% of our marketing got dematerialized to either streaming on demand videos on the website or it got dematerialized to zoom and so zoom is the equivalent of dematerialized sales I’m having a meeting with you one on one but he materialized marketing is like you’re going to take this record this uploaded to the web and thousands and thousands and thousands of people have a meeting with the two of us they’re going to be sitting in the room so you know the idea that you three years ago you might have invited me to Lisbon so that I could give a speech in front of 500 people in a room and it would have cost everybody half $1,000,000 to participate and this year you’re going to invite me to a 1 1/2 hour conversation that cost us both a nickel and you’re going to publish it and maybe it’ll stream to 87,000 people and we’re just keeping the marketing money however the value creation of that is just I mean that’s what they tell you a conversation in of itself but it’s just like OK so you didn’t fly I don’t have to pay for you to come as a speaker cover your cost all these people didn’t have to buy a ticket come sit in the room you know we weren’t limited by space we weren’t limited by time it was like all of this stuff just got dematerialized and instantly created just an immense amount of value and now and now the question is how do my customers get to me if I can’t go face to face to them if I can’t have a symposium if I can’t go to a trade show and knock on their door Anne and Boeing the the first answer is Oh yeah maybe I do some of this YouTube stuff or maybe I could do some Google stuff for some Facebook so but let me tell you Andrew I had spent $20,000,000 in 12:00 AM after 12 months I belong through $20,000,000 buying Facebook and Google ads and got nothing yeah blonde $20,000,000 into the toilet right like the amount of money I spent buying digital advertising it’s horrific and and and painful and and then I started thinking well I can just post stuff on YouTube but what if they take it down OK so is Bank of America or you know is any brand is Amazon going to use YouTube and Google is their distribution channel and the answer is you need to own using someone else as your distribution channel is like paying for a day by day week by week lease on someone elses real astate to set up your pop-up lemonade stand you don’t own the relationship you can be turned off at anytime welcome to the cancel culture right it’s like all of these things are dovetailing into into my faces it’s like you wanna build a brand you all these influences like you OK great you know you got 100,000 followers on Instagram or Twitter or whatever it might be tomorrow morning wake up and they just shut you up didn’t like what you had to say somebody somebody complained and that’s it you’re over there not one right now if you were taking those people and you were driving them to a property that you own at least a good portion of them are going to be sticky and now you have their contact you got an email address you got the data you got the relationship they know where to find you when you get turned off I think people have rediscovered the criticality of owning their own domain if you get into business code which is good for that for if you do business in the virtual age you have to do it you have to sell market and service all your product and all your value proposition through your own domain and you need the email of the custom email has become paramount more important than ever because we can bypass every other mediator Facebook Twitter you know Microsoft everybody LinkedIn everybody under the sun can cut you off but if you have the email and you have that relationship they can’t cut you off so now you just realize much to your horror that if you’ve got a corporate name that no one can spell no one can remember and no one can right find you it’s like taking your bank branch and putting it on the Panhandle of Alaska at the end of a Rd in a lacking that last bridge together or let’s put an obstacle course in front of the front door at Walmart right like here we’re going to let you park about a kilometre away and we’re going to create an obstacle course before you’re able to enter the door you know how many years how many years shoppers you’re going to lose I think it’s analyst quote it was always evident that Walmart was a 20th century name and brand because they spelled it WAL dash Mart and so if you were to ask a focus group of 100 people to go to walmart.com they would all spell the differently some with the deadly space some with some of the double L and so eventually they realized they should just go with Walmart but even that’s not nearly as good as picking because Walmart is not and then not now I want to go back to a point we skipped over when your first grade teacher spanked you for misspelling your words and then your second grade teacher spanked you for misspelling your words and then you got that 12 years in a row how many hours do you think have been invested in this civilization to teach the current one 1,000,000 richest people to speak English how to spell yeah would you care to actually estimate by like let’s turn it around eight hour 8 hours a day you know 12 hour 12 years those billion people spent 2000 well let’s say 1000 hours a year times a billion so they spent a trillion hours times 12 so violate maybe times 16 but let’s say 12 trillion hours were spent figuring out how to spell the name properly and then I used to get a kick out of these idiot marketing consultants and they would come in and their idea was yeah your name is strategy but but we can’t trademark strategy because it’s been an English language for 500 years and it’s written in 100 million billion books so we’re going to spell it as TRATEGI are you thinking yes it’s in a billion books and a trillion hours got spent teaching everyone with money how to spell it this way and you don’t need to launch a company and I will not name the companies but Andrew you can go and find all the companies who came up with these unique lists are cute cute cute names misspelled but what you’re doing is you’re fighting against 12 trillion hours till about nation what you’re saying it’s very effective it flip that right it’s like yeah if you want strategy.com stay with that example you’re a household name on day one day one day one every single human being on earth that speaks the English language knows your grain I want to tell you something else funny this is like it was just it’s just so obvious in my car if you’d ask me at age 3 does it make sense to misspell the name of the you know the word so I can mark it on it I would like no not so obvious but let’s think about this for a second I I used to get any fights with these marketing consultants like someone to spend $100,000 and tell you to misspell your brain yeah and trademark by the lawyers who back him up like OK get the lawyers in you are out of your mind to spend 100 branded by strategy.com you must be out of your mind you can train 100 grand with me to misspell it and then spend 100 million dollars on an ad campaign to market a misspelling of an English word but but Andrew I just want to tell you like like this is the ultimate irony that was before you know I knew it was a bad idea when you had to type it right because 95% of the people can’t type you know this ambiguation you know words and it’s and it’s really hard to type words that are misspelled you have to look at them and type because you are learning them for the first time yes but this is the joke Andrew like this is the big one right this is the crippling one when Apple and Google got smart enough and Microsoft finally got their software to be magical this software won’t let you misspell words yeah so I started typing your misspelled EFT up brand and it keeps auto correcting it back to write English three times you just get there but sometimes I just can’t get there Andrew yeah give up try on your little mobile phone typing a misspelling into the web and it keeps kicking you out and so these guys outsmarted themselves by a long shot because think about it if there’s 500,000 words in the English language you really got to invent a new word I’ve seen companies I’m not going to name I’m going to barrus anybody I’ve seen companies that actually talk a positive English word that was a virtue and they misspell it like in some cute way so the trade market yeah the if you go on Google and you and you type in the word properly you get 175 million hits it like it hit it resonates if you go on Google and you type their name the way they spell it will have time Google says tries to auto correct you and take you to the other place right wrong did you mean you must’ve made a mistake trying to get right you must but if you and then if you say no and you deny and you misspell it and you type it you get 1.7 million hits which means that the word is 100 times less popular when these are companies with a billion dollars of revenue behind them or billions of dollars of revenue it’s like that yeah it’s like the brilliance of I have a name that is impossible to pronounce he who you cannot pronounce well that’s real great but how am I supposed to bark at you on my radio show yeah yeah so you know it’s a great segue into voice.com easy easy name to spell just phenomenal massive implications from telecom to you know giving people a social voice which is ultimately what it’s being used for now or will be so many different avenues to go down to commercialize that name when you sold voice.com little over a year ago when the announcement came out we were actually all us being the domain industry here in Lisbon we are celebrating our names, the annual domain conference and Frank Schilling the guy mentioned earlier who is probably jealous he doesn’t have frank.com was up on stage with somebody from GoDaddy and they started talkingaboutthevoice.com cell and as Frank so correctly said the only way to sell a domain name for $30,000,000 is to say no to 25,000,000 and so I want to understand your mental model around value how do you assign a numerical value to a domain name this is a seller and then I want to talk to you a little bit about flipping on you and talk about it as a buyer Anne so so interesting clarification are an inside fact I didn’t say no to 25 million I said no to 22 million yeah yeah that was the exact number and and equally impressive and the way I said it was I won’t take 22,000,000 my number is 30,000,000 but I will talk to you and explain to you and so that you know at the $22,000,000 point I agreed to meet with the buyer and explain to them why it was worth more my second observation is we don’t buy these things to sell these things we buy these things to build a business on these things so it’s not not our our idea to sell ’em I’d much rather commercialize them but when somebody throws 22,000,000 on the table you know you have to make a decision you know what is this thing worth to me oppurtunity cause yeah when we think about you know what kind of business could be could be built on these things and how valuable they will overtime you know one of my most simple frameworks is what I mean first you start with the economic density in the English language it compared to every other language and I think the conclusion is if you stock up all the languages 70 to 80% of the economic density in the world is is in English it just did it I mean if you look at the there’s this western net which is Western Europe United States English US dollars convertible into euros running an American US technology the Internet TCP IP right dominated by big tax that western at is something on the order of 75% of everything on earth right and then there’s like China they got their own the China net thing kind of falls off so first of all you look at that an English is the surrogate for the western end the second thing you ask is what’s the economic density in the in the actual domain.com versus.de and that’s another long tail where I think 75 you have to look at the economic density of everything through we’ve we’ve done the math by our estimates and by our . It was evaluated we say you know I’m looking at names that at most people would argue are worth 25,000 or $50,000 for more right and everything else is sort of circumstances and we believe is roughly 50,000 domain names that have that inherent value that’s it 50,008 billion people on earth I don’t know how many businesses 50,000 English domains which have an inherent it’s not that much I mean you’re right there there aren’t that many that are really valuable and that’s because once you once you discard or once you focus upon the 80% that’s English and then you realize something like 80% is in the.com domain because of google.com and Amazon.com and trillions of dollars that are in rain into the public and and then you realize that’s the gravitational pole and then you count the number of clicks and the amount of traffic going through those.com domains now the question is to theleftofthe.com what’s the word and common sense says you want it to be a short word with positive connotation that spellable yeah so it’s either it’s either an ID an idea or it’s a place or it’s a thing or it’s a person you know Michaeljsaylor.com not nearly so valuable sailor.com alot more valuable but michael.com Michael was like either the first or the second most popular name for men before Twilight when God is busy when he is busy in heaven Michael takes over Angel entire Christian ethos he’s the number two guy in heaven is important but it’s an important name 2000 years ago it’s been an important name and it translates as the most important name in every other language right and there’s Michelangelo it is Michael chore there’s alot of Michael Jackson there’s a lot of Michaels but ultimately Michael the arch Angel very important and so and Emma the ultimate matchmaker in the Jane Austen book is like every girl grew up taking Emma she’s she’s my hero right so you want to you want a name that everybody remembers it resonates with everybody and it’s positive pink you know as an aside when we when we sold voice for $30,000,000 I think we’d be like it was like sex.com that was 11 million or something sex alright I get why it went for so much but but you couldn’t have sold sex.com to a legitimate global 2000 company with 100 billion dollar balance sheet I’d argue that it’s overpriced because as ubiquitous as the word sex is and as you know ultimately what you’re trying to do is create an emotional response with any of these branding and marketing taxes right so it got that but very hard to commercialize born is free I mean very few people paid for it so not names I think to justify that price if the issue is what you know what brand could you put this is domains are real estate in cyberspace and there really like a block on Central Park in Manhattan right like the thing that you realize if you travel around the world like you start by thinking every state is equal to every other state an I gotta have a sales person in every city in America and then you go to New York and you realize that half of everything in the country is in New York is in New York City like OK you don’t really if you have half of your sales force was in New York and the other half will spread around everywhere else yeah it would be economically rational and if you look at the value of real estate it’s like oh half of all the real estate value is in New York City yeah this is like owning you know all of New York you know on Central Park if you own you know some of these words and if you go back to your 50,000 words right there’s probably like 50,000 blocks or maybe 50,000 words or like the most valuable one block in London New York separate the most valuable cities now I’m going to give you a more technical way to devalue these things the way that I do it great that’s what I want to do you give me a word voiceofthepeople.com and I go and I and I start to Google in quotes voice of the people on Google and I count the number of hits and that will tell you how frequently voice of the people pops up or whatever now if you go Google right now voice.com on Google on a browser you will get 2.2 billion hits voicenotnotthe.com but just type word voice your voice that’s what I meant yeah nowhere invoice will get 2.2 billion hits what you’ll see is that first tier words or verses first here domains in my opinion get a billion or more hits on the word if you Google Michael you will get like 2 billion hits or something if you Google William if you Google Mike you’ll get a billion hits if you Google hope you’ll get more than a billion hits if you Google words like usher you’ll get 500 million answers you’ll get in the hundreds of millions when you start to go and Google Esso tarek names Google companies that are 100 billion dollar revenue companies around for 30 years and you’ll get 79 million hits yeah and you’ll fall below 100 million you can Google billion dollar company and you’ll get 17 million hits you will get 7 minutes and so and what does that mean well when you buy the word or when you rap for build your business on the domain say voice you’re leaping ahead of 2.2 billion pages on the Google search engine and so there’s 2.2 billion other references in the western world and you’re rising above them to the to the very typical because not only are you going to get preferred by the Google search engine voice.com goes to like the first page immediately they didn’t have you know lift add to spend billion dollars more to actually crawl up to their level and voice goes there immediately and that’s the first benefit the second benefit is you don’t need Google like as soon as I’ve had here here’s a here’s a really great domain name simple rule I’m going to build a business I’m going to put it on a domain and if someone hears the name of my business for one second they’re going to be able to find it for the rest of their life and if I can pass that one second roll Michael what’s your charity hope yeah Michael you gotta business that actually tell me that’ll save my life what’s it called alarm yeah you know Michael alert OK like one word 11 second and I will I will bypass Google and remember it the rest of my life because my third grade teacher rapped my knuckles when I spelled wrong and and so tapping into the site Geist of the of all of western civilization with that brand and if Google ever goes out of business and if and if anybody ever decides they’re just going to suppress you down to page 37 on the search results which is what they do right and you can breathe oxygen to exactly that’s exactly right just snorkel right it’s a snorkel in the ocean of Google and you know for lack of a better analogy but that’s exactly right it’s like OK you want to push me down well all I gotta do is market outside of you and I gotta direct frictionless point of contact with my customers and potential customers enter this another word that comes to mind which is pristine you don’t like christine.com meet really yeah christine.com and flawless.com OK you’re my hero now Bitcoin is the most pristine collateral on the planet which I 100% agree with and I was just laughing ’cause you know I think he said 15 times the word pristine between the two of you and I was like yespristine.com so it’s a beautiful word and it and it’s relevant in and how you think about domain names because when I tell you I have I have an offering like Google Voice and and the way you get to it is you type voice.google.com or maybe you type google.voice.com or maybe you type googlevoice.com or maybe the google.com/voice or and then when I create a sign and the sign is like voice by Google or Google voice it breaks that design rule because there’s something you could take away when I just have the word voice dot com the way that the human mind works and you know the way we’ve been conditioned is is human beings they suppress something which is constant in their environment and they focus on the signal his voice the.com is understood and expected and if you’re not if you’re anything butthat.com you are encumbering your brand or it could have not say my brand is voice because you’re on voice dot IO your brand is voice dot IO or get your supply boys or Google voice or whatever you’re encumbered if you’re not on your encumbered you’re odd and confusing yes and deluded and so this is a mistake for Google it’s a massive mistake company with 100 billion dollars in capital and they and it’s worth a billion dollars to them to own the word voice and there and they’re not even there oblivious to this because first of all they’re just odd and confusing their confusing their customer their diluting their own brand it under percent they’re deluding a billion dollar of but you know 100 billion dollar Google brand they’re deluding the voice brand and and there they are imposing on their customers and and by the way it’s inadvertently the only way to get to Google Voice is to go through Google and if I happened there is another search engine like you know Microsoft Bing or something like that now they’re at the mercy of other search engines you know and it’s so silly it really is it’s an ego thing we’ve had a lot of interactions with Google and the way that they think about domain names they just basically their opinion is we are Google we don’t need their domain and my point is well the number one rule in E Commerce is you need to create the least amount of steps I would love to know how much did Amazon’s revenues increase when they introduced the one click buy and the reason is because you reduce the amount of friction between what somebody’s intent is and the outcome and so if my intent is to find Google Voice and I’ve gotta get Google Voice now you see a link I go there now I’m locked into my account like Google and then I’m presented with 100 electrons and I never go scroll through them and I click on voice it’s like you know it’s as useless as you know phone apps it’s like well phone apps are great when there was four apps on my phone now that there’s 100 and now I gotta go hey Siri can you find this app for me ’cause I don’t feel like scrolling through 7 pages of apps just yeah you’re deluding the brand you’re deluding the experience because their engineers and maybe they didn’t get their liberal arts degrees because you know what would William Shakespeare say yes name yeah what would William Shakespeare say what would any poet say what would Virgil say what would you know any of them would be shuttering in their grave right now but I get another kick out of it I mean could you imagine the hilarity of it when you’re on Amazon Alexa trying to ask Alexa to get you a Google voice account it just gets so complicated so less that the elegance of the word violate you know people talk about again we talked about Bitcoin being pristine collateral and a single word domain is pristine as a pristine domain Bitcoin is sovereign and mortality in cyberspace is you put something into you know into a cauldron of encrypted energy and will be there 100 years pristine well a domain name digital sovereignty immortal sovereignty for your brand and if you it’s it’s like I I own I own the best restaurant in Manhattan and I make I make $10,000,000 a year and I have you know this restaurant on Central Park and everybody loves it and then my landlord comes at the end of my lease and says I see you’re making 10,000,000 a year I read about it in the whatever Journal and so you’re ranch is $8,000,000 $10 at the cash flow the other 8.82 million is better than nothing and our choices give up 50 or 75% of your cash floor and by the way that they may be like I’m just going to take it all I mean I liked what you doing 10,000,000 a year and so I’m setting out yo yo restaurant for 10 million a year Ann you’re out and people know where to find the food they don’t care owner is there out you move to the Bronx any good businessman or woman would look at this and and it’s like you know when you’re three years old you either know or you don’t know it’s like I’m going to invest all of my life’s energy and building this business I’m going to buy the dirt underneath my building if that matters if it like if it doesn’t matter if if you’re selling insurance online it don’t you know real estate in whatever the world doesn’t matter real insurance online real estate in cyberspace matters a heck of a lot sure does and so some people got it early right Jeff bizos gotta 20 years ago I figured it out other people figured out a bit later some people have figured it out but then they screw it up like Google kind of got it with Google but then they screwed it up with Google voice and now everybody in the world and I was getting this lesson you know post pandemic if you didn’t quite figure out that you needed to sell in market and service all your stuff through your website let’s put it in a different way you’re not allowed to do it any other way wanted to and so maybe didn’t want to maybe you didn’t think you needed to welcome to the world of you don’t have a choice at every as Mike Tyson so eloquently said everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face so this is a great segue you you said something another great analogy that you made in the interview with popular drought but you said that Bitcoin by the way right big news first CEO in the history of public markets to take your Treasury and convert it into Bitcoin right whether you like Bitcoin or don’t like Bitcoin their conversation better served on other interviews have done but it’s you know for me crystal clear you understand it I think your track record of being ahead of the game on all of the things that we’ve already discussed here right you made the analogy that Bitcoin is the steel framing of this new economy in the same way that builders who used to build with bricks and mortar in Europe or with wooden houses in the United States and that was great until people wanted to go past two stories or five stories if you were stone or whatever it might be but suddenly the invention of steel allows you to build 100 story building and there was a phenomenal analogy that really little off the light bulb in my head and you know of course the builders who build in brick and mortar and of course the builders building would are going to push back and they said well you know they steal thing is untested and we don’t think you should do that it’s like straight out of iran’s Atlas Shrugged you know Hank rearden invents this new form of steel is an alloy it’s far more durable safer etc but all the other guys who manufacture railroad ties this is unproven you can’t do that you can’t do that we were going to government ban that right the big point comes along and it completely disrupts this this world that we that we lived in and in the same way that steel disrupted wooden bricks and mortar and I heard that in the light bulb it went off my house guys spot on and the point that you forgot to mention is that that steel framing needs a foundation to be built on an exact match brand.com is the bedrock foundation on which you can build that 100 story building if you try to build 100 story building on a foundation made of sand you’re not going to last very long and I think that that is an absolutely crystal clear analogy because if you try to build Amazon on you know try Amazon.com go Amazon.com Amazon dot IO Amazon never gets to the point they are today doesn’t happen is that do you think that’s a fair extrapolation of your analogy yeah I think I think it is a very very good metaphor a great domain name in the.com English fear is like having having clear ownership forever of one or more city blocks in Manhattan on granite granite granite granite bedrock rock solid foundation and a deed forever to that and no one is going to take that away the likelihood that someone is going to change the meaning of pristine in the next 100 years in the English language or not going to likelihood that they’re going to change the connotation of hope for a billion people impossible it’s just not going to happen so so I think that all these businesses as they all dematerialize their products and services then all of their traditional sales marketing service storefronts all of them dematerialized to cyberspace if you want sovereignty in cyberspace you must own your own domain and of course everybody gets the fact they got on a domain just most of them have a garbage you bad one I’ll take another or I’ll take one more example here which is IBM IBM spent it must have spent billions of dollars marketing Watson watching watching what’s the future of AI and the future of business intelligence the future of everything for IBM IBM never bothered to buy watson.com and they didn’t want to buy it it just it was like I don’t When I Google it it’s like a pharmaceutical company that owns that doesn’t use it it’s got a warehouse and I thought you guys spent billions of you put billions of dollars of effort behind commercializing a product offering on a domain space that you don’t own and now you gotta pay Google to get you to the top of the world in the search engine it’s like renting obscenely expensive real estate well it’s going to blow your mind the remnants of the original John Paul Getty company is a real estate investment trust publicly listed called Getty Realty and they owned getty.com and they realize some point today just be there really needed their real estate investment trusts and they’re not really consumer facing they’ve got you know they’ve been operating at getting Realty and so they approached me and said you know would you like to sell daddy.com for us right there’s obviously first thing that comes to mind Getty Images massive companies guys monopoly image in the world yeah get it get it means that in cyberspace and they would like to get 100 million people to go to get according to them they don’t even want to make an offer and this is the stuff This is why I love speaking to you because you know you get it and you got it 20 years ago you got 25 years ago right it’s like and I’m trying to this is what I do on a daily basis try to understand where is the disconnect how is it that you understood this 25 years ago and for you it’s so intuitive and clear we have this conversation we’re preaching to the converted but it’s like how can there be a disconnect from this is so obvious I think everything that you and I have said in this conversation is very difficult for somebody to dispute and then you have somebody like Getty Images who says we don’t need getting.com why would we meet that were Getty Images what we don’t meet getty.com about right here so many other business units of Getty that isn’t involved just an image is right it’s like we don’t need that and I don’t even know how to argue with that person you know I think you just gotta be part architect and part artist at you have to be well apali maverick you have to you have to understand about poetry and liberals read Shakespeare and you gotta be an architect you gotta be an artist like signage you put a sign on the side of a building or whatever what’s a better sign micro strategy or strategy strategies are better sign what’s a better sign Coca Cola or Coke if you put up on that it blocks and and if you look to brand you want 4 letters generally because 4 letters about the minimum you can have to be unique but it’s the maximum you can have to get a form factor which in a split second burn yeah I look at boats people like name their boats you know the second Marjorie Majesty of the Seas and I’m like you know by the time you write 47 characters in the site that it’s four point fan I can’t read it OK so have you you know so you want to I’d like to say Andrew you want to be a good marketer but I think there are a lot of people in the marketing business that still think that misspelling a common word is good marketing idea first experience and they just don’t have common sense and I’ll give you one more example this is architecture a very famous architect were main name is but you would know his name built a building at MIT Ann wanted to be unique and so they built the building so it’s all curvilinear there are no there’s no classic form like Howard roark would be going nuts about this and you know in The Fountainhead this new fangled architect who’s famous and rich and makes a fortune bills this curvilinear building and it’s like well there’s no straight line through it and there’s no rectangular or square rooms in it and nothing is ordinary an it’s odd and looks like spaceship space aliens excrete it from a blob you go into the building it’s like well you can’t find anything anything if you haven’t been there you can’t make it to any room so so if you have a million people here going in the building know but everybody gets lost and they’re like everybody gets lost here we think it’s kind of everybody gets lossed trying to find where they’re going in the building and then here’s a better one Andrew I get lost because of course it does this and it’s odd and the guy with his intellectual arrogance imposed this twisted thing on people ’cause he was bored then I get into a conference room and the conference room spins in a spiral you ever been into a spiraling conference room that does this and look up OK it causes Vertigo Andrew I can’t make this **** up yeah why do my friends you can’t make architect designs a building where everyone gets lossed when they try to meet there and then when they go into the conference room they get Vertigo and I’m not lying you fall down on your head you literally get Vertigo when you fall down in the room and so I look at the tour guide yeah this is yeah this is going very good yeah it used to be worse so we had to come in and put these four large post in the room to give people A-frame of reference yeah furniture so that their inner ear spin and they paid money a very wealthy person paid money to a very wealthy architect to do this this damage on people the reason is not non sequit tour is that’s what it’s like to pick a bad domain they like what your brand on a bad domain you confuse everyone they get lossed you give them Vertigo it’s inflicting harm on your customer and if if you don’t get the fact that people get losten fall down when they tried to come and do business with you then I just can’t explain it right right like it should the best way to communicate to people probably is you start to show them that in the modern era when you type their domain they get spell checked out I can’t ask for your thing even if I wanted to because it doesn’t work on speech recognition I can type it in you get spell checked out no but you know put a focus group of 100 people together guys and ask them whether they can remember and use your brand in one second and if the answer is yes it’s a good domain of the answer is stop giving me all these legal everyone is guys with a bad domain and a bad brand it’s ’cause they’re cheap and everyone of them hundreds of millions of dollars marketing and giving their money for Super Bowl ads and stupid magazine ads and they spend it with count the amount of money they spend with Google and Facebook if you have to spend money with Google and Facebook on marketing it’s probably because your domain was weak and if your domain was stronger your advertising budget would probably be falling through the floor. Repeat return customers and this is exactly at the heart of my thesis on what the value of a domain name is what you’re trying to establish is what is the cost of customer acquisition and how are you reducing the cost of customer acquisition over a reasonable business multiple and therein lies your value brand equity but it’s about reducing your cost of customer acquisition and the repetition of the customer it’s not you know once you acquire a customer with a Google ad you got them to your website once and if you have a bad domain name and your brain doesn’t match your domain name then you gotta spend that same amount of money to get them back but if you’ve got a sticky domain name which is intuitive to your customer where do you bought them the first time or they came to you organically the first time they are sticky and is there for life you don’t need to keep ingraining the brand into their mind it was a household name they want there’s one more point that’s worth making here because you’re jogging me you’re triggering me again you make me think things I haven’t thought in a long time ’cause you’re in the business and I just happen to have a passion for the business at a point yes word of mouth word of mouth but it’s not just that it is a good domain name will help your customers come back to you it’s a good domain name will allow your customers to tell their friends to come to you yes yes if you want to go viral and if you want to spread through the ecosystem via word of mouth if you want people eating in the world by the way you want your customers to send a text message to their friends to go to you you want them to type it in their Twitter you want them to tell people when they talk you know you know before we had cyberspace we used to use the Sonic net you know the sound net we talk to each other and hopefully we will do that again sometime soon and and so when you actually brand yourself with a domain that you can’t spell an interesting point which we didn’t touch on which is which is when I say the word it needs to be unique if you hear it and so that’s the problem with lift I really loved you know if I have a word and there’s 16 different different spelling variations they all sound the same then it doesn’t travel via audio any fashion with all that the radio test in the domain where we call it the radio test if you hear it on the radio do you know how to spell it you know which version it is and it doesn’t pass the radio test it’s not a good bank. So it all comes down to if you got a great domain it’s going to hit on a resonating frequency across all of these communication mechanisms and that resonating frequency might very well be a million times more resonant right then then then your other idea so agree we could conclude that in general our view is that this has been lifted domain of marketers for the past 20 years and CEOs did it get it is involved I mean the idea that CK would delegate to a head of marketing with delegate to a a brand marketing picking agency and by like I’ve hired them in the fast and the past Andrew I have never had a good idea or a good brand name proposed to me by someone that does brand name picking for living yes they always picked awful ones that would not resonate that would not travel because they wanted to be unique unique for the same reason that your architect building and instead and that’s why and so then we get to the good news the good news is in the year 2020 every CEO knows they have to rebuild their brand their product and and for the virtual error you have to irap your product and sell it virtually not through a storefront and that means they’re taken over that job from the CMO and every CMO is figured out that they better be able to sell their stuff off their domain and then the last piece of good news is there’s a lot of good domains with great names that have not been commercialized and and there’s an opportunity for these companies that have billion dollar plus brands to common commercialize on billion dollar plus domains we didn’t touch on it but I didn’t want it so voice for 30 million I thought it was worth a lot more I’d rather I agree I think it’s worth the billion dollars you know just like and the price the Delta between the market and the price is at least an order of magnitude possibly 10 orders of magnitude I think when it’s all said and done in 10 years 15 years 20 years from now when the tying world has been dematerialized and is now living in the ether you know one of these names is as you said a block on the park in Manhattan and what does that work right what is that what is that building work 121 yeah it’s not even that’s not even a strong enough metaphor because it’s more like having a block in the center of every town on earth and rebounds ever gonna get constructed until the human race decides to abandon English yeah and then 1000 years from now if they abandon English and they and they’ve given up all hope Andrew when they no longer have hope well that’s it be important as so I think you can look out one 2 three 400 years to every place on earth and you can say if you have a good word a pristine word that word is and and a people continue to function then that’ll be that will be valuable and it’s not it’s not an asset that can be impaired by a municipal politician or policy a state policy of federal policy a global policy lot of real Estates impaired assets right now for this reason cyberspace is cyberspace and it’s a different thing and it’s it’s a magical thing right you can create magical Getty Images they ought to be selling or someone like them they ought to be selling art digitally into a billion households at $10 a month and it ought to be 100 billion dollar a year business selling digital art rights to display your art on your wall and that’s just going to sit on art.com right or something probably art.com is better than getty.com for that now I think art.com is one of the three to five most valuable domains in the world yeah so we’re we’re we’re united I want to be I want to be conscious of your time but there are so many topics still there I’d love to dive into but will have to bring you back on unless you want to I’m happy to go as long as you want to go but you know there’s a whole concept the next 10 minutes is this whole concept of the decentralized DNS which is sort of ties in with Bitcoin crypto and you know we’re moving we’re decentralizing money but decentralizing sovereignty and it makes sense to me that the DNS the root zone should ultimately maybe be a centralized you know there’s problems with sort of these mechanisms for dispute you know what you got it there’s no mechanism to dispute until he’s got a trademark and they’ve got legitimate rights and interest into that name and they missed the boat whatever you know there should be some mechanism amount of sure how you solve that governance problem but loud smarter people than me working on it are there any other existential threats that you could think of the domains and even more importantly being early in everything you’ve done what did you think of even just one use case for domain is I believe utility of domain names is going to expand exponentially I think that it’s going to be geofencing it’s going to be identifying physical objects in the digital world just in the way that identifies a company in the digital world now I think the whole pseudo anonymous society removed you represented through domain names but are there any utilities that you can imagine have you thought about this at all on on on commercialized utilities for domain names in the future I’m not terribly concerned about you know the the underlying ownership mechanics of domain names right now and the need for decentralisation I think it may grow as an issue overtime but body of law is pretty settled and I I I I don’t see they have the same kind of regulatory uncertainty and ambiguities that that are threatening to certain other businesses yes I think ultimately you know what’s missing is we need a lot more education for rank and file executives the CEOs and the CMO’s of the world and the scene and the investors I think that for the most part people just don’t really they don’t understand it and the and the number one thing we can do is educate them I remember I remember talking to people 10 years ago I talked to people on Wall Street about Apple stock or Apple and they just wanted to they’re always like Apple you know as soon as it goes up we’re going to sell it and buy some HP and IBM so you don’t too much exposure to Apple and then there are businesses and they existed to sell tech when it got to be too much of your portfolio and sell Apple when it got to be too much of tech and they thought that that was value added and there’s a lot of conventional thinking like that and of course eventually Apple became the most valuable company in the world because it ate everything else like hold ’em they ignored me I wrote the book they didn’t read the book as in 2012 Apple Amazon Facebook Google are going to eat the world just read the book nobody reads books anymore what I learned here Andrew is if you kind of understand the future you have an opinion if you have a conviction don’t bother to write the book no one is going to read it just buy all the stuff that you can buy right and then tweet about it and then maybe You know create educational content on YouTube and let the let let the one hour 2 hour half hour content circulate and then all of the people that have been completely closed to this idea at some point it clicks in their mind0art.com wait the most valuable use of any domain is is not to sell something on the domain I mean if you look at the stack of hierarchy it’s it’s if I sell if I do 100,000 transactions ayear.com selling something that’s something if if I’m a holding company of our you know it’s worth it it’s not that valuable right that’s the holding company I saw it’s retail is more valuable if on the other hand I let people share orange or I actually if I if I load up all of John singer sargent’s library and I get the digital rights from the museum that owns it and I let anybody put John singer Sargent on their 55 or 85 inch big screen television and pay me dollar a month or $10 a month for the Spotify of we need the Spotify of art right that gets more valuable and then if I if I let artist paint their own art upload their dema digitalimage2art.com and I’m like the YouTube of art and then I can discover unique art like I can discover unique music and then I create an art playlist and I can share it for $9 a month this billion people in the world would like heart and I got I got I got walls with 80 inch super high def screens and they’re showing beautiful art and to me I’m I’m I think I have taste I appreciate it as much and more so than if you gave me the real thing because I can change my art to suit my mood and I can flip through 1000 masterpieces just like nobody wants to have the band Led Zeppelin play for them every morning for breakfast what they want is Spotify or Amazon Music or Apple music play whatever they want every morning for breakfast through high def speakers so as I stock up these domains when I have little creativity and little vision I see art is just OK for 25 grand and when I imagine art.com as the YouTube of art and but finally for me I pay $10 a month to YouTube ’cause I don’t want the ads yeah right so when I imagine a billion people getting arts training at $10 a month and I think about 10 billion dollars a month and I think about 100 billion a year and I imagine myself keeping 20 billion of it and therefore I got 20 billion dollars a year and I put it 20 multiple on that and what’s 20 * 20 billion 400 billion 400 billion dollars built on this little word called port then I start to see the potential of it now what’s in a word you gotta have the word the rest of the execution is quite hard right as we know it’s it’s not enough to just do this but if we had a marketing hard or harder on another domain right so that’s pick the apples to apples you know you’re going to work whether it’s an art.com or you know try my art.com or subscribe to art.com whatever it is work is the same or harder on anything but our.com and so it’s you know take that out of the equation you gotta do the work right you gotta make the investment you gotta business but the underlying asset is not the same right your outcome is not going to be the same you know this is a great segue into just sort of glimpsing into the future extrapolate this idea out and it’s where I believe the concept of Bitcoin or crypto is duck tailing with domain names and decentralization it’s look at the look at the trends in investment right so now you have micro shares you can take a slice of a share right and you got fractional ownership of collector cars fractional ownership through something that rally road and you got fractional ownership of masterpiece part through masterworks dot IO and there’s more of these companies popping up you get a fractional ownership of a Michael Jordan Jersey on now let’s take that concept and apply it to commercial assets in the same way to Sam zell basically you know commercialize the idea of a real estate investment trust decentralize the ownership of the world’s most important commercial assets share the equity among these people and unlock the value of the asset itself into exponentially greater economic benefits right and I think the same could be applied to domain names the same will be applied to domain names in the same way that real estate investment trust I think there will be some form of that these domain names are ultimately going to become so valuable but so very few people will own a whole domain in the same way that Bitcoin is going to be there so valuable if our thesis which I share with you by the way for Full disclosure I am a shareholder MicroStrategy think I’ve been told you that but I believe in your vision and I am a shareholder like strategy but in the same way that very few people a decade from now certainly two decades from now will earn a full Bitcoin you know it’s a reserve asset in which it enables tremendous economic benefit to be built on top a domain name will become so valuable that it will be fractionally owned and leased or some other mechanism be utilized by a commercial entity decentralize everything whoever knows who knows what will be pointless but some entity will commercialize it and create economic benefit that will some portion will dribble down through the people who have the equity in the underlying asset I think that all of these things that are the first layer the underlying asset of the various classes of commercialization I just can’t imagine a world in which they are not going to go up parabolically of next 20 years as we you know go full tilt into this dematerialization of the world I think I think it’s reasonable to think of them as a as a new asset class that class and domains are cyber asset class and you can do you’ll do whatever with those assets as you would do with the physical you know when you when we have triggered me to think that you know I really great domain is the central node in a network and so at 100% most valuable domains are going to be the base the principle central node in a network of art or a network of video or a network search or information or a network of retail or whatever it is and so this is actually the base layer network right this is the network of everything is the key to Keystone and so yes and an the world’s going to have more networks right I mean all of every successful tech company is in essence in essence a technology networks that deep that has dematerialized a product or service so as we see the dematerialization of more things these networks will bro and time and then multiply the value of the underlying domain will accrete and and then the elegance of the domain name will drive the friction you know the effectiveness of that Brandon that network and if it’s a bad domain it will be proportionate friction and some some domains are so crippling as you won’t be able to build a network other domains you know you can do it on that domain but it’s going to be a lot more risky a lot more expensive and some domains or going to work great and I guess that’s probably our best note to end this absolutely absolutely thanks for having me on your on your podcast Andrew I appreciate it this was a great conversation and I hope I can convince you to come back on I’m going to go through back to this interview and there are so many topics that we could go further into and segues or rabbit holes I think we’ve got close to 2 hours and it’s I feel like you’re just skim the surface but I think that was an excellent note to end on I think that we see eye to eye on all things being materialization and it’s an exciting future some exciting future and I think you know my hat is off to you I think you are paving the way I love your analogy just as a closing note you made an analogy about being you know everybody thought was impossible to run a four minute mile and one of the one of the guys that joins me often on this show Shane cultra will appreciate this he’s he’s a competitive runner and it’s like you know your first kind of break the four minute mile in terms of Treasury convergent billing and I think the floodgates are now open and I don’t think it’ll be long before there’s a bunch of other people running behind you so you know this is what leadership and innovation is all about people made a bold moves with conviction and you know just ignore the haters ignore the people that don’t understand you people say well he’s going to sell all that big one $20,000,000 for his domain name and he said look I’ll get on the phone with another actually it was at 30 million it was like pull it out of my hands right so again on the domains I imagine it’s going to be throwing hands of the Bitcoin and I think that your thesis is correct and I’m excited to come along for the ride I would leave all all your viewers with the thought that you know this I saw the voice for $30,000,000 ’cause I felt like we needed to put a peg in the market to set to set it yes but it’s worth a billion yes domains are billion dollar assets early why I like the guy that sold the first Picasso you know so that people would know that Picasso is art but I’ve got the vault of the other picassos and and I would rather commercialize them for 100 X the money and this is kind of a wake up call hopefully that people will realize that domains are insanely valuable and if you’re still saying Lee valuable for everybody that’s spending the billions of dollars on Google and Facebook advertising because their domain is week yeah they might wanna repurpose some of that energy to do it the right way with that thanks I had more fun on this drive and talked about this subject for with anybody for years and years and years so it’s nice to meet a kindred spirit and all the best to you guys I I saw your passion in some of the interviews just talking about the main names and I said I got to have a conversation with this guy and so thank you and I think our audience will thank you as well and thank you for putting that tag in the market and you know giving us a ring up to lift the market too and now now it’s my job to take it to the 100 million dollar level and then in a few years it’ll be 500 million and then you know 15 years for the a billion dollars Andrew I give you the baton. thank you I take it with pleasure OK bye I hope I’m sure

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23 Responses to “Michael Saylor: Bitcoins & Domain Names as Foundation & Framework for the Future”

  1. Joe says:

    Could have done with less interruptions.

  2. Jagan says:

    One of the best eye opening interviews that I have watched. Thank you Andrew, Michael and Domain Sherpa.

  3. Eddie Sixto says:

    Fantastic interview Drew. I think this is one of the best interviews on DomainSherpa.com ever! Thank you Michael for your insights. Very powerful!!!!

  4. steven says:

    great interview drew and sincere thanks to michael for sharing his wisdom and insight with such authenticity like this

  5. Noor Manji says:

    Absolutely phenomenal……..great info and insight mixed with a lot of passion.

    thank you all.


  6. Martin says:

    When we launched FlipLift two years ago FlipLift.com was not available… So we launched FlipLyft.com instead… Not long after, Lyft sent a cease & desist letter. Rather than pay our lawyers to fight it, we decided to use FlipLift.com from an aftermarket purchase… After the branding change product sales increased by three fold and the product is now backordered.

    Great interview!
    W. Martin

  7. Ward says:

    I’m now 1/2 way through the interview… haven’t been on this website in a long time… I have been demoralized in this space… it just feels like Handles are more important than domains… I realize no handle is owned – but neither is any domain… so far this interview is helping restore my belief in the space.. I feel like I have some good names but rarely ever get offers…

  8. Ray Lee says:

    Absolutely the best Sherpa episode ever. Loved how ideas were being triggered by both Drew and Michael!

    I have followed Michael Saylor across his recent run of podcasts over the internet recently and this episode was as good as the others. Also, being a MSTR shareholder/bitcoiner/domainer, this episode combined all of my interests into one.

    Two hours never went by so fast.

  9. Gustavo says:

    Enjoyed the interview, overall. As the interviewer, I kind of wish Andrew would have given Michael a little more opportunity to speak freely; to get deep into his mind…but I still enjoyed it.

    1. Noted and agreed. But passion has a price!

  10. Fred Kelley says:

    Andrew, thank you for this fascinating and important interview!

    I believe a few of my domains just went up in value as a result.

    The power of a word to make or break a business was never explained better.

  11. Carlos R. says:

    Great interview. Loved it. I was part of the dot com boom and bust. Clearly, did not make as much dough as Saylor, but learned a lot. In terms of English vs. Spanish it all depends on how you measure it. For Native Speakers, Spanish marginally beats English, but Spanish is a widely used second language just as English is, BUT clearly English is the language of business and some governments (like India). Lots of people have English as a second language, but the vast majority of them are far from fluent. If it’s a matter of numbers than Mandarin wins, but it’s not used outside of China, unlike English or Spanish which are used in many countries. Nevertheless, having a second or third language opens up opportunities as Saylor illustrated in his example of Miami Beach.

  12. Mohamed Ahmaid says:

    “We don’t buy these things to sell these things , we buy these things to build a business on these things ”
    Lesson learnt !
    Thanks Mike & Drew
    It was one of the best podcasts

    1. Carlos R. says:

      Yeah, that was a favorite of mine, too.

  13. Brian Susi says:

    Great Interview!

  14. Carl says:

    First thing i did was Google the Saylor’s Yacht name.

    Very good interview

    Happy Birthday Drew

    1. DomainSherpa says:

      And are you going to share what it is?!

  15. Andy Booth says:

    This is a great interview and will be widely referenced by the domain community for some time to come. Michael is light years ahead of most CEOs and listening and learning from him could save a lot of otherwise doomed businesses. The only point I would disagree with is his analogy of a word’s (exact match .com) number of Google hits as a barometer of its prospective value. As we all know, words were not created equally, and certain terms like ‘and’ (as a vague example) are going to appear billions of times but don’t have anywhere near the commercial potential of other lesser yielding words. Still, his narrative was well received and there is so much that can be gleaned from his wisdom.

  16. James Iles says:

    Wow, what a great coup for DomainSherpa. Looking forward to listening to this one on my long run. Good job Drew :)

    1. Thank you James & Ed – I’ve never been so proud or excited about a domain name conversation! But I can’t imagine a better looking glass into the future of digital assets than from one of the most visionary CEO’s of any public company anywhere.

      Only appropriate that this interview got published on my 40th Birthday!

  17. Fantastic interview Tess & Andrew.

    So many Mic drop moments!

    I need to go and watch it again now.



    1. Emeka says:

      What an Epic interview.

      Thank you Andrew and Michael Saylor.

      Bravo ? ? ? ? ?

    2. DomainSherpa says:

      Thanks Ed. We’re working on clips next, but wanted to share immediately!

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