The Future is About Leverage | DomainInvesting.com
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The Future is About Leverage

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Time and time again I see where we as individuals are losing leverage – and with it the ability to make change.

As we have grown into a more technological world, everything has become much more complicated. Even to understand current politics or local law is like a college degree of its own. I’ve seen this same pattern with my internet businesses: When I could create domain websites easily years ago, they would get lots of search and direct traffic. Now, the competition has become oversaturated, so I need to pay more people and spend more time to try to stay ahead of the competition. I have to prioritize sites and businesses to put my time and money into, or sell others to which I can’t. It would almost be wiser for me to sell all of my names and focus on one business exclusively, but currently I have more leverage in controlling more verticals – like Bullion.com for finance, Daycare.com for moms, Manicure.com for beauty, and Nashville.com for music. There is so much to think about, and it gets very complicated. We all just want to make things a little simpler and easier – kind of “user-friendly”.

I still use the Apple iPhone 4, since I am waiting for the iPhone 6 (the iPhone 5 doesn’t warrant an upgrade). My wife Sheri uses the iPhone 5, and she asked me today to move the pictures and videos from her phone to our home computer since she had no more room left on her phone. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Why can’t I just increase the storage”, since hard drives are so cheap these days. But there is no access to the hard drive, or for that matter, to the battery. Each new version of the iPhone has pushed Apple’s “cloud” more and more. The “cloud” is the big new thing these days, but you must pay to increase your “cloud” capacity. I can’t help but wonder where this “cloud” is, and who has access to my pictures and personal information. Shouldn’t we all be asking these questions?

These new “user-friendly” systems, in my opinion, are moving us towards a technological “communism”. I know that is an emotionally-charged word, but it’s the best word I have to describe what I feel. It seems like we are being conditioned to have complicated things done for us in order for us to have simpler things. We are all becoming transistor-like. Remember how simple relay transistors were when they were first invented? Then over time, technology advanced them into semiconductor CPUs, orchestrating billions of transistors. You see how they have changed our world. They are incredibly efficient, but also nonhuman. Do we want to walk in lock step? Are we in the process of being reduced to simple actions, ultimately to live within a predetermined framework which provides for our basic needs? While we seem to have more “stuff”, do we likewise have less control? Is that “user-friendly stuff” placing us in a kind of technological slavery?

I plugged my wife’s iPhone into my computer to move the pictures off her phone. I could always do that with my iPhone 4, and I thought that was a nice way for Apple to let me freely move MY pictures to where I wanted. But I can’t do that with the iPhone 5. I now MUST use the Cloud. The future is looking cloudy. Give me sunshine!

When you have leverage, you can make money and will have freedom. When you don’t have leverage, you become immobile. For example, I recently read how AT&T dredges up DNS records and sells the results to would-be advertisers.

Does it matter that the information of where you e-travel is being monitored and sold? We produce content that others use to increase their leverage. Are we going to become producers of information which offers us no reward?

Leverage allows us to obtain what we want and need for ourselves. I believe the future is not in money but in leverage. One would think they are the same, but to me they are not. The value of our money is being reduced daily, but the power and leverage of a great domain name and business is becoming much more valuable. If our industry can come together in numbers, we can ultimately gain the leverage needed to move the dominant forces to work for what we need. We first have to decide what it IS that we want.

It brings to mind the movie The Matrix. Are you going to take the blue pill or the red pill? We need to care enough to learn about what is really happening to us and our society.

I hope you can join me at TRAFFIC Vegas this month and in future gatherings so we can come together and work to make positive change.

Further Reading from Michael Castello:

You can read about Michael’s Call To Action effort

Read about the sale of Whisky.com

Read about the Block The Bullies effort


About The Contributor: Michael Castello is the CEO and President of Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc. who is solely responsibly for its contents CCIN owns, manages and develops some of the most recognized Geo and Generic domain name brands in the world including PalmSprings.com, Nashville.com, Manicure.com and Traveler.com. He is also the owner of Daycare.com which he and his wife Sheri founded in 1997. In 2014 Michael sold Whisky.com for $3.1 million which is the 24th largest domain name sale in history. Michael has spoken internationally at many conferences including TRAFFIC, Borrell Advertising Conference, GEO Domain Expo and the Internet Marketing & Domaining Conference in Punta del Este Uruguay among others. He was inducted into the Targeted TRAFFIC Hall of Fame in 2009 and Geo Domain Hall of Fame 2010. Michael was on the Board of Director for both Associated Cities and Geo Publishers and has been an active member of ICANN’s Business Users Constituency since 2009.

Reach out to Michael: Website | LinkedIn

Comments (38)

    Mr Nobody

    I would rather pay $500 to fly to see vs $1300 in Rick’s pockets to visit you :) and still pay $500 to fly and hotel blah blah blah :)

    May 23rd, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    John

    Test – tried posting twice but not coming through.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      John

      FYI – I’m thinking either there is some punctuation the system doesn’t like or this thread may have a length restriction on posting, but I’ve tried a few times now and can’t get my real post through this time.

      In reply to John | May 23rd, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    todd

    It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      chris

      that is the best quote i have heard in a very long time.

      the world has truly been pulled over my eyes.

      In reply to todd | May 24th, 2014 at 9:51 am

      todd

      “The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

      It’s a quote from the Matrix.

      In reply to chris | May 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    John

    I’m going to try again, but this time I’ll break it up into two parts and maybe my post will come in…

    May 23rd, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      John

      Wow, if it’s a post length restriction, it’s a really short restriction. I’ve also tried numerous ways to adjust the punctuation. Now I’ll try a different approach and see if that works.

      In reply to John | May 23rd, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    John

    Okay, I think I may have figured out what the real problem is. Elliot, it seems that your blog system may not allow a person to have any blank line spaces at all between sentences or paragraphs. My last attempt including merely two sentences with simple words and only a small number of commas and periods, with a blank line space between the two. Not being able to include blank line spaces can make something far less readable, however, and detract from the message someone is trying to say. I suppose a good reason would be to avoid extreme cases of some troll adding huge amounts of blank line space, but it would be nice if at least single spaces could be included as in a normal composition.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Not sure what was going on, but a bunch of your comments got spam filtered for some reason. Perhaps there was a buzz word contained within the comment that flagged it. I approved your initial comment – sorry about that.

      May 23rd, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      John

      Thanks, Elliot. I just happened to come back to post that I also wasn’t including any profanity, though perhaps sometimes it sees that in only of a word. Have a great weekend if I don’t post again.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | May 23rd, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      John

      only part of a word, that is…

      In reply to John | May 23rd, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    John

    Okay, without further ado, the following is my original reply post which could not come through, apparently because of blank line spaces. I wish I could add the spaces for readability and such, but will have to make do with the limitations here now:

    May 23rd, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    John

    Odd, even after eliminating all line spaces, it still would not allow the post. The most exotic punctuation my still has are parentheses, colons, dashes, periods, commas, single and double quotations marks – all very normal. I also do not have any stringing together of x’s which I know was set to be blocked before.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    John

    Nice message, Michael. This is where things stand and have been steamrolling to across the country now:

    “We’re going to right the wrongs and roll back the abuses of the ones we have unseated now.”

    [Pause. Conference.]

    “Sorry, correction – we’re going to show them we can top them and grab even more power and do even more than they ever did or dreamed possible.”

    And this very kind of phenomenon then influences the behavior of those in the great “free market” enterprise economy, where what the customer thought and wanted used to matter so much more than now (yes, some of us are old enough to remember that) leading to all sorts of shocking and unwanted surprises, losses and costs, such as your travails regarding what was once a more supremely delightful “iPhone.”

    Honestly, it’s feeling more like developing “totalitarianism” than communism to me.

    At this point, in light of what you have personally posted here, while these are two topics Elliot may not wish to address on his own blog but rather allow others to cover for his own reasons, which is definitely understandable and his prerogative of course, you simply cannot avoid addressing the currently in high critical flux realities of both the issue of Net neutrality and ICANN governance in the big picture of whatever you are expressing here and intend to address or advocate moving ahead.

    I hope the best for all of us in whatever you and your associates pursue going forward.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    John

    Elliot, whatever strange restriction there is on posting for this is counterproductive because everything I try fails, and there is nothing abnormal or unusual about the punctuation or the words I’m using. Ironically, however, it sure lets me post about my failed efforts to post my actual reply. Go figure. Sad, just another sign of the times, including what this guest blogger just posted about no less.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Critical Thinker

      John. Seriously. 11 comments in 2 hours to the same post? Just let it go….Please! Other readers don’t want to have to wade through all this junk.

      In reply to John | May 26th, 2014 at 11:24 am

      John

      There is nothing to let go, “critical thinker.” I was merely narrating my attempts to get my post posted because there was no apparent reason why it should have been blocked. That’s also called persistence. Elliot apparently took notice and then approved one of my slightly edited attempts, which is the reason why it has a date/time stamp that is five minutes prior to the one you just replied to. Prior to the one you just replied to, the 3:18 PM one was still blocked and hidden for a time until Elliot approved it. Elliot apparently thought he was approving my initial post, but in reality he was only approving a much later edited attempt. My initial post would almost certainly have really been the first one to appear in this whole thread. As one can see, even Elliot does not know for sure why my original post would have been blocked. Personally, I’d be perfectly happy if the “posts about trying post” were deleted now, but they served their purpose. It was a good purpose, too, because what I had to say was important and mentioned a few critical topics which the domaining community has largely been ignoring, especially critical to any discussion of “the future” such as the kind just raised by the guest blogger here.

      So perhaps if you had realized all of the above you would have let it go and not even posted here yourself.

      In reply to Critical Thinker | May 26th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    FRED

    The issue is more fascism than communism.

    The Federal Reserve is the problem.

    Printing money from thin air results in captured govt by the elites and a swath of the population relying on free stuff that vote to insure they attain said stuff.

    Less choice is a product of crony capitalism that crushes individual innovation in favor of entrenched monied interests.

    May 23rd, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    craig

    I have watched this happen for years….Outcomes are the result of actions taken by those who have control. Years of emergency scene command with MY boots on the street taught me that.
    Just look at those businesses dumped from the serp ranks this week.
    Google has seized control and are setting outcomes to their advantage.
    This will shake out in time, too much power always leads to disaster and so it goes.
    The message I clearly see, is that the ownership of a strong, exactsearch .com domain remains about all any of you can do to ensure you are left standing in the wreckage that online search is about to become. Your domain name will prevail. YOUR enterprise will always be what YOUR domain claims it to be.
    Those SEO folks who ignored descriptive domain .coms for so long have lost control and it seems most were guessing all along.
    JMHO

    May 23rd, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Kassey

    We are seeing a world developing where the masses only want to be fed and then entertained. Life is becoming simple as our ability to think and make decisions are removed.

    May 24th, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Never Slave

    Here is the LEVERAGE

    Start CLASS ACTIONS against search engines claiming the ABSURD right of running a generic TLD.

    A search engire MUST BE IMPARTIAL. PERIOD.

    A SEARCH ENGINE, ALL THE SEARCH ENGINES, CAN’T RUN GENERIC TLDs.
    PERIOD.

    START CLASS ACTIONS!!!

    May 24th, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Eric Borgos

    I have an iPhone 5 and upload all my photos to my pc from it, exactly the same way I used to with my iPhone 4. I am not sure what you mean when you say you couldn’t do that.

    May 24th, 2014 at 6:30 am

      John

      Not telling the public how to do that or if it is even still possible while leaving the door open to the “cloud” still amounts to trying to push people in the direction they want to push people even if it was not a case of 100% closed door coercion this time.

      https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4433836?tstart=0

      In reply to Eric Borgos | May 24th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Never Slave

    Here is the LEVERAGE

    Start CLASS ACTIONS against search engines claiming the ABSURD right of running a generic TLD.

    A search engire MUST BE IMPARTIAL. PERIOD.

    A SEARCH ENGINE, ALL THE SEARCH ENGINES, CAN’T RUN GENERIC TLDs.
    PERIOD.

    START CLASS ACTIONS!!!

    Without the help of the evil they will fail.
    Start class actions against search engines claiming the absurd right of running a gTLD

    A search engire MUST BE IMPARTIAL. PERIOD.

    A SEARCH ENGINE, ALL THE SEARCH ENGINES, CAN’T RUN GENERIC TLDs.
    PERIOD.

    START CLASS ACTIONS!!!

    May 24th, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Never Slave

    Here is the LEVERAGE

    Start CLASS ACTIONS against search engines claiming the ABSURD right of running a generic TLD.

    A search engire MUST BE IMPARTIAL. PERIOD.

    A SEARCH ENGINE, ALL THE SEARCH ENGINES, CAN’T RUN GENERIC TLDs.
    PERIOD.

    START CLASS ACTIONS!!! !

    May 24th, 2014 at 7:02 am

    John

    My first statement, which would have appeared first, got buried in all my efforts just to get it posted. That took all the wind out of it. So make sure you scroll up and look at it people, especially the author here. :)

    May 24th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    HowieCrosby

    Jeez, what’s going on with this thread lol.

    This call to action, if you like. Are we talking about ICANN by any chance?

    Because I’m all for that.

    So when do we start then?

    May 24th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Toronto Domainer

    Michael you Nailed It! Earlier this past week if you recall we saw the same thing done to the new Huracan Lamborghini….. Humanity is at war…. our brains are being rewired by the 2%. The truth of the matter is CHANGE has to begin in America for it to have a Global Effect in my opinion. Great Article!

    May 24th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    RP

    Finally people are starting to get it

    Fred is 100% correct we now live in a fascist state

    And everything is price fixed with fiat dollars backed by nothing but trillions in debt

    May 24th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Tony

    Sorry, I can’t take anyone seriously who still uses the iPhone 4…

    😀

    May 24th, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Doom 3 Victim

      Hi Tony,

      One of my closest friends is an independent apple technician who says the Apple iPhone 4s is the “workhorse” (his words) of the smartphone community. He didn’t upgrade to 5 either. He doesn’t have an opinion on the Iphone 6 since it’s not out, but he recommends anyone to take advantage of the prices of a 4s and buy it for now. That’s from an Apple technician (independent). That’s what I did, and I compare my 4s abilities to a 5c, and they are the same, or the 4s is better.

      In reply to Tony | May 25th, 2014 at 7:56 am

    BullS

    We are all being watched and monitored now.

    This country is becoming more of a socialist state.

    When you file your 2014 tax, they will know your have obama care or not.

    Since I am in the TSA PRE program, they know all about me and my location.
    Before that, I have to take my shoes off,3 laptops out, jackets off and and answer a couple of Qs from a low paid TSA agent and pat down but now, I zip thru the line.

    Welcome to the “person of interest” world.
    is your number up today?

    May 24th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Domains Gains

    Sadly, all that’s been said here is true.
    Conspiracy theories aside, the society is dumbed down first, and then corralled into following rappers and gagas of this world. And they call it “Mass culture”…

    As for the domainers, we all seem to be left behind, believing in principles that very few understands and follows, nowadays.
    Time to stop complaining, and start acting, as Howie has suggested.

    May 24th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Louise

    Nice post! :)

    May 24th, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    chris

    hey michael, i guess you made a few dollars, but the reality is that life is about leverage, the future is either heaven or hell, depending on just how you lever your lever, go figure

    May 24th, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Doom 3 Victim

    I stopped posting my comments on blogs for over a year now, because I felt the need to state my expertise on the pros and cons of the story in the blog. In doing, I gave noobs and my competitors hard-earned strategies in the domaining industry.

    However, Michael’s post here is probably the best post this year. It’s so ON CONTACT, TRUE, AND CURRENT, that anyone, whatever their level is in this industry, should read, analyze, re-read to fully understand. Why? Because every word Michael says is absolutely the truth. You can’t get closer to the truth than MC’s post here.

    Good job, Mikey. I’m glad I stopped playing Doom 3 with you where you were ranked #1 in the world. Why? Because your eyeballs are like laserbeams, and you DON’T MISS. For noobies reading this, follow Mike’s posts like a religion, because he doesn’t bullsh*t you, and he knows more than most of the biggest domainers, he has no ego, and no “secret agenda” to sell you on a domain conference, website – DNS – GTLD service. His word is dead on WITHOUT an upsell. He just states it, and from my 16 years of domaining experience, he’s best without having to talk about himself and his opinions constantly.

    Good job, Mike.

    May 25th, 2014 at 7:52 am

      John

      I liked his statement too though I don’t know him like you do. And see what I also said about the Apple issue. Okay then, if all this is so then there’s definitely no getting around the domaining community as a whole needing to include Net neutrality and ICANN governance as important topics in any complete discussion of this big picture about the future, especially now.

      In reply to Doom 3 Victim | May 25th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

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