Domain investing is in the spotlight today with all the news surrounding Ebola.com, I am not going to really touch on the coverage as Online Domain and Domain Gang did a good job of reporting on all the stories out there.
It takes me to a place where I am conflicted as a domain investor and a citizen of the world. I remember back in like 2002 a disease related domain dropped, a friend said you should register that. I replied to him that I would never register the domain, not because I am a great person or because I thought it would be wrong for someone to register such a name. I just would never want to deal with the business, social or psychological aspects of the transaction. There is a conflict in knowing a name possesses value and trying to extract maximum value for the name, while at the same time knowing many people think you are a piece of trash.
The business of domain investing says find the right name for the right price and sell it to the right buyer for a higher price. No problem, Domaining 101, but there is the thought process from a psychological standpoint for me, and again I am only speaking for me, I am no one’s judge or their maker. I would just ask myself over and over, “Was this ok ? Am I a bad person for doing this ?”
Of course one could say well look if you sell it to a pharmaceutical company they have made billions off other people’s misfortune. Yes and no in my opinion, they have but I am certainly no scientist that devoted years to finding a cure. They also don’t have the highest ethics on the business side of the coin. Certain medications are too expensive and no human being should have to decide whether to eat or take their prescription.
The other aspect is how certain things affect you, there are plenty of businesses that are legal that get a lot of negative feedback, pornography is legal and there are many who have no problems with it, but would never be in the business because they do not want the criticism from family, friends and the general public. Others have no problems with what people say and can sleep at night just fine.
I can say today would affect me if I owned Ebola.com, it would affect me in a negative way because the money would not be worth this. Is selling it wrong ? I will let each person answer that for themselves, I just know for me the juice would not be worth the squeeze.
We live in a different world, today the court of public opinion matters much more than it ever has, ask Roger Goodell from the NFL. Whether that is right or wrong is secondary to it being reality. I don’t see us getting those horses back in the barn. Selling a domain that was acquired by legal means is perfectly legit, each person has to decide for themselves if it is worth it. I think this is a personal choice, I want to say someone buying and selling a domain that does not infringe on another entities intellectual property is certainly legit.
Lastly, we can all be inside the domain bubble and say F the media, people are clueless, but to the majority of the world this part of the domain business repulses them and that is never going away. I had a conversation with a domain investor today that told me he thought the move was despicable to sell the name,” but Raymond I will never come out and publicly say that. ” I asked why ? His reply, “Because then people will scrutinize every domain I own looking for the high moral ground.”
So what is your opinion on the topic, would you be totally fine, conflicted or never step into that part of the domaining pool ?