Many years ago a gentleman said to me, “Raymond I have never seen an industry with so much hero worship, an industry actually devoid of any real heroes” In the wake of the Adam Dicker scandal I think it is important for the industry going forward to focus more on facts, figures and transparency than on hyperbole.
In every industry the public loves to build people up and then take them down at the first sign of weakness or hint of scandal. Domaining is ripe for hero worship or hyperbolic praise because so many come into the business thinking it is easy money. When people see or hear that someone is doing well they are naturally drawn to that person.
You do have to do your own research both on the industry and the people that you see being placed on a pedestal either by the community or by their own self promotion. Sometimes the accolades get to a level that is not fitting of the task. Domaining is not some God given ability that certain athletes or musicians have been blessed with, it is not something only a select few can do, many people have sold a domain name for a profit, some of them don’t even know there is an industry dedicated to the buying and selling of domain names.
If you take the time to learn, and use your own experiences you can find a modicum of success in the business. How hard you want to work and how much time you can put it will be major factors in reaching whatever goals you have for yourself.
The industry will have to look at how it handles claims by celebrity domainers moving forward. If there are five people speaking on a panel at a domain conference and one makes what seems like outrageous claims, will someone call bullshit ? It is not really what a conference organizer wants, it is not ideal to have their speakers arguing in front of the audience.
One possible solution is to get some kind of idea how speakers will present themselves, what kind of claims will they make ? Can they verify those claims to the conference organizer ?
Some have asked why didn’t others at venues like T.R.A.F.F.I.C. or Namescon call Adam Dicker out on some of his claims ? I will say I understand the logic behind that question but it is tricky. As I have written about before, not everyone knows everyone intimately. Big domainers may share a purchase or sale with one another but they are not disclosing their finances in detail.
So if someone says my portfolio is worth $200 million or I have a website making $50,000 a month, it is a slippery slope for people with no first hand knowledge to call someone out. There are people making $50,000 a month out there, the question is does the person speaking at the conference actually make that ? Maybe organizers are going to have to require certain data, this may cause some legit and not legit to pass on speaking, but maybe the extra hassle is worth it, right now organizations that certainly have spent a lot of time and effort are having their integrity questioned by their association with having Adam Dicker speak at their events.
For those that are not part of the domaining inner circle as some like to call it, speak out when you have a problem, you can use the Namepros warning and alerts section, you don’t need to use your real name to ask a question. Everything is not going to get as much attention as we would all like, but if you have legitimately been ripped off, contact someone, it does work. Look at the work people like Theo Develegas do when someone reports a stolen domain, that gets out in the community, on the forums. So when you speak up with a specific claim it will get noticed. General statements without proof will not get that same level of attention, so be specific in your claim.
There are a lot of good people in the industry and when listening to anyone speak be leery of those that claim nothing they say can be proved due to NDA’s or other secret relationships. Not one sale ? Not the name of any one real satisfied customer ? Focus on those that can show you how they make the secret sauce.