Michael Gilmour' musings- Winter Is Coming in the Domain Industry

Prashant Sharan

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Winter has come to Melbourne, Australia and not just Game of Thrones, Westeros. Outside my study window, blustery winds pelt pebble sized hail down to create a white sheet of rubbly ice on the grass. Inadvertently I pull the zip of my sweater up a little higher as if that alone will ward off the cold.

I remember when the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit in 2008, marketers had their budgets cut and the bottom started falling out of the pay-per-click market. The double whammy for us was the Australian dollar rapidly appreciated against the $US and climbed to just over $1.10. It was a time of winter and one that very few predicted.

Rather than wait around to see what would happen my business partner and I immediately began taking action to shore up the interests of partners (some call these people clients – see my previous article) by focusing on diversifying their interests away from a single advertising provider (ie. Google). Our balance sheet has always been strong but despite this we also examined every expense item. The result of these actions meant that it cushioned the impact of the GFC for both us and our partners.

During the post-GFC years many domain companies have come and gone…..we watched with amazement from the side lines as they continued spending like they were in summer rather than winter. At a recent conference I had a potential partner ask me, “Why should I move my domains to you?” I replied, “Because we’re still here.” He nodded and said, "Good answer."

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