Hello, Happy Monday, and I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and some time with friends and family. With 2014 just days away I thought now would be a good time to review some of the trends I’ll be watching in the coming year. If there’s one certainty in running an internet business it’s that your business will need to change constantly. Next year will be one of the biggest years of change the domain industry has ever seen, here’s the trends I think are important to watch:
- New gTLDs – while you might be sick of hearing about new gTLDs you’re going to have to get used to it. Doesn’t mean you have to like them, or even invest in them. That being said I do think there will be a few big hits and for those who invest in those (or are running them) there is good money to be made. As I’ve said a zillion times, LOTS of risk here, only invest in new gTLDs with money you are willing to lose.
- Consolidation of parking providers – parking is not dead. There was a time when I thought it was, then I met a few people with solid parking portfolios and I can honestly say it is alive. That being said, it’s not a growing space and I do envision a consolidation of providers. If I were to place a bet I’d expect a few of the big guys to join forces.
- A declining interest in mass development – mass development seemed like a great idea for quite some time. I was on the bandwagon back in 2008 and 2009. Here’s the problem, it doesn’t work, Google has figured-out how to discount many of the techniques that made it all possible. In 2014 I see a lot of people moving away from mass development and instead focusing on one or two sites.
- Domain conference innovation – NamesCon is kicking-off 2014 with an innovative new approach to putting on a domain conference. I am excited to see what they are doing and really looking forward to getting together with everyone in a couple of weeks. I see the domain conference space changing a lot next year with the introduction of new gTLDs, it’s a dramatic change and it impacts all of our businesses.
- The year of domain apps – I’m calling it early but I think 2014 is the year that domain companies without apps finally decide to make an app. I’ve heard lots of requests for a NameJet app and I know I personally really love the Go Daddy and DomainNameSales app. I think it’s safe to say that 99% of the people in the domain industry use smart phones, right?
Those are the trends I think everyone should look out for in 2014, now I’m asking you, what trends do you see ahead for 2014?