One side of the domain investing world that has never really sat well with me is buying people’s names (i.e. first name followed by last name in .COM) and then trying to sell it to them for a profit. IMO this practice just feels slimy and I can tell you when it happens to an end-user, they think of domain investors as scum usually from that point forward.
I know some people are going to say to me, “but Morgan, if the domain is unregistered or it expires, we’re okay to buy it fair and square!” And sure, maybe you’re right, but to me, it doesn’t feel right and to the person you’re selling it to, they often don’t have a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings about you, or the rest of us in the domain investing world when you do it.
Handshake has the chance to do things right from the beginning, and I think they are, especially when it comes to people’s names. The community has come together to develop a pretty solid gifting program where people’s names are caught in an auction and then gifted to them.
For many people this usually means a tweet from @handshakejesus who actually has this tweet pinned to his Twitter profile:
In a Zoom call I was on last week with the Handshake Directors, Mark Smith (@NamesakeMark) shared a project he’s working on to strengthen this effort and get the gifting process more organized. I think it’s awesome that Handshake is thinking about this and about the impact it could have on their brand as more and more people discover Handshake.
Not everyone loved the meeting last week, one reader took to my blog to complain about the meeting, and about me, you can read his comments here. I think it’s awesome when people share their opinions, good or bad, for me it’s all about learning from each other, and you all know I’m a really positive guy so I typically only write about things I’m personally excited about.
On that note, I’m excited about how Handshake is approaching the concept of gifting names and think it’s going to help them avoid some of the negative stigma that domain investors get. While it’s always going to be impossible to please everyone, I think taking a thoughtful approach here will go a long way, and I applaud the Handshake community for trying to do the right thing here.
Disclosures: I am an investor in Handshake.