Reflections on NamesCon 2018

I just got back from Vegas, and yes, I’m tired, but I’ve learned that the best time to write a reflections post is right when you get back and you’re still in the moment. If I waited until Saturday, sure I wouldn’t be totally exhausted, but everything wouldn’t be quite as fresh in my mind.


I’ll start my reflections with last night since that’s the most top of mind, and it’s also where this picture comes from. Last night the ICA held a really awesome event at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. First things first, if you don’t know what the ICA is, you should – they are the people working tirelessly to make sure that we can all buy and sell domain names for years to come. I’ve been a member for years and last night was a good reminder why – the people behind the ICA are truly some of the best-of-the-best, period.

Everyone who attended the dinner last night was allowed access to the Foundation Room at the top of Mandalay Bay which as you can see from the photo above offers without a doubt one of (if not the) best views of the strip. I packed into an Uber (that took 30 minutes to get to us – long story) with Braden, James, and Mike – you can see James trying to help the Uber driver find us in the picture below…


Okay, so enough about last night, let’s get into some reflections, in no particular order, but I’ll use bullet points because I feel like if I start to write in paragraph form this could turn into a small novel.

  • I said this in my previous post but I can’t emphasize it enough, Domainers have the crypto bug. Sure some of you reading this think crypto is stupid, crazy, even riskier than Vegas gambling. By the end of my time at NamesCon I think it’s fair to say I spoke to close to 100 people and crypto came up in almost every conversation. I also found out that WAY more Domainers than I could have imagined have made a small fortune in crypto – why couldn’t they have told me when they started investing!
  • We have a truly incredibly community. I go to NamesCon every year (since it started) to connect with people. Every year I have a blast catching up people I’ve known for years and I’m always surprised at how instantly connected I feel to people I just met. Let’s be honest, we’re all crazy passionate about domain names, but most of our friends and family just can’t relate to it, everyone at the conference can and it’s so much fun just to be around so many likeminded people.
  • Waternight was a huge success. Hats off to the entire Water School team for a great night filled with great food and an absolutely hilarious comedian magician. I really liked the format this year and it was also pretty entertaining to watch Richard get called on stage to put a cup of water on his head (see pict below)
  • .COM is still king and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. Everyone I spoke to about their portfolios said that they’re still continuing to invest in .COM, while it does seem like more people than ever are dabbling in new gTLDs I didn’t talk to anyone that is shifting their focus away from .COM.
  • Development is a hot topic and getting hotter. It’s now secret that parking has declined massively over the years but it’s clear that Domainers are becoming increasingly interested in development. There were some great sessions at NamesCon about development and monetization and I think we’ll continue to see investors that made money parking making even more money but with developed sites.
  • The Tropicana made some nice improvements since last year. Robert Irvine’s Public House is a great spot and definitely added another destination for Domainers to hang out and enjoy a drink either at the bar or on the back patio.
  • Every year I go to Vegas I can feel that I’m getting older, and I’m not alone. This year I could tell that we’re all getting older, last night by the time we left Mandalay Bay and headed for Hakkasan I was definitely struggling. At the same time it’s probably good news for Red Bull as Domainers moved from beer to Red Bull Vodka’s to stay awake.
  • Last but not least is the opportunity for something magical to happen. No I’m not talking about the magician at Waternight, I’m talking about real magic that happens when you’re having a random conversation with someone and find a business opportunity. I had two instances of magic that are going to likely mean good things in the future and it wasn’t something I was planning it all, it just happened organically. Serendipity is an incredibly thing.

Did you go to NamesCon? I’d love to hear your reflections, feel free to share in the comment section below. Didn’t got to NamesCon? I’d also love to hear from you. Either way, comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton