A $300 Million Dollar Empire from Buying Domain Names

From CNN.com:

Kevin Ham leans forward, sits up tall, closes his eyes, and begins to type — into the air. He’s seated along the rear wall of a packed ballroom in Las Vegas’s Venetian Hotel. Up front, an auctioneer is running through a list of Internet domain names, building excitement the same way he might if vintage cars were on the block.

As names come up that interest Ham, he occasionally air-types. It’s the ultimate gut check. Is the name one that people might enter directly into their Web browser, bypassing the search engine box entirely, as Ham wants? Is it better in plural or singular form? If it’s a typo, is it a mistake a lot of people would make? Or does the name, like a stunning beachfront property, just feel like a winner?
When Ham wants a domain, he leans over and quietly instructs an associate to bid on his behalf. He likes wedding names, so his guy lifts the white paddle and snags Weddingcatering.com for $10,000. Greeting.com is not nearly as good as the plural Greetings.com, but Ham grabs it anyway, for $350,000.

Ham is a devout Christian, and he spends $31,000 to add Christianrock.com to his collection, which already includes God.com and Satan.com. When it’s all over, Ham strolls to the table near the exit and writes a check for $650,000. It’s a cheap afternoon.

5 Comments

  1. Why not? Or I should say, what’s the difference between buying and selling a limited resource like domain names, as opposed to, say, real estate, or classic cars?

    I’m certainly jealous of people who see opportunities like this and run with it. But I certainly, by the same token, don’t feel it’s wrong in any way.

  2. Yeah, satan.com is really interesting. Esp
    considering it’s nearly completely acknowledging a point I’ve made to Christians; that the whole devil and devil-worship thing is an integral part of Christianity. Some Christians love to consider athiesm, wicca, paganism, and other non-xians philosophies some sort of devil worship, but in reality none of these have anything to do with the Christian concept of satan. Real satanist, if they even exist, are faithful to the very same set of myths that Christians are, so from outside Christianity, they are simply another Christian sect.

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