«DomainSherpa.com: The Domain Name Authority Zappy's Proven Process to Extract Maximum Value from Domain Names - With Michael Zapolin Watch the ...»
But I have always felt, when I acquired that, that music is something that you buy or listen to when somebody that you trust tells you about it. A lot of my friends. I do not even have to listen to it. If they say get this, I go get it.
Michael C: Right.
Michael Z: So I always felt like social media and the Internet were perfect for music. And people are really passionate about it, so I still have high hopes that that is going to be somebody's strategy to try to take on Rhapsody, or Spotify, or whatever service and says: "I have the next best mouse trap, and I am going to harness on Music.com, and it is going to be a phenomenon at some point."
Michael C: Yeah. So you are in sort of wait and see mode. Maybe you develop it out. Maybe you sell it. Maybe somebody comes along and asks you to do a partnership. But right now it is making money primarily through advertising.
Michael Z: Yeah. And I think the hope is that we find the right partner. That has always been what we have been looking for. Somebody who can leverage their technology or their critical mass they have already created, and we come in with kind of like a super accelerant in there being able to brand something really well.
Michael Zapolin (InternetRealEstate.com) Page 36 of 47 DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa DomainSherpa.com: The Domain Name Authority Michael C: Yeah. So, on your website, InternetRealEstate.com, I can see phenomenal brands like Carbs.com, Chocolate.com, Consultants.com, MedicalDevices.com, Phone.com, and Relationship.com. It is phenomenal. I do not see any.MEs on there. I do not see any.COs. Are all of these websites
- businesses - in partnership with somebody else?
Michael Z: For the most part they are in partnership with somebody else.
That is sort of the model of Internet Real Estate. It (Unclear 1:22.17.7) to be like a closed-end mutual fund that owns these domains, has no real operating costs of its own, and that we can do the best deals. So, Consultants.com is in a deal with Elance. Phone.com is operated by Ari Rabban, backed by Mike Mann, and it is an amazing top Inc. one hundred business that is doing incredibly well. So, I think you want to partner with the people that you feel are the best operators and who are the most passionate about that vertical because it is very hard to be in all of those verticals and be experts at all those different things. You really need good partners.
Michael C: Definitely. And that is what Ken Lawson saw when you came to him and said, "I want to develop out InsuranceQuotes.com." So let me ask you this because I think there are a lot of people out there that either have development skills and they do not have a fantastic domain name, or they have some great domain names but they do not want to sell it, they are not making enough money, and they know they need to develop it. Given your past experience with a lot of these types of deals at Internet Real Estate and back to InsuranceQuotes.com, what is a fair equity split between the domain owner, who has the irreplaceable asset, and somebody that is willing to put in the hard work to build it into a business?
Michael Z: Yeah, I will tell you that is a total case-by-case basis; and it is going to come down to how bad they need it, what it is going to do for them, how much money do you need, how attached to that property are you, and so many different factors. What I would say is if you are in either of those positions, you should proactively take your domain and just window dress it.
And by that, I will make the real estate analogy. If you own a piece of property, let's say, on Miami Beach on Collins Ave, it is just a piece of beach and that is all it is. It has a certain value. And if you were then to start Michael Zapolin (InternetRealEstate.com) Page 37 of 47 DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa DomainSherpa.com: The Domain Name Authority dressing it up - pull the weeds out and everything, put up a fence around it, and get some architectural plans. Do not build the thing, but just get some architectural plans. Have somebody put a picture up of what kind of thing you are thinking about and so forth. A phone number to contact you and that kind of thing - now you are in the game. Now there are people driving by and going: "Yeah, you know what? Jeez, I would like to be developing that property" or "Hey, you know what? I think a retirement home would be better right here. It looks like they might be developing a building. Let me get in contact with them. Maybe you should be doing a parking lot and getting paid like that." But the more that you can define or add some value and good will on top of it, that is going to attract the better partner and it is going to allow you to do a better negotiation. So, if you are the domain owner and they want ninety percent, well, maybe you convince them you should be seventy-five percent of fifty percent because: "Hey, I have the domain; I am going to go do this other amazing thing. I have all these other opportunity. I do not need to do it with you" as apposed to: "Yeah, I see you are sitting here with the same domain name; not making any money. You have been sitting there for the last two years, seven years, or whatever. I want to buy your domain name." That is a totally different thing. So, I would say to them, if you are a developer and you have a music platform that you want to develop, start developing it, get a little thing going, and then approach the owner of Music.com and say: "Hey, this is my cool widget kind of thing. Imagine if this was Music.com." It is going to be a lot better off than you just calling up and saying: "Hey, I have a great idea."
Michael C: Yeah, great point. So, on your specific example here InsuranceQuotes.com, where Ken Lawson put in the domain name and he put in some money -, how much equity did you get in that deal?
Michael Z: Ken was still the majority shareholder is how I would put it. He still owned - I don't know - close to fifty percent or something like that. I do not even remember exactly, but, as the domain owner, he had a price that we could not sell for less than was how it went, and then he owned a piece of the equity beyond that. And depending what price we sold it for, that either escalated or went down, so we were able to capture some piece. I do not remember exactly, but it just felt like the right deal and, at certain points, we actually had the right to buy the domain out for the cash price, which we Michael Zapolin (InternetRealEstate.com) Page 38 of 47 DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa DomainSherpa.com: The Domain Name Authority should have done because we could have taken back a lot more equity. But again, hindsight 20/20, and again, I wish I had a crystal ball. That would be amazing.
Michael C: Yeah, all right. I have got a ton more questions on here, Zappy.
We are into this interview for like an hour and a half. It is phenomenal information. People are going to love this, so I am trying to weed through and just pick a couple more. I do want to ask you about your book. You have got a couple of books; one of them is called Internet Warrior, and I think it is at InternetWarrior.com. Do you own that domain as well?
Michael Z: Yeah, Internet Warrior. I put together this How-To book of how to acquire a domain name, how to set it up, and how to negotiate a purchase.
Basically, what we are talking about right here. I just spilled my guts in the book. And the idea was I wanted it to be something that I could pass out to people to enhance the entire domain space; to really evangelize the domain space. A lot of people, when I was doing it, were like: "Why are you telling everybody what to do? Just keep it for yourself." But there are so many domains, and so many categories, and so many new categories. It just seems endless, and not something that I needed to necessarily worry about. I was dealing at the high end and I did not really care if some Nano technology was happening or some great Nano domains and somebody could take the information. Great. I think all of us evangelizing this opportunity helps each other. That is why I did that.
Michael C: I agree. So is that a free eBook or is it a paid eBook?
Michael Z: I think right now there is a video version of it that you can watch for free on Internet Warrior.
Michael C: Okay.
Michael Z: That is how it goes and, from time to time, we put out free eBooks just based on what people are doing. I have not really proactively marketed it. I have been pretty busy working on this documentary film with Deepak Chopra, so that has sucked out a lot of my time. But I just left there as a resource for people if they want to watch a video of me giving the Michael Zapolin (InternetRealEstate.com) Page 39 of 47 DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa DomainSherpa.com: The Domain Name Authority information that is available to them, or they want to figure out how to get the book or eBook. It is out there.
Michael C: Yeah. All right. I want to ask you about Domain Fun. I want to ask you about your other book. I want to ask you about your movie because now you are a filmmaker. So, let me start with your other book. It is called Ask the Kabala: A Beginner's Guide to Spirituality and Kabala; and you wrote it with Deepak Chopra. And so, people have probably heard Deepak Chopra's name in the past. He is a world-renowned physician who has then intertwined science and spirituality with respect to the medical field. You cowrote this book with him. How did you meet Deepak and why did you write a book on Kabala?
Michael Z: Yeah, it is funny. I was going through a program at Harvard Business School. A three-year program. And while I was there, I was acquiring Music.com at the time. And I was having a lot of fun with it. A couple of my classmates were involved. And one of my professors - a strategy professor - said to me: "After making this acquisition, you should sit down with the Head of Media Acquisition Strategy at Harvard Business School - Professor (Unclear 1:30:37.8)." And so, I was really excited. I sat down with him. I told him what route I had been doing and what I was doing, and he said, "This is great, but when you are back in California, you should get together with my cousin, Deepak Chopra, because he has got a lot of cool media and Internet stuff that I think you guys would do well together with."
So, I got back to California and made the call to Deepak. And I met him, and started to tell him what I was doing and, as it turned out, he had a lot of opportunities in the media space that he wanted to take on in that space. So I helped him and his daughter with a property - Intent.com, which is a community that they have created. And I even helped them, of course, with the domain acquisition negotiation and so forth, and contributed and so forth.
But as I was developing my relationship with Deepak, at some point in the relationship, knowing him, I felt confident enough that I told him I had written a manuscript about Kabala and how I was interpreting it and using it in my business, and my relationships, and health, and stuff like that. He sold fifty million books and he is on Oprah all the time, and I took out my manuscript and I was like: "Do you mind just reading this? I know it is amateur, but just check it out." So, he reads it and, as he started to flip Michael Zapolin (InternetRealEstate.com) Page 40 of 47 DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com http://twitter.com/domainsherpa http://facebook.com/domainsherpa DomainSherpa.com: The Domain Name Authority through it and as I am standing there, he was like: "You are not going to believe this." He reaches into his top desk drawer and he pulls out a manuscript that is how his Vedic Tradition overlaps with the Kabalistic Tradition. And he was like: "Look at this," and I was like: "Oh my God." So he said, "Let's collaborate because we will put these two things together, and we will try to give people like a beginner's guide to what is Kabala, what it is all about, mysticism, Vedic wisdom," and we did it kind of a fun way, where there is even like a deck of cards that you can almost like a tarot card read and get an interpretation Kabalistically of whatever it is that you are going through. So, it was a great experience. Like I was saying to you before we
started the interview, Deepak is amazing. He will just call you up and say:
"Zappy, you got to go to the Con Film Festival next week and represent us" or "You got to go to Lollapalooza and VIP." I got my bag half packed all the time because of that.
Michael C: All right, am I pronouncing it incorrectly? Does it matter?
Michael Z: I do not think it matters. It is kind of like Hanukah and Chanukah.
It is a Hebrew word that has all kinds of spellings.
Michael C: All right. So you bonded with Deepak Chopra over Kabala and you wrote this book. You co-authored together. You put it out there. Then he calls you up and says, or maybe you called him and said, "Let's put together this documentary." What is the documentary called and what is the purpose of it?
Michael Z: Yeah. So, the documentary is called The Reality of Truth. And it is a subject that Deepak and I talk about all the time. About reality. What is reality anyways? People's perceptions of reality, and just how off those perceptions of reality can be. And so, I had an epiphany one night where I was thinking about reality as it related to my life; as it related to spirituality, religion, things I have been taught, and everything right up to psychedelics.
So I was having this thought and I was like: "Oh man, I got to call Deepak tomorrow and just tell him what I am thinking." So I call him up and I had told him my theory, and I was waiting for him to say: "Zappy, that is ridiculous" or "Yeah, I have heard that twenty times over the last thirty years.