June 13 2009

Real Estate Of The Digital World

Last night at 9:00p and one second, PST, the Facebook land rush was on.  My pre-Facebook party consisted of Lisa Redmond from RedRocketLA, Mike Lyon, Ed Doss (NHD), and Ruth Kincaid (NHD).  We were all eagerly anticipating the NASA type of countdown and launch to get our Facebook domain.

Once the rush began, I immediately saw that jim.adams was available.  I elected to pass and search for the slightly better jimadams.  The search for jimadams was unsuccessful so I immediately tried to go back to the second best domain, jim.adams.  My heart sank as I saw jim.adams was taken.  Knowing domains were going fast, I quickly chose the far lesser of the two, jimadams1.

As I shut my computer and went back to watching Grand Torino with my wife, I was completely depressed.  I thought it would be a passing depression that would ultimately be just an evaporating disappointment.

I was wrong.  I woke up this morning still depressed.  Growing more and more introspective as to why I still felt depressed, it dawned on me.  It’s not that someone won’t be able to find me at jim.adams1 or that jim.adams1 will be THAT much harder to remember.  

It’s about the real estate. I was depressed because I got the lesser of the pieces of real estate.  Instead of getting the authoritative beachfront property, I got the small lot on the corner with only a partial view of the ocean – and all for the same price as the beachfront real estate.

It’s similar to getting the .NET domain extension instead of the .COM.  

The bottom line is, in the digital world, real estate is about the domain.  The domain conveys authority – or a lack of.  Domain affects consumer perception.  

Real estate becomes important when there are a lot of people in the same space.  Today, real estate is important on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, and now Facebook.

I side stepped the desired jim.adams and lost it.  I now must settle for a second-rate domain.

No, it’s not the end of the world for me that my Facebook domain is second-rate.  I still have my most important domain JimAdams.me, which has links to all my social profiles.  But my lingering depression made me realize that if you delay in the digital world, the consequences can be enormous and irreversible.  

Speed is king, not cash.

The idea of getting the most prized real estate should resonate the loudest with Homebuilders.  The same concept holds true in the digital world.  Unlike the physical world where the best real estate comes at a premium price, premium real estate in the digital world costs very little, and is given to the quickest decision makers.  Speed is king, not cash.  The spoils of digital real estate go to the quick.  The quick also happen to be the leading visionaries in the digital world.

The Internet is expanding at almost a ‘big bang’ rate.  Much of the talk I hear today is about how to monetize social media.  The bigger and more pressing issue is getting the digital piece of land.  Get the land and figure out later how to monetize it.  Homebuilders can’t wait until everyone knows how to monetize it.  It will be too late.  I know everyone has less money and fewer personnel.  A marketing person that knows the digital world is a homebuilder’s greatest asset to selling homes in the year 2009.

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com

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