Featured Attendee Profile: Michael Gilmour, ParkLogic

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20151209_MGphoto2 Michael Gilmour Founder, ParkLogic and Whizzbangsblog

Fast Facts

Location: Melbourne, Australia How long have you been in the domain industry? 14 years Favourite extension: Any extension with traffic Now reading: Battleframe (my own book)

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there? Established in 2007, ParkLogic provides professional domain owners with an advanced domain management and monetization platform. We see domains as valuable assets that need to be managed like any other security. By placing your domains with ParkLogic, domain investors can be assured that every cent is extracted from the traffic so that their revenue is always being maximized.

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it? I had the privilege of speaking a number of times at NamesCon last year and it was great meeting so many investors at the end of the sessions. As well as doing an exceptional amount of business, the most enjoyable part of the conference was catching up with industry friends from all over the world.

NamesCon is all about business networking. Can you tell us a story about the success of a meeting at NamesCon? NamesCon was a tremendous springboard for 2015 and really launched ParkLogic forward for the new year. Since that time we’ve substantially increased our revenue and it’s a direct result of the meetings that were had at NamesCon.

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers? Many people view monetizing domain traffic as dead and this couldn’t be further from the truth. To use the gold rush analogy, in the past it was easy to find the gold lying on the ground. Eventually, all of the gold on the surface was dug up and someone came up with the idea of panning for gold. This innovation opened up whole new sources of gold but it wasn’t long before the rivers were panned clean. Miners then came up with the idea of digging into the mountains to find seams of gold and use a sluice to separate the mud from the shiny metal.

The domain industry is very similar to the gold rush and each innovation has opened up new opportunities in finding the highest payers for the valuable domain traffic. ParkLogic is widely regarded as the company that drives shafts several miles deep into the earth’s crust to find the gold for clients. We have been building sophisticated systems and process to best monetize domain traffic for the past 8 years.

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs? I’ve written a lot about the new TLDs on my blog, whizzbangsblog.com and I’m actually quite bullish about many of them. Where I differ from many people is the time horizon. Other than a few outliers, there just isn’t enough global demand for domains to soak up the massive influx in supply to meaningfully impact the pricing at this stage.

I personally believe that the new TLDs are a five to seven year play before many investors begin to see any reasonable return on their investment. That being said, the registries that have either scaled vertically and focused on a single extension (eg. .club) or widely and have invested in many extensions (eg. Donuts) will do very well. The other extensions that I’m very positive about are those that have natural owners, such as .cpa. Many extensions will really struggle over the next couple of years and a number of them will be purchased by the successful vertical or breadth players…..so watch this space.

What kinds of changes to you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years? The number one change is already beginning to occur where investors are completely outsourcing the domain management. This frees up their time for further opportunities while ensuring that best practices are being applied to their portfolios.

I also believe that we are currently in a China inspired boom for domain sales. The current prices being paid for many domains is completely unsustainable and I don’t see it lasting much longer than mid next year. My advice is for domain investors to take advantage of the influx in cash and sell many of their .com domains.

I’ve already covered my time horizons on the new gTLDs but this is a space that needs careful watching. I think that getting in too early could cost investors quite a lot of money but if you get in too late then you may miss out altogether…..it’s a balancing act.

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon? NamesCon for me is all about meetings with new clients, existing clients and monetization partners. On the last day of NamesCon 2015 I ended up having twenty minute meetings because there were so many people to meet that presented great business opportunities.

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year? It’s clear that the new gTLDs are front and center of everyone’s thinking. The problem with .com is that it’s the old extension on the block and for new investors is largely unattainable as all the good domains have been registered. That being said, domain monetization still underpins much of the industry and plays a key part in the domain ecosystem.

Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why? I would like to hear further thoughts from Simon Cousins on the Chinese market and someone speak on the Indian domain market. These are two massive marketplaces that are currently exploding with opportunities. The great thing about Simon is that he’s a Westerner that has spent a huge amount of time in China and can “translate” the Chinese market into Western parlance.

What fact about you would surprise people? As a hobby I’m a science fiction author and published my first novel, "Battleframe," earlier this year. I find it relaxing creating a universe and imagining how characters will interact with each other and the circumstances that they find themselves within. I’m currently about a third of the way through the second book in the Mindwars series so stay tuned!

What was one of your biggest “Aha!” moments in life? When I earned my first ten cents generated from pay-per-click revenue I realized that to grow the revenue line was only a matter of scaling the number of domains. The second thing I learned was the importance of recurring revenue each and every day from domain traffic.

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth? Since I was about twelve years old I’ve been playing with computers and I even had a Bulletin Board System back in the eighties. The migration into domain names was actual quite a natural extension of my other business activities.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger? I work in the Internet industry….anything more than that and their eyes glaze over.

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them? I’d write more pages in my sci-fi novels.

What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)? The impact of the downturn in the Chinese economy through the summer on the online advertising market and in particular domain monetization.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you? My wife (who will be at Namescon) is my closest confidant and is very smart when it comes to business. She taught me things like; the deal is not done until the cash is in the bank, regular small amounts of money is better than the big deal one day, and if you want something done then give it to a busy person.

What are you proudest of in your life? Twenty-eight years ago when I got married, this was closely followed by the birth of my three children.

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career? Growing ParkLogic during a time where the domain industry has been going through quite a tumultuous time.

Describe a recent challenge, at work or personally, that you overcame. Just the other day I got my hands dirty in writing some code for a new project that ParkLogic is investigating. It’s been a while since I really got quite deep into programming and I found the challenge of the problem solving actually really refreshing. What I was working on is a real game changer for a large segment of the domain industry that has largely been neglected….so stay tuned!

What was the best surprise you’ve experienced so far in life? My wife arranged for a surprise birthday party….I had absolutely no idea that it was going to happen!

Name 3 things you can’t travel without. Noise cancelling headphones and iphone for music, credit cards, passport.

Where is your favourite place to escape? Any place where I can order a drink and read a good book.

What was the best advice you were ever given? Follow your passion and the money will sort itself out.

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today? The Bible that my parents bought me when I turned eighteen. It is the manual that I try and live my life by.

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Are you interested in being a NamesCon Featured Attendee? Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, an industry veteran or a first-timer who’s curious to learn more about the domain industry, we want to hear and share your story! We’ll be publishing these profiles on the NamesCon website right up to the launch of the conference, so it’s great visibility for your company or brand.