Rob Grant On The New gTLD’s: “Dot Com will Always Win The Horse Race”

In an story and interview published about domainer Rob Grant a few days ago by, entitled From “Madison Avenue to Adirondacks – domainer millionaire” Rob was asked what he thought of the new gTLD’s:

“Which new gTLD has the most potential? What’s your opinion on hundreds of new gTLD’s that are lining up?

Rob had to say:

“”Only one extension will emerge as the winner. Its the same extension that has always emerged on top, through countless disruptions and changes in the domain space.”

“It’s Dot Com. Dot Com will always win the horse race.”

“It doesn’t matter how many horses enter the race. Dot Com is the powerful and graceful ’Secretariat’ of domains. ”

“It’s important to remember that this is the one extension that all companies (Fortune 500 companies on down to small businesses everywhere) have all built massive brands around – both online and offline (print, TV, radio, etc) over the last 15 years. All other extensions have basically played a defensive role. This means that billions of dollars in advertising and marketing have been spent on the Dot Com brand itself. It’s what consumers are familiar with and understand.”

“The introduction of thousands of new extensions will only confuse the consumer, and serve to strengthen the Dot Com brand. What people forget is that we have already been through a similar test case with the introduction of new tld’s like Biz, Info, Travel, Mobi, etc. And we all know how that mess turned out. ”

“The only potential disruptor this time is Google, launching its own extensions and then favoring those extensions in its organic search results. Google has just spent $18 million applying for over 101 new extensions. The same is true with Yahoo (.yahoo) & Bing (.bing).”

Then Rob was asked:

Will dot com realm remain intact?

To which Rob answered:

“Without a doubt, we are poised to enter one of the most interesting chapters in the story of domain names. The one thing all of these new TLD’s will do (and it will be very valuable for all of us), is to attract huge new investment dollars into the domain space and raise the awareness for domain names as an asset class. And this is already happening as we speak.”

“I also expect to see massive disruption and confusion over the next 24 months as experts and businesses try to anticipate the launch of these new tld’s and determine exactly what their collective impact will be on the domain space. Durring this period, I think we will see a decline in high value domain sales, as the world ponders the meaning of these new tld’s. ”

“It may take several years to emerge from this fog of war (as we have so many times in the past) before we have clarity, again.”

You can read the entire interview and story here.


  1. BrianWick says

    “It’s Dot Com. Dot Com will always win the horse race.”

    Not even a horse race – a bunch of greyhounds and one horse.

  2. says

    It’s hard to get a balanced and unbiased opinion about the popularity and usefulness of the New gTLDs from people who are highly invested or otherwise attached to .com

    We must first have the ability to see beyond what might be important or beneficial to our own personal or business situation before we can gauge the impact of the New gTLDs on the domain Industry and the Internet as a whole.

    To simply say that .com is king and that all New gTLDs are going to fail because they are going to cause confusion is a one sided statement that does not account for what might actually take place in the near future. Even if you go with the laws of probability alone, there will surely be a small percentage of these New gTLDs that are going to rise to the top, even at 1% success rate that can amount to 50 to 100 new extensions which can produce a real challenge to .com and other already established extensions.

    The truth is that no one really knows for sure which one of the New gTLDs are going to rise to the top, but logic says that they all can’t become failures as some people want us to believe. Although there is a strong possibility that .com can keep its status as the king of extensions because of the extensive branding that has been done around it over the years, but we also have to consider the probability that at least a handful of the New gTLDs (out of a few thousand) might have the same branding power and popularity right out of the gate. (Just my opinion)

  3. says

    Hello MHB,

    We think he has most everything right accept for =

    “I also expect to see massive disruption and confusion over the next 24 months as experts and businesses try to anticipate the launch of these new tld’s and determine exactly what their collective impact will be on the domain space. Durring this period, I think we will see a decline in high value domain sales, as the world ponders the meaning of these new tld’s. ”

    We think more and more the Secondary Market participants will see more clearly through this Gtld smoke screen and the BIG END USERS will make their moves. Smart Money is already discounting the paragraph above. We think Big Money “Virtual Business Foundations in .COM vein will set Valuation Records Starting very soon, in our Humble Observation. 7/23/12

  4. says

    Hello MHB,

    “When you connect ALL the Dots they will all eventually lead back to the .COM Channel of Top Tiered Streamed Traffic” BET ON IT NOW, dont get fooled again! and others can only intervene so long until the jig is up.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  5. Aggro says

    What’s for sure is a certain idiot who reg’d in 2000 (was that the best you could get in 2000!? WTF) who wants only $6M for it AND equity share won’t benefit whatsoever

    Dog shit on 5th Avenue is still dog shit


  6. says

    .COM is most definitely the most desired extension. But not everyone can afford the gold standard. Some make do with other gtlds, others with cctlds.

    Similarly there will be a place in the brand world for new gtlds as well. Price points certainly differ as they do now.

    But more and more startups / new brands / marketing sites are being based on alternative brands like .me / .in / .ly / .to etc and this market will expand to include certain top keyword / tld combinations in new tlds as well. And therein lies their value.

  7. says

    I spent ages looking for a site the other day. I typed in .com and various iterations of what was left of the dot. I finally gave up. They were using WTF? Don’t these idiots know they should be using .COM and not CO.UK. I told them to beat their horse dead and invest in the .COM – a horse that might win something.

    Sometimes I wonder if these .com Americans really believe the rest of the world is as stupid as them.

    Anyone who really believes that the future of anything is going to be restricted by the historical use of a naming convention of three letters to the right of an often unecessary dot is insane. These are the same people who thought that books would never change, that TVs would not be able to stream movies (Consider the BANDWIDTH!) and VOIP? that’s a joke.

    I’d bet on the horse that says we won’t even use traditional browsers in 5 years.

    Anyway, to make the analogy go full circle… todays .COMs are going to be the glue of the future.. just not the glue that holds the internet together.

  8. says

    there is no straight forward answer here. Rob may be a bit biased if his fortune exists on a portfolio of dotcoms but he is right to an extend:

    good dotcom names will retain and increase value but stupid dotcom names like will perish against names like gadgets.web or even

    the new gTLDs will replace the need of a generic extension. current two word names e.g. will become and people will love it. gibberish dotcoms will vanish. For example the value of will be reduced since it will get more competition on the same niche.

    Where Rob is wrong: the few gTLDs like biz tv etc did not win simply because they were “few” and short/odd/unclear. now you will have ANY word as TLD and consumers will start getting unconcerned when they see them since it will become the norm. The hundreds of millions investment from all industries will ensure this.

  9. Paul says

    If it wasn’t for folks like Mike Mann buying up dot coms which he had no intention of developing, then demanding a king’s ransom, maybe there would be no need for other gTLD’s.

    Mann’s arrogance has made me rethink things. I believe competition for dot com does have to be promoted. As in any capital market, a lack of competition results in prohibitive pricing. Lord knows how many domain speculators are sitting on dot coms which they never intend to develop. While legal, it’s not the most ethical way to make a buck, and I think domain speculators are a real problem. It’s the reason why you could spend all day long trying to find a good dot com, without success.

    You can’t trust anyone who is a dot com speculator to be unbiased about gTLD’s. Of course they want all gTLD’s to fail! If they fail, that’s the sound of the cash register ringing.

    I don’t believe we need thousands of gTLD’s, but we certainly need more options thanks to greedy domain speculators.

  10. domainer says

    ^ Paul, good domains would have been registered by other devs like you – the point is – if the name is good it’s taken. if you are a proponent of gtlds then register .cc and you are set

  11. Rich says

    Very well said.

    You are barking at the wrong tree,there are still plenty of .com’s still available just have to know your domaining search.

  12. BrianWick says

    I am correcting myself – greyhounds and horses run about the same top speed – so my analogy of .com always winning a race with a bunch of greyhounds (non.coms) is wrong. The more accurate analogy is a horse (.com) racing a bunch of chickens (non.coms) for a 1 1/4 miles.

    Paul –
    “buying up dot coms which he had no intention of developing, then demanding a king’s ransom, maybe there would be no need for other gTLD’s.”

    Yes – we have politicians as well who do not understand, do not like or do not believe in free market capitalism – just like you – you must be happy with the ways things have gone the last 3.5 years :)

  13. Paul says

    @ Brian

    Can we please avoid the typical Democrat vs. Republican references. If you must know, I think both parties such. Until this country has a viable 3rd party, the madness will continue. $14 trillion in debt and counting.

    Back to the point, I hear what everyone is saying… free market economics and all that. Fine. I just find it offputting that small business owners have yet another obstacle to overcome. That being greedy domain speculators. But that’s just my opinion and I accept it may not be popular. Unless you’re said small business owner and find slim pickings in the dot com world. That’s why I support some (not all) gTLDs. Let’s not forget, competition is a big part of free market economics. Yet how many dot com owners support competition amoung gTLDs? Few to none, from what I can see.

  14. says

    @ Paul

    ” You can’t trust anyone who is a dot com speculator to be unbiased about gTLD’s. Of course they want all gTLD’s to fail! If they fail, that’s the sound of the cash register ringing ”

    Creative Destruction has already voted on this you are not aware yet, but this realization is coming. So what to do now ?

    Go into Secondary and reposition yourself, its nonsense there are no values there. There is a Sea of opportunity still there, why don’t you believe this???

    By the way it is not arrogant to pay good money for .COMS try it you just might benefit.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  15. BrianWick says

    Paul –
    You commentary (especially without your ability to identify youself) reminds me of the correct turns I have clearly made in the world of “domain investing” as I have finally entered only my 14th year in this business. You must find a new way to channel your angst / frustration friend.

  16. Paul says

    What does “identifying” myself have to do with anything? I’m entitled to an opinion without providing my last name. I also don’t see what your number of years in business has to do with anything. I never doubted dot com speculators have done well. In fact, I believe that’s exactly why they don’t support competition (i.e. gTLD’s). I’m also not frustrated about it. Just giving my opinion.

  17. says

    in the confusion of the aftermath the .com (the king) will be the looser. I a decade or two, when new generations of nerds arrive, the .com will be confused as a shortening for communication.

    The new king among company names is the explicit “.company”

  18. BrianWick says

    So DOM –
    What kind of bill-of-goods did you sink into “.company”

    remember – ALL the money In the new’s is in the registries – not the speculators

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