Clay Collins Experience With Domain .c/ sales & Handshake


(00:00) [Music] thank you everybody for checking out handycon extended here so we we got clay collins it’s really great i mean i’ve been following you for for a long time when the internet marketing space and and uh and nomics and your projects you’re always you’re always making amazing things and it’s been great to see you really big you know supporting the handshake um things and you’re doing great things with dot c uh i’ve been seeing some of your screen shares in um in twitter so i just think it would be

(00:41) amazing to have you share some of your experiences uh and insights about you know about handshake and and the c dot c registry and everything so uh yeah thanks for sharing again clay yeah i’m i’m so stoked to be here yeah so i i kind of got into domain investing i was i was a domain investor first um and and i remember one of the projects i was involved in we we purchased a domain name for a million dollars wow and um that’s kind of what opened my eyes to the value that it that existed here because the person

(01:23) that bought the domain name that we eventually purchased for a million dollars um they you know they originally bought it for 10 bucks so it seemed like a pretty incredible return on investment you know for sure so uh and then through the years i think anyone who’s ever started a project has had the experience of going to look for a domain name seeing that it’s not available and then just kind of going through a series of options uh you know ranging from very expensive and very desirable like the exact

(01:58) version uh all the way down to a really inexpensive name with like maybe a dash or something in it that’s uh you know like my company or something horrific like that so um so i’ve i’ve i’ve kind of been been through that gamut and um and uh you know bought and sold domain names along the way and uh it’s been a really great ride but how do you how do you want to get into this should we do back story first or um what do you think is the best way to proceed to this content yeah i think we can just roll

(02:38) we can just roll into you know i think maybe some questions i have for you if that will help make yeah yeah let’s do that obviously you were in this it seems like from the beginning right i mean to see i mean you got into the dot c auction so maybe when did you get into handshake or how did you hear about handshake yeah so the so i’d heard rumblings about handshake on twitter starting maybe two years ago and uh i i interviewed eric meltzer on my podcast called the flipping podcast um he’s i think he’s the most interviewed

(03:17) person on the podcast i interviewed him about three times he’s a really smart guy he doesn’t spend much time you know making public appearances but he he either led the round or was a significant participant in the fundraise that name base did and uh he started talking about uh um handshake and everything that it was and it could be and i think what sort of flagged my interest was that a lot of notable notable developers who i really respected were involved in the project and a lot of engineers um who i who i trust were

(03:57) particularly excited about this project like they read it and they just got it and um and and so it got me looking into it and the first thing that i noticed the very first thing that i noticed about what was happening was that there was an opportunity to own a top-level domain and that that just sold me on the whole thing like with with uh ens the ethereum um naming project which is a project i respect quite a bit uh you know everything’s uh dot dot eth or they they’ve got another one as well uh with unstoppable domains

(04:33) which is the fork of ens they have like dot crypto and dot zill so the number of top level domains has always been limited but the ability for anyone to own a top level domain just just blew my mind because i you know again spent million dollars for a domain name in the past have spent cumulatively way more money than i’d like to admit to on domains and when you dig into the paperwork and the way the whole system works you realize that when you own a com you don’t really actually own it you own the ability to

(05:09) rent it from so it’s kind of like if you own um an it’s like you’re you you own a horse in the race and i wanted the ability to own the whole and that’s what the the top level domain ownership potential was for me so the first domain that i remember purchasing and getting really excited about was dot zen and um it was one of the domains that i had flagged that i wanted to be involved in because there’s um you know there’s like zenefits there’s zendesk there’s um there’s just so many

(05:52) companies that when you really look at it have zen in their name and it’s it seemed like as opposed to a lot of the purchases that were happening on h s like dot zen was a viable three letter top top-level domain it was what this was intended to be so from the very beginning i you know i was less interested in owning uh clay slash like my name which i i do own and i’m happy to own it and i was less interested in um you know sort of thinking about the as this is as another kind of like second level domain and i was like

(06:26) what are the top level domains here so i bought dots in um i can i think i can look up how much i yeah i think anyone could look up how much everything is on the blockchain well uh we’re addicted here we’re all name-based checking here is that i know it’s um yeah i bought it for 80 000 hms which was less money i guess i can share my screen uh it’s less money than um can you see uh yeah i see it i see it yeah yeah so so i was 80 and i bid i bid a hundred thousand i remember doing that from a bar with my co-founder

(07:08) uh one one night and uh so so i was like i’m gonna spend whatever i have to to to purchase dots in and uh did that and then the and then a few like a month later dot c and dot one came up and i was like i was like all right so there was dot-com and then there was dot co yeah and i want to own dot c and i was like it’s one letter and it’s this whole thing and i was like i will i will so i i took so much bitcoin and converted it into h and s ahead of those two auctions i was like nobody will outbid me on dot c

(07:51) i will like i will i will put it all down for dot c and i still maintain yeah i i still believe that my ownership of dot c is the most valuable crypto asset i own like i think it’s probably worth more than everything else i all the other crypto assets i have combined in terms of its upside potential um dot zenin.

(08:19) one it’s it remains to be seen i think if i did i spent a lot of time on brand building that would happen but i i really believe that c like sometimes i just sit back and i’m like that could be worth a billion dollars you know i i really think it could be worth uh a ton um yeah so that that was really my my entrance into the space and then i was talking to tatisha and i i also interviewed him for my podcast and and then like back channel he was like you know we’re going to open up the ability for people to sell these and

(08:51) it’s going to be on 101 domains and it’s going to be on um in circa yeah and and then he told me that the folks were involved and i had been i i’ve sold at least 10 domains through like you know maybe buying them for a couple hundred and selling them for like i just sold one for 10k um so i really like the whole flipping game on on park that io buying expired um i o domains basically i just go in there and i see the domains that are expiring and i sort them by registration date so i find the

(09:26) earliest registered ones because i’m like they have a higher probability of being fantastic and then i just like pick up the ones i want and i’ve sold uh a bunch there uh and uh like i uh well and i’ll i’ll spare i have i’ll spare some of the identities that people involved but sure i bought and sold a bunch there and i found out that they were involved in creating gateway dot io and i was like this is it t is like whatever i have to pay you like whatever and he didn’t charge me anything it was a very simple process i

(10:00) was like anything i have to do to be involved in this first batch because i do think there’s a branding opportunity uh around these top-level domains when you own a top-level domain and you’re selling them it’s not like other businesses where you need to worry about uh engineering innovation where you need to do customer support where you have to um you know do a whole bunch of things the support’s handled by you know gateway dot io or in circuit or 101 domains the tech is handled by you know it’s

(10:32) open source so i couldn’t i probably changed much about it right now um especially not as an engineer you know as a non-engineer so it’s like the only thing i have to focus on is brand building so what like just hypothetically what would happen if someone actually treated us like a business like if we weren’t just a bunch of like nft traders but what if someone actually tried to build a brand put some actual advertising dollars behind this and launch it so i was like all right i’m going to devote a half an hour a

(11:02) week to this because i my my first commitment is is above everything else um and uh and i i it’s not fair to the other team members the investors or anyone else and and i’m you know there’s there’s there’s a whole that you know that’s my my first love and passion i was like what if i spent just a small amount of time marketing these dot c domains so i started tweeting about it like maybe two or three times a week and uh lo and behold like started making between you know 10 and 15.c

(11:37) domain sales per day which comes out to roughly um it’s it’s like a run rate of around 85 to 90k a year so 90 000 a year tweeting three times a week no customer support no tech development you know and and i took out some ads on nomics and like that’s it but like that’s it and um and and and it’s uh you know and so like i’m just securing a bunch of h s now so i think that it’s still very early but the upside potential around these these top-level domains is just incredible it’s like it’s the ultimate

(12:16) nft it’s like what if your nft had babies and you could sell well i don’t want to think about selling people but like produces produced assets that you can sell so it’s it’s it’s a it’s very exciting times for sure for sure so yeah they’re going to start they just announced it like last week they’re going to open up gateway to io to any any any owner any anybody in name base yeah wow um they can’t guarantee 101 or in circa but they’re they’re gonna let anybody that wants to

(12:44) put it there they’re not gonna of course guarantee sales but they’re gonna let anybody list any any tld so that’s it’s it’s not yet totally implemented but probably this week they’ll start to um to do that and it’s gonna i think it totally changed the game um you know i’m preparing some now and everybody’s gonna start preparing them and no marketing kit required but you know i think they suggest to have one yes yeah so um yeah so for i’m not in the program yet and a lot of people aren’t yet so i

(13:16) don’t know if you want to give us some some pointers or actually you’re yeah from your screenshots you’ve shown on twitter you’re getting like it gets deposited right into your name based account like you said in hns like real time like the same yep yeah yeah i can walk you through it um i i i can walk you through it so um so i’ll just go over high level like my experience with your program that’d be awesome um so we we launched.

(13:47) c on august 7th of of uh of of 2021 20 20. um i’m sorry i have 2020 yeah it wouldn’t be that would be impossible so august 7th of 2020 um and it was really easy there was a simple contract for review um that that name base gave to me and uh i just i just needed to sign that it’s probably going to be electronic when folks go through it and it i just remember it being a very reasonable short contract um so i needed to do that and i needed to create some uh some marketing materials which i um again uh the nomics is is where i’m

(14:28) focused but what i created was um uh spock let’s see uh i just created this entity called uh spock domains so uh here it is different domains for different lanes oh nice nice.c domains.onedomains.xendomains so um so these are the marketing kits which 101 domains and then circa require and um again i i i outsourced this um you know had a simple logo made you know with some some some graphics but i i you know i fulfilled all the requirements here uh you know it’s it’s got some it’s kind of catchy like

(15:08) tomorrow’s leading brands already dot see it you know cool i haven’t seen this before um for 4.1 we were kind of thinking hey maybe this is for uh maybe this works with influencers so you know be the one with influence and then zen domains is for you know like maybe massage studios lifestyle brands yoga brands things like that so there’s um you know there’s so there’s a logo and some marketing materials for all of these and then there’s this entity called spock domains which is owned by um highway 86 llc which is just

(15:48) my llc so from the beginning i wanted it like owned by a corporation in case stuff went south you know i wanted some some liability protection uh and stuff which i think is important you know i i with with these being decentralized um you know i don’t know what people are gonna post on some of these domains so um so yeah so i signed the contract and i made marketing materials and then i i told folks about it on twitter and um here’s an example of like the kind of tweets that i would do because they were they

(16:20) were really basic and uh you know i just kind of showed people the kinds of domains that were being purchased so it dot c help dot c 3m dot c a i dot c so just i was just selling like hey these are still available and um i decided to not charge more for premium premium domain so if someone wanted to buy btc dot c which is someone’s already bought it but if they did it would cost the same amount as some really long domain dot c so i i just started tweeting about it um and and that’s how we launched it was sign the contract create the

(17:00) marketing kit and then just um just talk about it a little bit um and then i started you know doing a little bit more and i’m probably going to be publishing one of these or outsourcing the publication of one of these uh every month again i’m keeping my time to half hour a week um but uh you know i i created an income report so domain sold yesterday 35 c proof income 250 bucks time spent per week 30 minutes with an annual run rate of uh of 90k and i just wat like someone’s just been gobbling up these um these two-letter

(17:37) domains um recently and it’s you know cloud.c and it’s it’s just kind of continued you know yesterday someone bought uh home dot c k i that’s you know on the 20th a bunch of these uh two letter domains were being said so so i’m making real money and i’ve got a decent i shouldn’t be showing this but i’ve got a decent uh you know i’m accumulating uh some some hns here and i’m not selling it you know i’m i’m all in on the space so i’m not um [Music] i’m not cashing this in for for anything

(18:09) else and uh yeah so that’s uh i guess maybe that’s what i can i can share so far i’ve shared a little bit about what i’m making um let me see i can share um [Music] the the well i’ll i’ll dig up a little bit um the the ads for this but um people have already started to use it people sort of have started to redirect some of these domain names and stuff um and uh what this is this is some you know a really cool outcome of this so far is um park dot io uh published or you know or went through

(18:51) the data and um basically stated that according to the data that they’re looking at which is ntld stats dot c would be one of the top 500 tlds uh ranked so if you if you look at tld stats um you know they’ve got xyz icu dot online dot you know there’s all these kind of you know dot one dot um dot link etc and uh there’s a bunch of these so dot c based on what they were looking at um you know a few weeks ago would be in the top 500 and i think i think now we’d be in the top 250 so it’s it’s really going at a nice clip

(19:35) and again i i think that everyone’s going crazy over people and fts and just just wait till um until some vc comes in and and they say all right i’m just gonna buy i i want to do a roll up of the top ten you know tlbs on tlds on on handshake i i think i think they’re going to be worth so much i’m totally bullish as well man but i mean see uh it makes sense com co c right it’s a it’s a is definitely a great investment and uh i’m really happy that you’re you’re the owner of it and you’re

(20:10) you know you’re doing great things and uh and sharing your experiences today and on twitter and yeah it was mike carson at park i he mentioned it also during the handicon that uh that yeah that dussy should was at 500 should be at 500 if it was in the you know once it’s considered in the same as um i don’t know what terminology but you know like it should be in the top 500 which is great man it’s it’s it’s awesome so so yeah i guess people are using it like you said are redirecting it i mean once once

(20:41) this there’s hdns io i think you heard about that just came out by name name base which is a resolver yep which is pretty awesome and that’s just barely coming out and then i think all these people i switched to it yeah once everybody else gets to be able to sell their slds on their tld i think they’re gonna be like pushing it on all their channels it’s gonna be an amazing uh oh my god yeah oh my god yeah all these seriously i mean is these guys really the stuff we’re gonna be uh going crazy

(21:18) whole holy holy yeah i mean i thought about this for a second i was like is it good or is it you know like selfishly do i want a whole bunch of other people selling tlds and the answer that question is an emphatic hell yes because they’re all going to be you know pushing for um you know sort of resolvers for widespread adoption it’s like they’re all incentivized to grow the space and then not only are they going to be incentivized but everyone who owns a premium domain on those top level domains is also going

(21:55) to be incentivized to grow the space so if you own btc.c or if you own you know uh you know home.c or ethe.c and you really believe in the value of owning that you know or what it could end up being worth if the space grew then you’re also incentivized to grow the space so i think i think there’s just going to be an army of people behind this and i think that’s been that’s really been the problem is the incentivization structure for adoption of dot eth or dot zill or dot crypto you know what ens is doing

(22:32) what unsupportable domains is doing i think there just haven’t been enough people who are incentivized to make that works because you know to make that work because all the value accrues or the majority of the value accrues to um you know to to those companies whereas with handshake you’ve got all the second level domain owners are incentivized you’ve got all the tld owners are incentivized and then you’ve got all the h s owners uh also incentivized even if they don’t own anything and they’re just

(23:06) speculating on the space right they they want to see the you know everything work and then there’s everyone building apps on top of it so i think i think this is probably the first time that we’ve had like an adequate army of people assembled that uh that can that can push this thing through and if people are are you know if this is already at you know for c uh a 90k run rate like just imagine when top browsers or or uh you know other other entities start doing this when it’s not just in circa and 101 domains

(23:41) but when it’s when it’s go daddy right like when godaddy starts saying hey we want to own top level domains and we’re going to uh push these across our entire platform i mean just imagine the market when companies that are taking out freaking super bowl ads um start being interested in buying your your top level domains then it’s going to be really interesting and then i think another kind of interesting aspect of this is that uh domains are the number one way that a lot of website publishers are

(24:17) monetizing right so uh so i’m uh i’m a co-founder of leadpages which is a a landing page and website building tool uh that’s primarily focused on uh well it’s it’s been sold so i’m not involved anymore but it started out being highly focused on um conversion rate optimization split testing things like that but if you look at uh weebly um squarespace and wix the number one way that these platforms are monetizing is like when you sign up you often you get a free account you have to pay for your domain

(25:02) sometimes you get your domain for free but then you build a business there and then you have to pay for domain renewal so one of the main ways in fact i know for sure one of those the number one way um that they’re monetizing is through uh you know sort of renewal of these second level domains so imagine the revenue they could create if they if they owned like i don’t know dot sight or dot what i think that site is already taken but like dot website or dot weebly or dot store or i i don’t know if stores got taken i

(25:38) don’t know if any but if they if they came upon something that really worked for them and they decided that they were going to um you know sort of yet not just own uh a piece of this whole thing but actually own the whole tld um they would be so invested you know with their super bowl ads and their gajillion dollar marketing budgets i i just think um this this space is is uh so primed for success and i’m i’m incredibly bullish and the other thing is coms are going up again in september i think if i’m right definitely later this year

(26:13) the dot-com the icann or the verisign wants to make another dollar per day or whatever it is it’s going up i don’t know another dollar or something it’s just it’s like postage stamps they just keep on going up i don’t know what they got to do but it’s it’s a lot of work so they need more money so it’s unbelievable but yeah i think that’ll be another motivator you know but this has been fascinating clay i’m really i’m really happy that you’re you see you got me even more excited now

(26:45) and um you know i i feel i feel um i i like you know it’s what’s driven me the most is the community right everybody it’s all these crazy people from all around the world that are just hoping this thing resolves hoping this thing gets more and more adoption and there’s developers and domain investors and crypto enthusiasts everybody’s just kind of coming together in this space so it’s it’s really exciting and then plus the whole d web or web 3 you know i think that’s the next frontier in crypto

(27:13) it seems right i mean that’s what everybody’s talking about there’s a lot of different stuff coming out absolutely it’s it’s i think the the options are endless or the possibilities are endless and just to speak to the quality of people that are involved in the space like the people involved that i’ve seen in the community are top-notch people right like you’ve got the top domain broker in the world incredibly uh you know invested in h s you’ve got park dot io which is one of the top

(27:45) um you know resellers in the space uh involved like the domain industry is is heavily invested in hns or at least they’re in this they’re in heavily heavy accumulation uh you know before they come out in a big way for it but there are there are hardcore um there’s there’s heart there’s there’s there’s investment involvement from hardcore players in the space uh and then on the tech side you know uh the people involved are are top-notch many of the the you know the folks from the lightning network and

(28:18) and other just well-regarded uh folks in the space and then to see what you know what’s happening with badass domains um you know where they where they forked ethereum and uh you know they’re creating these decentralized second level domains and and imagine if you had a token on top of that like i was just thinking the other day you know what if what if everyone who bought a dot c domain uh had some kind of ownership uh you know we created a dow um you know made.

(28:51) c owned by entirely by the dao and then um everyone who owned a dot c domain um got tokens that represent representative ownership in the down they could vote on decisions that were made uh on behalf of the dot c and we just you know handed the whole thing back um to the community um that could be a a particularly interesting way to go and and i think that might become the model in fact i feel fairly certain that things are going that in in that direction and if they do that’s exactly what we want to do uh with with dot c uh but uh it’s gonna take

(29:23) time to see all this play out yeah i mean a lot of exciting things and uh i i feel bad i think we broke here 30 minutes this week it’s a it’s it’s this is fun this is this is uh i’ll i’ll count i’ll take it from next week yeah well nomics is great i mean uh i’m using it to you know track hns and other other crypto and uh it’s a great product you put together and i’m sure others in the community appreciate what you’ve contributed so um so let’s get some load up on dot c check

(29:57) out nomix thanks again clay for sharing with us at the handicon first ever handshake conference it’s uh it’s great to have you with us hey thanks for having me on i’m excited about you doing and thanks for putting all this together it can could be more grateful awesome awesome [Music] you