Flip this URL
The stock market has day traders, real estate has house flippers, and the internet has domain flippers. The concept is the same across these industries: invest in something for the short-term, run it up to the highest price, and sell at a profit.
Any short-term investing takes on the air of “easy money” and “get rich quick” schemes. More often than not, you’ll see these business schemes in a bad light, with shady characters and scheming con men, from reckless day traders to house-flipping slumlords to “Fast Domain Riches: How to make easy money for life!!”
On the opposite end of the spectrum though, you see very legitimate forms of business, with responsible day traders encouraged by online sites like eTrade, or responsible house flipping such as those featured on shows from A&E’s Flip This Houseto TLC’s Flip That House.
Even the domain name business has some interesting business models emerging. There are a few strategies involved in running up the value of the domain name you purchase. Obviously you have to pick a name that you perceive will have some future value or use in the marketplace, so that your purchase of it today will return a high profit upon selling. (Anecdote: my friend’s boss purchased the domain name jazzradio.com and sold it for a cool $20,000 to a buyer turning it into a 24/7 internet jazz radio station.)
Another strategy also predicts reading into the future a bit when choosing a domain name, but also educating a prospective buyer in the future “hotness” of that domain. That’s the premise of Lean Hollywood, a domain name for sale to potential filmmakers or creatives who identify with the “lean” process of maximizing efficient production.
From the Lean Hollywood website:
I think the name lean hollywood, leanhollywood.com is sticky and would be a cool name to brand a new blog, a new product, or a new service. Lean has positive connotations: being lean, lean manufacturing, lean thinking, lean meat, etc. For this reason I have bought the domain name leanhollywood.com. My purpose is not to develop the name but to flip the name.
According to the Hollywood Creators Collective, the folks behind this business proposal, the open pricing model is part of their belief in transparency and efficiency. True to their word, they list a 2009 price table timeline for purchase of the domain name:
PURCHASE BY THIS DATE PRICE
April 2009 $299
May 2009 $400
June 2009 $600
July 2009 $800
August 2009 $1000
September 2009 $1600
After September 2009 200 dollar monthly increments until price is a flat 5000 dollars.
Lean Hollywood tries to sell you on the concept of “lean” first, then tries to sell you the URL/domain name. Now if Detroit could only sell itself to you first as an awesome city to live in, then you could flip houses there easier, where the median home price was $7,500 as of December 2008.