Feb 11, 2015
Jason Thompson

What I’m Working On Wednesdays

Hello and welcome to another What I’m Working On Wednesdays. This is a blog series which I started back in 2013. I haven’t been consistent with it and that’s exactly why I am bringing it back. It was one of those topics that I loved to blog about and it allowed me to really think about the progress that I have been making on particular projects I am currently focused on.

On a side note, it just dawned on me that today would be considered Hump Day. Lately, I haven’t looked at Wednesday as being a Hump Day because it has been my Friday for the last year and half. I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule and with the new job I am starting, I will be doing just that. Then again, there is nothing normal about being an entrepreneur that has a day job. You are going to hear me blog about that a lot!

Here is what I have been working on this week:

Day Job

As some of you know, I will be changing day jobs at the end of February. It’s been an awesome ride with the current company, but there have been too many unknowns surrounding the direction of it. The messaging industry is in a state of consolidation. Companies are capitulating and no one really knows where it will be headed next.

I’m 34 years old now and I’m looking for an environment which will be a little more stable then what I have been in. Don’t get me wrong, I love the startup world. The problem is the company / companies I have worked for in the last two years were well past the startup stages, but they were forced to turn back the clock a bit. I went from working for a major force in the Premium SMS world to working for a startup who struggled to become a major force in the SMS world.

It’s kind of difficult to explain, but the company I worked for went through four different name changes. There were legal issues plaguing it from the very beginning and Premium SMS wasn’t something that the United States was willing to embrace with open arms. I witnessed major layoffs from the beginning. This is something that had never occurred to me before. I could never wrap my mind around why a company would be hiring during this time period.

Fast forward a year or two and  Premium SMS, also known as Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) was declared illegal in the United States. This completely wiped the original company I was working for out. Imagine going from making an amazing amount of money to scrapping with the other industry heavyweights for a slice of the pie. Not to mention all the legal battles forced the company to change names. Let’s just say that I got an inside view into how things really work in the corporate industry. ;-)

Today I found myself wishing my fellow associates well. I worked with one hell of a talented team! Next week, some of us will be headed to the cigar lounge that I am a member of! If there is one thing that a cigar will make you do, it is reflect! I’m looking forward to it.

Job And A Half

Last night I found myself working on wireframes for an old client of mine. They have been mislead by a few web development teams and I felt it was important to help them get through the rough patches, so I said I would take care of it. I normally don’t accept much web development work these days, but if it is for a good cause I’m more than willing to help.

Have you ever worked on your side business from 2AM and then 4.5 hours later realized you have to start getting ready for work at 7AM? I was practically a walking zombie today. I’m the type of person that needs sleep and I could feel that I was lacking it the entire day.

On other fronts, I’ve taken some steps towards establishing my new business. You’ll hear about it soon enough. Let’s just say, I love to help small businesses and that’s exactly who my new business will be focused on. Any spare time I have, will be dedicated to the new business. I’m going to make the impossible possible.

Regardless of where I am working, I will always have a business running at the same time. There will also come a time that this business will require my full attention and I am willing to accept that challenge. That’s the end goal for all of us entrepreneurs, to create a viable business that we can live off of and make a positive impact.

Right now, I am currently solidifying the products which will be offered to the public. I haven’t decided if I will let the public come to me or if I will simply target specific businesses. My goal is not to have a ton of customers. My goal is to be selective and really partner with small businesses that wold best utilize my services.

Well that’s it for now! I’d keep going but I’ve gotta meet my girlfriend at 8:30. We are headed to the Lone Wolf Cigar Lounge for a smoke!

Feb 10, 2015
Jason Thompson

Domains Are A Torrent Site’s Best Friend

Kickass Torrents Logo

In November, KickassTorrents switched to a Somalian (.so) ccTLD from a Tonga (.to) ccTLD. The domain was recently seized by by the .SO registry. Up until now, .SO seemed to be a safe-haven for the site. According to KickassTorrents, they tend to rotate domains on a regular basis.

The site itself has been around since 2008 and is one of the largest torrent sites in existence. Regardless of how you feel about Internet Piracy, you certainly have to give them a little credit for taking preventative measures to keep themselves from getting in trouble. The real question is when the (.to) extension domain will be seized. Where will the infamous torrent site go next?

I wonder if other torrent sites will take similar preventative measure and follow suit?

Feb 9, 2015
Jason Thompson

.COM Saturation & Lack Of .NET Traction

Verisign Logo

I ran into a headline which used some of the exact words above a little earlier tonight. Seeing .COM paired with the word saturation really made me want to take a closer look on who published this information. The actual article headline was the following:

VeriSign Earnings Preview: Saturation Of .com And Lack Of Traction For .net Likely Key Issues in the Quarter

The story itself was published by a site called Trefis. The site itself says it was founded by MIT Engineers and former Wall Street analysts who realized that most people do not understand the companies around them. If you ask me, that’s a very broad statement and it sounds a little degrading. It’s not that I don’t like what they are trying to do, it’s the fact that it categorizes the typical person as being out of touch with the businesses that are around them.

To support the headline, they make the case by mentioning the following points:

1. saturation in the .com domain

2. a lack of significant traction in the .net domain

3. intense competition from other gTLDs, especially ccTLDs 

These three points are valid, but this really didn’t do much to impact the stock price after Q4 2014 earnings were announced on February 5th. In fact, the title comes off a bit bearish and if you were to simply glance at the article you’d think that the stock might of done the exact opposite.

The investors that made money, were the ones that ignored the negative points of this article. Verisign, Inc. shot up over 5% after the earnings report. The majority of movement can be attributed to the fact that the company posted a 4.2% year-over-year increase in its forth-quarter 2014 revenues.

So much for focusing on the saturation of the .com and the lack of traction on the .net. ;-) If Trefis wanted to provide a solid report, they would have researched Verisign a little more and covered the products beyond domains that they offer. I didn’t graduate from MIT, but I do know Verisign is pretty big in the Cybersecurity world and that’s something they certainly should of mentioned.

Congratulation to those of you that own shares of Verisign, it doesn’t look like the momentum will be stopping anytime soon!