But as white-hot as this business has been, it might not continue to mint millionaires."How long will this model last? Internet business partners Ari Goldberger, left, and Larry Fischer, demonstrate how they search and buy domain names on the Internet, an estimated billion industry. Quick," Fischer barks at Eli, the investor at the end of the phone. Fischer and Goldberger up the ante, and then again. When people type the generic names into their Web browser's address field, sites that generate pay-per-click advertising revenue appear. "This industry is like the wild, wild West right now and people have no idea how fast it's growing," said Jerry Nolte, managing partner of Domainer's Magazine, a new trade publication devoted to this little-known world.
By Adam Goldman, Associated Press NEW YORK — Inside a midtown hotel, Larry Fischer is on his cellphone with a financial backer as his partner Ari Goldberger does quick research on a laptop computer. Some believe the industry's market value could reach billion by 2010 as people continue to purchase approximately 90,000 names a day and the number of domain registrars swells. It's a piece of real estate on the Web that can't be replaced.
The company took names and provided content and links for owners, getting a cut of the advertising revenue.
There's usually a chase, with Fischer trying to persuade owners to sell the names after he locates the owners unless it's up for auction."He's kind of like a rhinoceros," Goldberger says about Fischer. Other names sold for considerably less like (,000) and (,000). These are boom times in an estimated billion industry that involves the buying and selling of domain names.Fischer, 44, of Brooklyn, New York, and Goldberger, 46, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, figured there was money to be made early.Together, they became a formidable yet quirky team (imagine George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld with the pioneering spirit of Lewis and Clark).
Two years later, they created a company called smartname.com, which they sold earlier this year.They also troll lists of names with domain registrations set to expire, enabling them to get a jump on buying it. Five years ago, the duo could get a good name for ,000.