Adam Strong – Strong in Ethics – Big in Heart
Adam Strong, There’s enough good to say about him that I could write a book. Of course he meets all my main criteria outlined in my first “A” List post. All that and more!
I first met Adam way back in 1999 in either the Great Domains chat or Afternic chat. I can’t recall which one. We were both members of Ricks forum until 2007 when I opened my own. He is a well respected and active member of my forum to this day.
Even as a young man in his twenties, you could tell Adam was going places. He was always polite and friendly. He stayed out of the drama and built relationships that last to this day. He stayed focused.
Adam has been one of my “Go To” people and I have had occasion to be his 🙂 Whether it be personal or business, your conversation goes into the vault of his mind and never comes out.
I tried to lay out Adams history here myself and realized that his story is so awe inspiring and inspirational that I needed his help to do it justice. He’s a very humble man and rarely speaks of himself so I am honored to introduce to you my friend and colleague, Adam Strong, as told in his own words:
I’ve got a degree in photography with another specialization in graphic design from Illinois State University.
I worked as a graphic designer from 1994 until about 1997 until I discovered the power of a great domain while working for the owner of BritishVirginIslands.com . Graphic design let me freelance and free up time to explore other entrepreneurial things as well. I had a pretty good success at ebay early on before it was inundated with sellers . . .(about 97-98) I started dabbling in domains more after a friend of mine sold a name on ebay for $15k. I learned about the drops and started hanging out at forums to learn and share.
I did a lot of what I’d call “scrapper” type of work in the early domain days because I really had very little money to start out. I worked for a guy who would put together lists of names to send to a domain company who would buy the ones they thought were good for their portfolio. There were 3 or 4 guys that I know who probably built a good portion of that 500,000 domain portfolio by hunting down available names using the Overture tool. I chased drops using private registrar deals, club drop, name winner, drop wizard and any other service I could track down that would help give me an edge. I bought a lot of what are my best names probably in the 2002-2004 time period for pretty low prices. I wish I would have had more money and bought more !
Same old story as most , I bought a lot of crap early on. . . . I was more after the brandable stuff and fortunately I had a good enough eye to get lucky with some good hits and some sales that I would plow right back into domains. I started picking up more of a broader swath of domains with type-ins that helped bolster my portfolio.
I met some great friends early on at afternic and other places that I’d say are still some of my closets business colleagues.
Rick Schwartz let me in to his forum and I met even more good people. Attending the conferences and traveling to meet other domainers really helped foster closer relationships with many of my “domain family”. A few of the people in this business I’ve trusted with user names and passwords to all my names .
The people who I’ve worked with (and partied with at times) in the space are really the best thing about this business. Generally people think that domainers are lone wolves but really the people I’ve worked with have all been willing to share , willing to help and want to do creative and innovative things.
A lot of the things I’ve worked on in the domain space have allowed me to work with some really good people. DNN.com started back when there were only a couple domain blogs and there was a gap in coverage. Frank and I started working together to fill in that gap. DomainConsultant started with doing crowd-based appraisals and evolved in to helping Domain Tools with their auctions by helping source and pick names, and then Miguel and I rolled out our own live auctions. Phil and I started DomainAgents to help domain buyers navigate the unfamiliar territory of purchasing a name on the aftermarket. Now he has begun rolling out even more products and improving on the original service. DomainGuardians evolved from an idea I had to help manage a domain portfolio after someone passed away. Mike and Jen have pushed forward their efforts to doing high-end client services and brokering.
My biggest problem is I can’t just sit still and do one thing. What works best for me is to help create something and then turn it loose with the right people. I’ve been fortunate to work with those kind of people.
I still manage to do what I’ve always done from the beginning: buy and sell domains and “work the angles” to monetize domains better. I still plow more money in to domains as I make money from them and see opportunities. Even with all the slowness in the economy, low revenue in parking, etc this has been one of the best years I’ve had in this business. I’ve been working as an independent buyer’s broker and acquired over $500k in domains for my clients over the last year. I had a large sale come through near the end of the year last year that netted me nearly $500k. I turned around and bought 3 names with that money. One of them was Strong.com, a name which I’ve been after from the start of my domain career. Another was a 3 letter domain that just recently sold, with a little help from my friends, for $1m. Roughly that same timeframe I hit another one out of the park with the sale of Racing.com. I bought that name for 6 figures back in 2006, back when I didn’t have that sort of cash on hand. . . . It was literally the most expensive thing I’d ever bought. I did have a portfolio of domains making good money though, so I arranged to lease those domains to make the purchase.
All in all, I’ve faired pretty well in this business. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, which would make this an even longer dictation. That should be the focus really. Making mistakes and fixing them and moving forward having learned from those mistakes. Anyway
I have 2 boys, 5 and 7 . I’ve been married for 12 years to my wife (who had no problem with me spending more on a domain name than we spent on our first home)
I’ve lived in Springfield IL pretty much most of my life. . . and I’m ok with that:)
Thank you so much Adam for letting me tell your story. Your an inspiration to all of us!
Other “A” List People