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  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Ain't much? That's relative - $10,000 is nothing to a successful business, but we're talking about a site with little traffic, no highly original ideas, no highly impressive content, no database, and a slightly above average layout. $10,000 for that?

    I'll say it AGAIN: he can hire professionals for that amount.

  2. #27
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    I guess we can restrict our reality to what _is_ or we can allow reality to be what _could be_. Value is not found only in what is, nor is value only found in content. My valuation is in what _can be_.

    How much would any of us have paid ten years ago for - oh say a stupid name like "yahoo.com" I'm guessing....roughly......ZERO. "Doesn't make sense!" "Nonsensical name!" "There's no content behind it!" (remember this is 10 years ago) "It doesn't sound professional!" How much is the url worth now? Did that value come from the name - naw, we've already agreed IT ain't worth nothin by itself. The content? Nope, there's thousands of search engines. The value of Yahoo.com came from the concept - an efficient search engine and destination portal with user adaptable content - innovative at it's time. Think someone could throw enough money at the internet now to compete with Yahoo? I don't.

    We've all heard of "Internet Time." The person who get's the concept up first has a lead on everyone else. On the Internet that lead is magnified in ways that it would not be in the tangible business world. 12thmanJeff not only has a concept, not only has it up and running - he has a lead time of months. No matter how soon someone starts designing a similar site by the time its up 12thmanJeff will have had the same amount of time to further refine, promote, and sell his site WITHOUT the expense of starting from the beginning and playing catchup in a medium that grows exponentially.

    Now I've said before that I believe bozo-businessman thinks the site is probably worth about $200. That doesn't mean someone else doesn't value it more or that 12thmanJeff can't develop it to be worth more.

    (@#*% I love these theoretical discussions...I wonder if there's any update from the real world of 12thmansJeff's negotiations...)

  3. #28
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Ugh, doesn't anyone listen to me? :P I already addressed the silly use of Yahoo as an example of a site's value.

    I'm going to scream if someone says something like that again - you're not getting the point. HERE IS THE POINT:

    Why did Yahoo succeed? An original concept done well - this football site is okay, but I don't see anythhing significant I havn't seen in many other places. So for the last time: stop comparing to other things that started small! Compare it to them when it has a revolutionary idea that hasn't been done a bunch of times and will continue to be done to death.

    Yes, the actual value is whatever it sells for, but what I'm saying is that from a business perspective, it's not worth anywhere near $10,000.

    If you want to disagree, please do-so with some facts and reasonable arguments, not "Hey, who's to say what's worth what", or "He put a lot of work into it!", or "Yahoo started small, I bet you wish you'd thought of it and bought it for $10K back then."

  4. #29
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    Plus, everything we're talking about is backwards. The site is worth what someone will pay for it. If Jeff was asking us whether we thought he shoudl pay $10K for this site, then the Yahoo.com example might be more appropriate. But the value is set by the buyer, and there is no buyer willing to pay $10K for this site.

    And, the idea that Jeff's site was "first" or a "new idea" is not entirely accurate. There are many other Titans fan sites and there are Titans fan sites that predate his site.

    It's a nice site, but I could put a site up in a matter of days that is just as good. And I already have sites that have far more hits. And it wouldn't take me $10K to do it.

    If someone will pay that amount, then it's great. And asking for that amount or more is perfectly fine, too. But I sure can't see the comparison to Yahoo! We're talking about a very small and very specialized site that is not unique and can fairly easily be copied. If there is so much upside to this site, then Jeff should most certainly keep the site and make it into the next Yahoo! and then think about selling it.

  5. #30
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    Actually my point was to get you to scream....

    First, I wasn't using the value of Yahoo's SITE as a comparison, I was using the value of the NAME (to illustrate how something intangible can be worth much more than $10k) I keep seeing you rally around the CONTENT isn't worth that - IM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE CONTENT I'm talking about the concept. How many other Titan's sites do you know of?

    Second, you keep pointing to what the site... the concept... the name... is worth NOW.

    Quote "I don't see anything significant I havn't seen in many other places"

    IM NOT TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE NOW. I'm talking about what something intangible can be worth IN THE FUTURE. The only reason why anything grows in value is because somebody put some effort into it. (even diamonds gotta be dug out of the earth)

    Quote "Compare it to them when it has a revolutionary idea that hasn't been done a bunch of times and will continue to be done to death."

    I think you missed my point - search engines HAVE been done to death (even at the time of Yahoo's inception) What I hear is kind of like saying "Why build another casino in 'Vegas - it's been done to death." Go to Vegas - off the strip you'll see tons of little dinky crappy casinos. Why? Why even bother unless you've got a unique idea or one that can be better than the others? BECAUSE THEY MAKE MONEY. (Yea, yea I can hear you saying "but it's not a casino," the illustration still works with almost any industry)

    If the concept CAN make money (not _is_ making money now), CAN make money then it's worth money.

    Hey, look all kidding aside I don't think that your a multi-million dollar businessman and I _know_ that I'm not. So your AND my "business perspectives" are just plain theory (and probably worth less that 12thmanJeff's site)! Buy why not aim for the stars? You ain't going to get there by watching the ground.

    ('nuff said - this thread is starting to sound like a cat fite between twtcommish and myself (no hard feelings I hope))

    [Edited by mfarmerhi on 11-07-2000 at 11:15 PM]

  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    No hard feelings whatsoever. My use of capitals is for emphasis usally - not meant as yelling most of the time.

    So, wait, you're saying it's valuable because of new ideas it COULD generate? What the? That can be said for every single website in existence!

    By the way, I already addressed the concept - it is not original. There are other Titans site...namely, the official one, which is better looking, has content that is far superior, has a lot of money to put into it already, and has a major head start in traffic, news, and interviews.

    Not only that, but I'm sure there are other Titans fans sites out there - It's *painfully* obvious that there are lots of sites dedicated to sports teams, and this one is like a lot of the others: general info, nothing that jumps out.

    So, I've addressed the concept issue.

    Back to the future value issue: if this guy is buying it, he'll be responsibile for all future value. I don't see any major future value...WHY? Because of all the reasons I've already mentioned! If a site has nothing highly original, not much traffic, nothing amazing in terms of design or layout, and doesn't have a highly unique concept, then why is it we should expect it to improve in the future? Odds say it won't.

    The odds also say that even if it does, the odds are ridiculously against it ever being worth $10,000 from a business standpoint.


  7. #32
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    Originally posted by mfarmerhi
    IM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE CONTENT I'm talking about the concept. How many other Titan's sites do you know of?
    Well, I can name at least eight fan sites off the top of my head. The team site is very good, too, so that's another one. There's also the NFL, ESPN.com, SportingNews.com, CNNsi.com, the Tennessean, USA Today, etc., etc. that have Titans pages and information.

    One other thing to consider is possible legal problems. I know that Clutch (who runs ClutchCity.net, the best fan site I've ever seen) gets cease and desist letters from the NBA all the time, and there is always a constant battle between the NBA and his site. The reason he gets so much trouble is because he is so big. Small sites don't get that problem, but you have to assume that as this Titans site gets bigger (if it does), the chances for legal problems increases.

    And there is the potential domain problem. The domain does contain someone else's trademark. If the Titans or the NFL were to want to challenge the right of the site holder to keep that domain name, there's a chance that they could prevail (at the very least, there could be some legal bills).

  8. #33
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    Oops, already makin a lier out of myself...

    Quote "The site is worth what someone will pay for it." Hey, I thought I said that! (about five times...)

    Did a quick search of Yahoo (who's very name should not be mentioned less twtcommish scream...) for "Titan Football" Lots of mentions of the Titan's name - but besides the general all purpose sports or football sites there were 'bout 3 that were devoted soley to the Titan's.

    (Ok, seriously - I PROMISE you won't hear another peep out of me!)



    [Edited by mfarmerhi on 11-07-2000 at 11:34 PM]

  9. #34
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    An update...

    I love reading this thread. I am learning a ton from the different perspectives here.

    A couple of general things that I might shed some light on the conversation. First, there are a TON of great Titans sites. The official site is very well done since redesigned. Others such as espn.com and The Sporting News are excellent sites. Obviously, they have significant budgets to maintain such sites as well.

    What I've tried to do with Titans12thMan.com is focus solely on the fan experience. I interview fans. I put up fan photos. I truly am the ONLY site that focuses ONLY on the fan experience from a Titans perspective. I don't try to duplicate those sites that are about the players, have stats, etc. There are too many out there already.

    My visitor is the diehard Titans fan who as much lives for the fan experience as the game itself. Believe it or not, many of the 68,000 who go to the game and are huge fans get bored when reading a stats page and don't understand half of what they see on Sunday. But they love the Titans and how they feel about going to the games. Many of these same fans get as much fun out of tailgating as the game itself.

    It's time to let the "cat out-of-the-bag".

    The potential buyer for the site is someone who is wanting to sell Titans fan gear. Essentually, items designed specifically for Titans fans. And the name of his business is "12thTitan". He has trademarked the name and owns the domain as well. He wants to create and market items directly to the fans. Then to every other NFL team.

    You'll notice the simularity in our domain names. Close enough for there to be some legal trouble for me down the line? I dunno. He managed to register a name that contained "Titan" without any problem. But there may be some confusion just because we both have "Titan" and "12" in our domain names. And you can imagine this guy is wanting to bring in the same people who are already participating and visiting my site - the diehard fan.

    So that is why I see more value in my site to this particular person. I think it is ideal for his needs. He doesn't want a highly-commercial catalog-type site but an entertaining site that promotes the fan experience with banner ads which lead to his merchandise.

    In time, he plans on spreading this concept to every team in the NFL.

    He is in the early stages of development. There are quite a few things which has to happen before his idea becomes a reality. Licencing agreements with the NFL are very expensive and hard to get.

    I have not received a reply from him since my letter on Monday. He is very busy and may not have had time to reply. He also may have decided my site was either too expensive or not right for him. Or, he could have just realized he needed to get some of these issues resolved before moving forward with any website.

    I have a hard time believing that anyone who could afford to pay for a NFL license would have major bucks to put toward all their marketing needs. Creating and selling a line of fan products will be a very expensive undertaking.

    I'll keep everyone posted.

    [Edited by 12thManJeff on 11-08-2000 at 08:54 PM]

  10. #35
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    whew.....this is a long thread, but very interesting. I have found myself in your position many times. there are many different rationals that come into play whan it comes time to assign a dollar amount to a website, which most have already been mentioned. So I'll just share my experiences with buying & selling sites, and one sale for a site that I designed, but did not own.

    Site #1
    18,000 hits per month
    10,000 visitors month
    $300.00 in sales per month
    No original concept-basic site
    75 top 30 positions in the search engines
    I paid: $1,325.00

    Comment: I think the owner just wanted to get rid of it, they knew they would continue to make a profit as they made the products sold on the site, and wholesaled them to me.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Site #2
    5,000 hits per month
    1,000 visitors per month
    Rarely had sales
    No original concept-basic site
    15 top ten search engine positions in the search engines
    Sold for: $4,000.00

    Comment: The buyer clearly stated that they were buying the site for the positions, not the site content. They had a belief that with their products hitting hard with the same keywords would do well, and these positions would help with their overall marketing plan as they would not have to continue to purchase keywords on search engines, saving them thousands.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Site #3
    30,000 hits per month
    10,000 visitors per month
    No sales
    Very original concept-fun site for kids
    40 top thirty positions in the search engines
    Sold for: $20,000.00 in addition to 20% of the companies earnings, if continued to add content to the site.

    Comment: The buyer wanted to add this site to their network of sites, with the thought that this would be a great addition.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Site #4
    70,000 hits per month
    29,000 visitors per month
    No sales
    No original concept-basic site
    20 top 10 positions in the search engines
    Sold for: $36,000.00

    Comment: Was a games site, the buyer was a games programmer who felt that he could replace the games with his own. The player could download the first couple of levels and if they liked the game, they could purchase the full version. He stated that the site already had the traffic, which his site was currently lacking.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    One thought I had on this subject, which I don't think anyone brought up is some type of trademark infringement. if your domains are somewhat similar and the content is going to be kind of the same, than I would say that it could possibly cause confusion to the visitor. If you both decided to open up full blown Titan sites selling products for the Titans (which may not be on your mind right now, but if the site really took off, may be a thought in the future) than your sales may end up going to him or vice-versa because the user went to the wrong web address.

    This has come up with a friend of mine who bought a site called gifted-gardener.com he was later sued by a site called thegiftedgardener.com for trademark infringement. It's a thought.

    Sincerely,

    Leona Harvey
    HBS Internet Marketing
    Internet Marketing Strategist

  11. #36
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    Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond.

    It looks like my deal is shot for now. There has been no response from him for almost 2 weeks so it is safe to assume he wanted a free lunch.

    This is what I now assume was what he wanted though he clearly miscommunicated his needs or I totally misunderstood him.

    It appears he never intended to buy me out. He wanted me to basically continue on producing the site but changing my domain name to his and adding areas where he could sell his products.

    In return of removing my domain, giving him my content and concept and basically working for free to maintain the site, he would be willing to give me a percentage of income made from sales on the site along with any advertising sales the site would make. He also would be promoting the site with his other marketing such as putting the domain name onto all his radio and print materials.

    The only problem here is that he currently does not have all this "product" he intends to sell, and he had no letters of intent for all these advertisers he felt he could bring in. No written business or marketing plan was presented to me. Basically, it was all talk.

    Since I had no guarentee of making anything in the deal, I had to ask him for a fee to buy the site ($15,000) along with giving him the option of hiring me to maintain the site at a reduced hourly rate. I did mention I would gladly accept a commission as long as it was equal to or exceeded the hourly rate I would get in maintaining the site. I do realize the selling price might be too high but I did want to leave a little room to negotiate.

    He also had all these "creative types" who have no web experience who he wanted to bring into the deal. I told him it was fine but I would have to maintain final control of the site's content. Especially, since some of my income would be based on commissions.

    I even put other options into the proposal such as an option for him to pay $10,000 up front and $10,000 at the end of a one-year period. If he decided he didn't want to keep the site, he'd release all rights to the content and concept in exchange for not paying me the second $10,000. So he'd be sort of renting my site's content and concept for a year for $10,000. I'd have the option of setting up my site again.

    I clearly felt this was a fair proposal and I did show I was flexible in how I was to be compensated. I clearly think he felt that since I did the site as a hobby, I'd do all this for free.

    When he got my proposal, all I received was a call on my machine stating we'd somehow miscommunicated. His tone was harsh as if I had offended him. My e-mail reply was if he was still interested, to submit to me something in writing. He has not.

    As for the trademark issue, it gets complicated. Without being a lawyer, I do realize the potential confusion with our domain names. I do not intend, however, in selling fan products though I do affiliate with some companies that sell Titans gear. It would clearly cost him less, and keep his public relations positive, to buy me out instead of take me to court. I think he knows this. My site has been featured in the local papers and I could quickly drop a dime to share my story.

    The other issue is something he kept bringing up which, early on, was presented as an argument for changing my name but ended sounding like a threat. The words "The 12th Man" is trademarked by Texas A&M. There have been numerous cases where various promotional items given out at games have had "12th Man" on it and was quickly followed by a cease and desist order from Texas A&M with threats of litigation. So this potential buyer would mention to me that it is only a matter of time before A&M would come after me. I continue to think "Titans12thMan" is very different from "The 12th Man" and there is no risk of confusion whatsoever since much of the basis for trademark infringement is intent. But he knows that I don't have the resources to fight this battle if I was to receive such a letter.

    In turn, this guy's parent company is "12th Man/Tennessee" which has already been trademarked. Very confusing.

    I do think he would contact A&M, if he hasn't already, just to see if I'd drop my domain name after receiving a letter. He kept asking me if I'd received such a letter every time we talked.

    I personally thought I ran more of a risk with infringing on the name "Titans" than anyone else.

    My apologies for rambling here. I just thought all of this information may be of benefit to others who may end up in the same boat someday. I will continue to keep you posted if anything changes.


  12. #37
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    $36'000 for 70'000 hits a month? ****... how much would you value a site getting 1.5 millions unique visitors a month (30% from boomarks) which is 90% automated (easier to maintain for the buyer) and which makes $3000/month? i thought $50'000 would be appropriate but if you can sell this other site for $36k, i guess it could be more...

  13. #38
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    There are a number of factors involved here that I couldn't predict.

    Obviously, my fee to do a site is extremely high if only a few people come. But it takes me the same amount of time to do a site a thousand people visit a day or just 10.

    His plans were to promote it with his other marketing efforts. Who knows what daily traffic might be after a few months?

    Let's say the site grows and gets 1000 hits a day. Maybe 1% or 10 people buy his product per day. If the average sale is $25, he makes $250 per day or $7,500 per month. That ends up being $90,000 a year in sales though clearly not all profit. My yearly fee of $36,000 looks like a bargin.

    And the site also should be used as a tool for outside sales. He plans on putting his product in the stores in Nashville where most people will buy his product. The site then just becomes something to inform the public of new mechandise and maintaining good public relations. It would be hard to know the outside sales the site would generate.

    Lots of unknown factors here.


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