If you haven’t heard by now, emoji domain names are on the up and up as each day passes, priming for their own market run much like that of bitcoin, ethereum and ripple runs.
Emoji domains have caused quite a stir this year, to say the least. And it doesn’t look like they’ll slow down anytime soon either. A growing population is speaking, texting, reading, singing, watching, and just doing about everything else imaginable using emoji.
Emoji domains are likely to disrupt and transform how businesses, small and large, market and advertise to a new generation of buyers with $200B+ buying power for years to come.
That said, many domain professionals, investors, and hobbyists are scouring forums, websites, social networks and more to get their hands on highly prized and valued emoji domain names.
Today, I’d like to introduce to you Thomas Huynh, the founder of Sonshi.com and the owner of a growing emoji domain portfolio.
Thomas recently became the owner of ☮.com after bidding and winning with a $3.8K price tag.
Although it’s been a few weeks since his monumental emoji domain stake in ownership, Thomas was so gracious to take a moment out of his busy schedule to provide a bit of insight behind his latest investment, its relationship to his business, and candid thoughts on emoji domain names. Enjoy!
So, who are you and what type of business do you operate?
My name is Thomas Huynh, founder of Sonshi.com, an online resource dedicated to Sun Tzu’s Art of War since 1999.
If you’re not familiar with Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it’s a 2500-year-old Chinese classic still being used by military generals, politicians, business executives, and even sports figures you’ll likely recognize.
Both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant read Sun Tzu’s Art of War when they were budding professionals. Also, Amar’e Stoudemire loved being called by his nickname “Sun Tzu.”
Bill Belichick, the head coach for the New England Patriots, doesn’t post many motivational signs, but the one sign posted above the players’ locker room entrance and in meeting rooms is a quote from Sun Tzu:
“Battles are won before they are fought.”
Although difficult in proving Sun Tzu’s Art of War helped each with great certainty, it’s safe to say that it did not harm any of them either.
When and how did you learn about emoji domain names, and ☮.com?
I first learned about emoji domain names when I spotted ☮.com at Sedo a few weeks ago! ☮.com was love at first sight for me.
Sedo is the only aftermarket domain place I buy from although I dabbled on Flippa, but yet to buy.
I know how Warren Buffett feels when he tells people he never likes to sell stocks, only buy and hold. That’s me and my affection towards buying domains.
I love to buy domains, but I feel sick to my stomach letting one of my babies go.
In fact, I recently conceded to sell Abigail.net, but ran into a few bumps which were signs (or excuses) for me to cancel the auction within the same day! Again I hate to sell my domains.
Going back to emoji domain names, I was aware of IDN before emoji domains came along. I’ve personally owned some international domains with accents over letters, but never knew emoji or emoticon domains existed. But I googled “emoji domains”, and was introduced to a new world.
It was at this point when I said to myself, not only was it love at first sight, but it was love at the first of three emoji domains registered.
Did you expect to win the ☮.com auction?
No! There was a previous bid of 3200 Euros so the next available bid was 3400 Euros (which was about 3800 USD).
I didn’t bid 3.4K EURO until 30 minutes before the auction closed at 4am EST.
I wanted ☮.com SO BAD for our Sonshi.com website. Perhaps I overpaid for it, but to me, it was a fair price. It wasn’t high and it wasn’t low.
It definitely wasn’t a “steal” since the domain was advertised well by Max Guerin, the previous owner of ☮.com and ☁.com, which sold for over $13,000 within a week or two of ☮.com.
Surprisingly, at least to me, nobody else wanted ☮.com as much as I did (likely still the case even today).
Why do you think you won the ☮.com auction?
My theory on why I won ☮.com is that emoji domains are unfamiliar territory for many domain investors a.k.a. domainers. Of course, I don’t consider myself a domain investor at all, just a lover of words and now emoji!
Although I might be an old timer in terms of the web (been online since the 90s), I personally love emoji domains and all they can offer.
Also, I think cornered the win on ☮.com due to the peace symbol not being an exact fit for business products, unlike the ☁.com (cloud computing, like what Salesforce does).
I can’t see any end user selling anything except peace pin buttons and t-shirts. Try pitching that business idea to a banker.
The peace symbol is too idealistic, not capitalist enough. But since I’m an idealist, I capitalized on the opportunity in this auction.
In short, I am happy and I am grateful to be the prized owner of ☮.com.
Why ☮️.com is so special to you/business?
We are frequently asked why we chose the peace symbol when Sun Tzu wrote about war.
Although Sun Tzu wrote about war, he didn’t promote war. In fact, His primary objective was to win in peace without battlefield fighting or setting one foot on enemy turf.
And for this reason, I made the connection in perfectly aligning ☮.com to Sun Tzu’s philosophy in teaching and accomplishing world peace, helping people apply Sun Tzu’s Art of War to their lives daily via “Sonshi Daily: How to Win Every Day.”
☮.com is perfect for the world, and most fitting for me personally, seeing I was a war refugee from Saigon, Vietnam.
☮.com supports our cause and mission of bringing peace in all corners of the world, one corner at a time.
In other words, peace, like charity, starts at home. Only then can a person be a source of harmony in his or her workplace, community, city, state, nation, world.
Will ☮.com be developed, redirected, parked or simply held as a short/long term investment?
The options are endless, and we are considering a few of those options. For now, it is directly forwarded to Sonshi.com.
As an investment, we don’t plan on ever selling ☮.com, which Warren Buffett would probably agree with me here.
If ☮.com is being used and tracked, has traffic noticeably changed?
This might sound outrageously irresponsible to SEO folks, but we don’t track Sonshi.com much at all.
I do, however, quickly browse the total unique visitors and page views charts just to see if Sonshi.com is chugging along. That’s about it.
We’ve had ☮.com for only a week or two, and I haven’t checked the charts since we won the auction.
Have you purchased ☮ in other extensions?
No, but I would love to purchase ☮.ws for the right price.
I hate admitting this next statement, but dot com is still the Madison Avenue of the domain world, and will likely be for decades to come.
Dot com is so ingrained in our psyche, especially in business.
Have you purchased other emoji names? If so, what reasons and thoughts led to their purchase?
Emoji domains are probably going to be worth something in the future. But even if they don’t amount to anything, I’ll still appreciate them.
I’m a collector at heart. Adding emoji domains to my list, I’ve collected baseball cards and fountain pens in my day.
There are two lessons I’ve learned as a collector:
Lesson One: Always go for the best, and choose quality over quantity.
It takes time to figure out what is “best,” but once you do figure it out and claim your “grail,” every new thing that comes out just doesn’t compare to what you currently have. Also, you save money that way. 😉
Lesson Two: Get what you like, not necessarily what others like.
When it doesn’t appreciate in the market, then you still have something you can enjoy. They say a painting is worth what the next person is willing to buy it for. You just happen to be that person in this scenario of domains and that’s ok.
How do you see emoji domain names impacting how a business markets and advertises to reach more customers?
Personally, I see emoji domains having a HUGE impact on business.
Making accessibility more intuitive for the consumer who already carries a cell phone is a good thing, and that’s what emoji domains bring to the table in certain aspects.
Instead of a long, ugly, and hard to remember url, customers can simply type in an emoji dot whatever and instantly be connected to your website and its products or services.
In some cases, typing in an emoji is faster than typing in several letters (or many letters) dot whatever, especially for generations to come.
Being a generation X-er myself, I love using emoji to convey a message better than words could ever do.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would like to thank Unicode for allowing us to be the sole sponsor of the character ☮, and they displayed it correctly as “☮.com.”
I encourage everyone to visit the great work at Unicode.org as well as support their cause to make communication possible on the computer for everyone around the world.
It is such communication that helps with making our war-prone world that often times misunderstand one other truly understand one other better. We can all win without having to resort to anger, fighting, and violence.
Also, I also like to thank Kickstart Commerce for extending me an opportunity to share my experiences with others.
I’m forever a student of life, and hopefully by walking together, finding the way (my publisher’s motto), we can make one another’s lives better, living in complete peace.