Here is an interesting story on CNN money about Kevin Ham, a domain name king who started out as a doctor, and became a domain name tycoon after discovering how lucrative buying domain names could be.
He is also a devout Christian:
Kevin Ham, the $300 million master of Web domains
Just a few years ago, most of the guys bidding in this room had never laid eyes on one another. Indeed, they rarely left their home computers. Now they find themselves in a Vegas ballroom surrounded by deep-pocketed bankers, venture-backed startups, and other investors trying to get a piece of the action.
And why not? In the past three years alone, the number of dotcom names has soared more than 130 percent to 66 million. Every two seconds, another joins the list.
But the big money is in the aftermarket, where the most valuable names — those that draw thousands of pageviews and throw off steady cash from Google’s and Yahoo’s pay-per-click ads — are driving prices to dizzying heights. People who had the guts and foresight to sweep up names shed during the dotcom bust are now landlords of some of the most valuable real estate on the Web.
How to make money without really trying
The man at the top of this little-known hierarchy is Kevin Ham — one of a handful of major-league “domainers” in the world and arguably the shrewdest and most ambitious of the lot. Even in a field filled with unusual career paths, Ham’s stands out.
Trained as a family doctor, he put off medicine after discovering the riches of the Web. Since 2000 he has quietly cobbled together a portfolio of some 300,000 domains that, combined with several other ventures, generate an estimated $70 million a year in revenue. (Like all his financial details, Ham would neither confirm nor deny this figure.)
Working mostly as a solo operator, Ham has looked for every opening and exploited every angle — even inventing a few of his own — to expand his enterprise. Early on, he wrote software to snag expiring names on the cheap. He was one of the first to take advantage of a loophole that allows people to register a name and return it without cost after a free trial, on occasion grabbing hundreds of thousands of names in one swoop.
Ham is a devout Christian, and he spends $31,000 to add Christianrock.com to his collection, which already includes God.com and Satan.com. When it’s all over, Ham strolls to the table near the exit and writes a check for $650,000. It’s a cheap afternoon.
Read the whole thing.
ben deschenes says
Kevin Ham is also a fraudster!