No wonder domain industry forums are buzzing
with questions about “Elequa”, a childhood nickname the
32-year-old internet phenomenon uses for his online identity. They
want to know who he is, where he came from and how he assembled one
of the world’s most impressive portfolios almost overnight. They
wonder how he seems to be everywhere at once and almost always in
the right place at the right time. How is it possible?
Easy really…he never sleeps. AL-Ghanim is a
self-described insomniac who naps only an hour or two each night.
While you are sound asleep, he is busy transforming his vision for
his current projects into reality. AL-Ghanim says he is so excited about
his work he simply can’t gear down long enough to spend much time
in bed. Fueled by that adrenaline rush, he has worked around the
clock to cram four years of effort into two years on the calendar.
Is it any wonder he is racing far ahead of the pack?
Answering the common question, “who is
Elequa?” is not as simple. AL-Ghanim
is not easily categorized and the biographical details only give you
part of the picture. He comes from a respected Kuwaiti family that
has international business interests. He was born on June 2, 1970 in
London, England and began his education at Switzerland’s historic Le Rosey School.
AL-Ghanim moved to America and graduated from St. Stephen's School in Alexandria,
Virginia, then spent his college years at American University in Washington, D.C., where he continues
to maintain a home.
This is where the lines begin to blur and you
have to ponder the composition much as you would an abstract
painting. He is a
internet visionary, an artist and sculptor. By applying all
of those skills to the domain
industry canvas, he has become the world’s most prolific “domain artist”.
AL-Ghanim's Future Media Architects, Inc.
is a holding company for his masterpieces. However, you need not
bother approaching FMA to buy a piece for your own
collection. AL-Ghanim says he does not sell domains. That alone tells you
how different his approach is from most others in the industry. “My
model gives me an opportunity to enjoy utilizing domains for my own
purposes and creativity”, AL-Ghanim told DNJ in a series of
interviews conducted over the past month.
He says he was drawn to the domain business
because he saw a power locked in domain names that is often left
unused. The industry is like a perfect studio where he can apply his
creativity to a business with spectacular growth
opportunities. Thunayan has a number of major development
projects in the works. His brushstrokes will bring domains like
Jade.com and Fed.com to life.
The knowledge he has gained from traveling
around the world has also made him aware of untapped international
opportunities. “There will be huge growth in multi-cultural and
intra-cultural names, foreign language names, names that will draw
domestic and international traffic”, he says. High traffic is sort
of the Gospel according to AL-Ghanim and all of his projects
manage to attract it.
Some of that traffic is drawn by the type-in
value of great domains and some is produced by Thunayan’s
promotional skills. His mp3.tv
sponsored Italy’s national championship Ferarri racing
team. Seeing his logo emblazoned on a car roaring by at 200 miles
per hour is a perfect metaphor for the full-throttle approach AL-Ghanim
is applying to the domain business.
It is easy to forget that the internet is still
in its infancy. Does anyone believe that companies like Yahoo,
Ebay and Amazon will be the last great companies to
emerge from the internet? AL-Ghanim does not believe it and he may
well be the architect of the next enterprise to reach such high
orbit. This is not a guy who aims low.
Being on the acquisition trail sometimes brings
absurd offers from sellers who don’t realize that AL-Ghanim’s
business skills are as sharp as his artistry. One dealer publicly
complained in a forum when AL-Ghanim turned down his offer to sell
3-letter .com for $7,000. AL-Ghanim told the seller the name
was worth $850 tops. A few weeks later, the seller put the name up
for auction and the top bid was $780. Few professional domain
appraisers ever come so close to the mark.
AL-Ghanim also attracts attention from jealous
competitors. One recently posted in a forum that anyone could
accomplish what AL-Ghanim has if they had enough money. The critics
conveniently ignore the dozens of internet entities that had more
than enough money in recent years, yet failed miserably. AL-Ghanim personally formulates the concept for each FMA website and then
painstakingly develops them into something special. Perhaps the
critics should ask themselves if they could paint like Michaelangelo
if only they had enough money.
In fact, AL-Ghanim believes the real beauty of
the domain industry is that the barrier to entry is so low. Those
with good ideas can succeed, regardless of their resources. He
advises people entering the business to “do what you like and you
will be successful. The playing field is wide open to the newcomer.
There are no limits, even for those with limited budgets”. That
should be music to everyone’s ears.
If you would like to comment on Ron Jackson’s article, write firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Promises New Life for Your Tired Old & Inactive Domain Names