The only thing you're contemplating is the revenue potential of having an authority site. Sure, if you develop it out and generate loads of traffic, it will make a lot of money, no one is denying that, but if will take a ton of time and effort to reach that point and you will be with no cash flow during the early to middle stages of the development cycle.
This is obviously true, and I would not have chosen this route had I not been able to support myself without having to rely on lifting a wage out of my company in the beginning. I will continue to refer to my own situation however, because it serves as an example of the point I am trying to make. I am also very glad to be having this discussion here and I hope you feel the same. I sometimes feel like certain truisms have become accepted as truths within the domaining/development community, but a majority of people don't seem to actually take the time to see WHY and question.
Since we were talking concrete numbers in the beginning, I can say that the site I am talking about doesn't require "loads of traffic" to generate a healthy flow. In fact, if we take 500 uniques times 5 minisites, that is 2500 uniques / day, something which will be feasible for said site without too much hassle. With current conversion rates (ecommerce), that translates to two salaries in the company.
What you seem to be dismissing is the risk element of owning one site and the ability of testing different strategies/markets by owning multiple sites. You may think your time is best spent on further developing your baby, when in fact you could have made a lot more money in another more lucrative market.
Second, the quoted statement is applicable to any site, in fact, any business at all. I KNOW that my time is currently best spent on this specific site. As I noted above, it will soon be launched officially with appropriate marketing strategies. As soon as it carries it's own weight, I will have one person handling the operations as I move on to my next category-killer to do it all over again. I have aquired my domains with a plan behind, being my own end-user. These developed properties will have synergy effects on each other, both domestically and within the EU. That is how I plan my development.
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Obviously they can provide some value to someone. Wake up and smell the coffee, 99% of all minisites are BS. Again I am not referring to the cash they generate for their owner. Buying a handful of written articles in order to display related ads is NOT providing users with the quality content they deserve, that's just my take on it. I wouldn't spend more than 2 seconds on these so called sites, should I ever stumble upon one by accident.