Suppose I have a great domain name. I'm only using two or three sub-domains myself. I'd be happy to sell sub-domains to other people, for a price, of course.
I don't have the interest or ability to operate the store. However, if someone else is willing to operate it, I'll provide a domain name, and I'll market the domain as something other people can buy sub-domains on.
You can have 30% of the revenue I generate in exchange for operating my store.
I buy the domain on a service like Hover or GoDaddy or Google's new domain service. Amazon just opened one up too.
I create an account on your service. You operate the DNS for the domain. I set it up so the names point to your DNS server.
There's now a "store" on your site for this domain. I can edit the text of of the home page, kind of like a Kickstarter page. I tell the story of the domain. Point to some of the other sites that use it. Say what I think it means, and the role I plan to play in it.
Anyone else can buy a sub-domain. They pay $1 a year for it (or whatever price I set, which could fluctuate). My customers can edit a landing page, or point the sub-domain to another server. Give me the same kinds of prefs that I have for a mail list on Google Groups. It can be public or require my permission to buy a sub, or whatever people can think of. Maybe it's only open to people whose last name is Smith.
The important thing is that I can move the whole domain to another service at any time, automatically. The list of names that are registered under my domain must be available in a text-based format. Transferring should be almost as easy as entering new values for name servers in a web form.
Each purchaser of a sub-domain is free to re-locate any time they want. Zero lock-in anywhere. As is the tradition in DNS.
But if you operate a good service, this is the kind of thing people are likely to want to set and forget. It's an annuity. But not without risk (as it should be).
This is going to be a big business. You can be the founder of it. I want to be a customer.