Exit Music (notes for a new TLD round from a former nTLD manager)

I originally posted this article on Linkedin. It was also reposted on DomainNameWire. It received over 1000 views and generated a lot of debate in the domain industry.

After 2 intense, fun and rewarding years spent building .cloud from the ground up and seeing it take its first steps in the world (luckily, quite well as it turned out), I have decided it is now time for me to take some time off before figuring out what I want to do next. Early signs show that finding another project in the domain and hosting industry should not prove too difficult, but for the moment I am enjoying the liberating sensation of not having something lined up already and instead leaving the door open to the unexpected.

Many years in the domain industry, and the last 2 at the helm of a new TLD Registry, have however given me the opportunity to reflect on the challenges that our industry faces.

As the voices calling for a new round of TLD applications get louder, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the questions and issues that I have been contemplating, and that in part have brought me to the decision to take some time off.

Continue reading “Exit Music (notes for a new TLD round from a former nTLD manager)”

DNW Podcast #126 – In the .Clouds with Francesco Cetraro

After contributing two guest posts to DomainNameWire, I also had the great pleasure of chatting with DNW’s editor Andrew Allemann about the challenges of matching the right domain to the right customers.

Are we selling domain names to customers the right way? On today’s show, Francesco Cetraro of .Cloud discusses the process of getting a domain name from the end user’s perspective, comparing it to presenting a thick menu at a Thai restaurant to someone who has never eaten that type of food before. He also explains what .Cloud has done right and could have done better on its one year anniversary.

2017, The Year of the Customer? 4 Trends to Watch in the New Year

Last year, nearly every sector was affected by the emergence or adoption of a tool or technology – think big data or the Internet of Things. It’s safe to say that in 2016, tech-driven business innovation became mainstream. And technology hasn’t just transformed the way companies do business – it’s transforming the way they build relationships with their customers.Big data and IoT have been the talk of the town for years, and now we’re just starting to skim the surface of their benefits. As companies navigate through the wealth of info available, these insights will inform the way we make decisions, which platforms we’ll offer consumers to engage in and how and where they will purchase goods or services. In essence, more products and services will begin to be shaped by the customer for the customer.

Read the rest in this article I wrote for MarTech Advisor.

It’s the end of domain search as we know it (and I feel fine)

This guest post I wrote for DomainNameWire generated a lot of debate and was the most read story on the site in November 2016.

As a domain geek working in an industry full of people passionate about domains, I often find myself involved in very interesting discussions about the state and challenges of the domain industry and the impact that new TLDs are having on the business and on users.

There seems to be general consensus (and concern) that new TLDs have not made the impact expected and that overall adoption is lagging behind. However opinions are definitely more divided regarding the causes of the problem and the possible solutions.

Read the full post on DomainNameWire.

Cloud is my business, .CLOUD is my domain

This is a guest post I originally wrote for the 1&1 Blog. That blog has however been discontinued, so I am reposting the article in its entirety here.

Over the past couple of years a large number of new domain extensions have reached the market. Many of these new extensions are keywords that are commonly found in legacy top-level domain registrations such as .com or .de. A prime example of this trend is the word “cloud”, which according to corporate Registrar CSC has risen in popularity over the last few years, thanks to the growing importance of cloud computing and the ubiquitousness of cloud-based services.

With this mind, it is easy to see how the new domain extension .cloud provides clear advantages to companies operating in the Cloud computing space, and to anyone that finds this keyword relevant to their business. Launched 4 months ago, .cloud has taken the domain market by storm with over 55000 .cloud domains registered by companies and individuals from over 130 countries.

Continue reading “Cloud is my business, .CLOUD is my domain”

How serious domain investors can help new TLDs succeed (and make money in the process)

My first guest post for DomainNameWire, analyzing the difficult balance Registries have to strike between maximizing sales and building a quality zone to secure their business in the long-term.

Last week I had the honour of being invited to speak at the first edition of DomainersMeet in Dubai. The main focus of the event was to drive awareness in the Gulf/Middle-East region about the opportunities related to investing in domain names, and the organizers managed to bring to Dubai a number of well-known domain industry experts, filling the agenda with a broad spectrum of information and opinions on the subject.

Not being a domainer myself, at first I had my doubts as to whether this event would be a good fit for me, but in the end I am very happy I went. Preparing my talk about “A day in the life of a Registry”  gave me a great opportunity to reflect about the work that new TLD Registry Operators have to do to promote their extension and the role that domain investors can play in actively supporting the development of the industry.

Read the full post on DomainNameWire.