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.

What HNA Group Acquiring Ingram Micro Means for Odin, Cloud Business

In this second opinion piece I wrote for Channel Partners Online, I look at the cloud market and analyse the impact that HNA’s acquisition of Ingram Micro is going to have.

HNA’s move certainly fits in the recent trend of Chinese companies “shopping” abroad, acquiring big names in the tech space. While the current turbulence around the yuan and volatility of the Chinese internal market have certainly played a role in creating this trend, it is quite clear that cash-rich Chinese companies are also genuinely interested in acquiring technologies that they can leverage with their own products and in growing in new markets, such as North America and Europe. The proposed acquisition of Norwegian browser maker Opera by a group of Chinese companies for $1.2 billion is another example of this growing trend.

Read the full article on Channel Partners Online.

Thinking outside the .com box: how getting creative with new domain names can help you make a mark

In this guest post for Tech.eu, I explain how the increasing amount of options beyond registering a .com domain name opens up a whole array of fresh branding opportunities for smart marketers.

As a self-confessed domain geek, every time I am at an event I spend quite a lot of time looking at the Web addresses used by exhibitors and startups to advertise their wares. The result of my informal survey is that still a large majority swears by the mantra that “.com is king”, even if it means having to go through all sorts of keyword acrobatics to find an available one.

Particularly if the name chosen for the product is a fairly generic one, their Web address will invariably swell to include generic keywords like “get”, “hello” or “app” and the occasional dash.

Read the full article on Tech.eu.