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Did Frank just burst the bubble?

Thursday, March 9, 2017 0:01
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So there’s really no way to sugar coat it, the last 24-hours has been about as tumultuous as it gets in the domain industry. At the same time, it probably shouldn’t be that surprising to those of us who know the numbers. It costs money to run a new domain name extension and if registrations don’t take-off, the only way to keep the extension alive is to charge more for annual renewals.


Painful, yes, but realistic, well, yes as well.

Domain name blogs have been going nuts over the last 24-hours with posts likes:

Franks Schilling just killed the new gTLD program (warning!)

Schilling: big price increases needed to keep new gTLDs alive

Yowza! And I don’t think I’ve said yowza in the ten years I’ve been writing my blog so now seems like the most appropriate time to break out the term. Like I said in the first sentence of this post, there really is no way to sugar coat it, a big move has been made.

All that being said, here’s my take, for what it’s worth.

These are the early days. Sure, maybe new gTLD pioneers jumped the gun on the expected success. Maybe the marketing machines got ahead of reality. At the same time I still think it’s fair to say these are the early days of new gTLDs and none of us really know what consumer adoption is going to be like long-term.

I for one have always looked up to Frank as someone who really does have his finger on the pulse of the domain name world. Does that mean Frank will always be right? No. At the same time, does it mean he could be early? Yes.

So here’s what I’ll say. Yes, Frank increased prices on new domain name extensions because as a business owner he realized that his pricing model wouldn’t support the business he’s trying to build around new gTLDs. Still, as a pioneer, adapting to change is paramount and Frank isn’t shying away from admitting to the industry that he’s had to adapt, and he’s doing it now to preserve his business.

Yes, I’m prepared to get absolutely slammed in the comment section below…but so be it. I’m proud to stand behind people like Frank, who might make less-than-popular decisions, but do it to stand up for a cause they believe in, and a cause that very likely progresses our industry as a whole.

Sure, I agree that .COM is king, heck .COM is probably getting stronger by the day. However I think we as an industry need people like Frank to venture into unexplored territory. One of the problems early explorers face is uncovering something different than what they expected.

I’m proud to be in a part of an industry with people like Frank who aren’t afraid to forge ahead, try new things, and change course when they see something different than what they expected. These are the times that will define us as an industry, and while we all might be shocked by what’s happened in the last 24 to 48 hours…let’s give it time, learn from what we find and remember that without out pioneers, many of us wouldn’t be where we are today.

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