November 30, 2016

Donuts Co-Founder : .COMs were sold for $200-$300 in today’s money, so new TLDs are cheap

Dan Schindler is the Co-Founder And Executive Vice President, Business Development at Donuts

WebHosting.info was the official Information Partner for ‘ResellerClub Presents HostingCon India, 2016’ which was held last week in Mumbai, India. We are bringing exclusive updates, news and interviews from key speakers and brands present at the event exclusively for our readers.

Here’s an exclusive interview of one of our key speakers from the event, Daniel Schindler. He is the Co-Founder And Executive Vice President, Business Development at Donuts.

WebHosting.info : You spoke about how not-com domains are not competing against .COM and that these businesses are complementary. Could you expand on that?

They are complementary because of the saturation of .COM. .COM was very successful but it’s been many years since you’ve been able to find the name you really want as your first choice or second choice. You can get it in the secondary market and pay a lot of money for it and that’s the reason the regulator, ICANN, opened up the namespace to provide consumer choice and competition.

I think the important thing is for companies to be encouraged to buy more than one domain name. When a company advertises they don’t just choose one method of advertising, they use a bunch. So why just one domain name. And they’re cheap.

WebHosting.info : Well, some of them are.

Daniel Schindler : They’re all cheap! When .COMs were first sold, after the free period, they were $50 a name 25 years ago, which is probably $200 to $300 in today’s money, so I think it’s fair to say that available names in new TLDs today are very cheap.

You mentioned that you started with 3000 potential names and whittled them down to 300. What made you choose such a large pool of extensions?

It was a very interesting time. First of all, you know you are always limited because these applications are over $185,000 each. So on our 307 applications, it was something approaching 57 million dollars. We didn’t have unlimited resources and we wanted to get a good return on investment since we raised a considerable amount of money from serious investors and had to make a case. That’s why it came down to 307 but we looked (at) who’s buying domain names, we saw that the audience was small to medium-sized enterprises.

We looked at the names that were being registered at other registrars and we applied for names that were vertically specific to those registrations and those genres. So .TODAY and .COMPANY and .NETWORK and .BUSINESS are more generic and they complement the hundreds of very specific TLDs that we have. So the idea behind Donuts and the reason why it’s called Donuts, or domain nuts, is variety and choice. You know, they come in lots of colors and flavors like Donuts and that’s what our TLDs do. If you are a florist, you’d want a .FLORIST if you are a restaurateur you’d want a .RESTAURANT but you may want something generic to go with it like .TODAY.

You also spoke how large corporations or individual brands were leveraging new TLDs to push their new projects, as well as about how SMBs can use new TLDs to grow their business. Can you expand on that?

It’s to do with using domain names for a variety of different initiatives that they might have. For example, we have .EMAIL which is very popular, I predict that in the next few months it will become our most voluminous TLD. There are never going to be that many websites built on .EMAIL, few aggregators may want to build up on that but it’s for people who run e-mail.

I mentioned the example of General Motors having gm.com and they are not about to move from there anytime soon, even though there’s .CARS and .AUTO out there, but for their eco-friendly cars they’ve gone for generalmotors.green. And some of the big brands are doing it too! So if you’re going to see on (your) screen, 3series.bmw, you will immediately know what that is, all around the world.

Is there one particular extension in the Donuts stable that you are personally fond of and are most excited about ?

There are a few. It’s a personal choice, not based on economics or anything. I love sports so I think .GOLF or .FOOTBALL will become very big in the future and have already started to gather some traction but .TODAY, to me, seems to be the most relevant. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, what business you are in, or what you are going to write about, .TODAY seems to be a great place to do it.

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