NamesCon Donates Used Laptops to Charity and So Can You!

There are over 11,200 homeless students in the Las Vegas valley, and over 2,500 of those are in high school. Project 150 is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping the Las Vegas valley homeless youth who continue to go to school. Instead of creating more waste, NamesCon has committed to giving away three used laptops to Project 150 after the conference – and you can help too!

If you're attending NamesCon and would like to get involved by donating items you no longer need after the conference, simply put aside a pile when you pack up your booth and we’ll take care of collecting it. If you don’t have a booth, you can drop off items at the NamesCon storage room Partagas 3 (find it on the map in the NamesCon mobile app). The most needed school supplies are pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, spiral notebooks, notebook dividers, calculators, index cards, USB flash drives, and backpacks. 

You can also help financially by donating directly to Project 150, where 100% of your donations will towards helping homeless students.

Featured Attendee Profile: Richard Downs

Richard Downs
CEO — Gtld Systems
Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Location: Gibraltar
Number of years in the domain industry: 3 years
Favourite extension: .web
Domain name you wished you owned: my.web
Best city for conferences: Barcelona, Spain

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there.

We are a registry management services provider specializing in the gTLD Industry.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

We operate on a low cost, performance incentivized business model, allowing individual or small registries access to an experienced team with proven success, for a significantly lower cost than an in-house staffing. Having launched and managed 16 gTLDs, yet owning none, not only are we experienced we are unique in our impartiality. As well as day to day management, we provide a brokerage service. I personally have sold over $3.5M in premium domains, and built and priced the complete premium inventory including tiered automation stock in both Asian and Western markets.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

They are an obvious and necessary expansion of the industry to service the ever increasing need for good, succinct domain names. There have been obvious concerns with the initial roll out but hopefully they will be addressed for round two.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

A large growth in the Indian market and a resurgence in China once the MIIT applications have been approved and actual usage permitted.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Seminars and networking.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

China, premium domains and round 2 of the gTLD applications.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

When i sold my first big premium domain two weeks after the launch of dot Bid.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Brokering $820k in premium domains within the first 3 months of starting Gtld Systems.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

My phone, passport and laptop.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The beach at the end of my street.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

If you don't ask, you don't get.


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here

Featured Attendee Profile: Haiyan Yuan

Haiyan Yuan
Co-Founder — Newg.tv
Twitter | LinkedIn 


Location: Beijing, China and Los Angeles, CA
Number of years in the domain industry: 3 years
Favourite extension: .com and .cn
Domain name you wished you owned: claire.com
Now reading: Zero to One
Now watching: Newg.tv @BeijingPro
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV
Your mentor: Yue Feng (Founder &President)

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Newg.tv is a domain video media, which mainly focuses on helping worldwide domain registries, registrars, aftermarkets, investors, etc. to promote their products onto the Chinese Market. Moreover, it is the first Chinese video media with a focus on the new gTLDs developments.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Since the new gTLDs are new to consumers, newg.tv is the place for people to learn more about them with informative videos.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

As a type of investment, domains go through a cycle where the prices rise and fall. We've observed since the 80s that this cycle lasts around 5 years, which means the price will rise after the 5-year recession and then decrease again.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Meeting friends I've made at the World Domain Conference last July, and meeting new friends as well.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

The Chinese market is rapidly developing but the communication between the Western and Chinese market is not there yet. The language is, of course, the main barrier. Admittedly, the Chinese domain market is still in the primary stages now. Although young people are very interested in domain investment, there is a lack of professional understanding, so we hope we are able to share more knowledge related to domain names.

 

Who are you excited to hear speak at Namescon? Why?

There are so many professional experts speaking on different topics at NamesCon every year, so I look forward to hearing all of the speakers.

 

What's something most people don't know about you?

I used to work at Yumi.com, a Chinese domain marketplace and participated in hosting the World Domain Conference in China. Furthermore, I am currently enrolled in an MBA program at the University of California Riverside while I work for Newg.tv.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

Initially, I was working at a domain marketplace company: yumi.com, and gradually learned more about the domain industry, which I think is more fascinating than other industries I worked in.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

When I was young, I always wanted to do something to help change the world.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Spend time with my parents.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My father. He always works very hard and treats every person kindly.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

I invited so many domain veterans who I have never met before to China to attend the WDC.

 

Describe a recent challenge, at work or in your personal life, that you overcame.

Recently, we made several videos in order to bridge the gap between the Western and Eastern market. 

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Travelling with friends and families at a quiet beach.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Even if there is a 0.01% opportunity, you should try.


Featured Attendee Profile: Alex Cose


FAST FACTS

Location: Windsor, CA
Number of years in the domain industry: 1 year
Domain name you wished you owned: wine.com
Now reading: Chaos Monkeys
Now watching: Mozart in the Jungle
Best city for conferences: London, England
Your mentor: Jothan Frakes

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there. 

Dot Media Labs is a domain investment company focusing on the wine business. The company is a mere one year old.

 

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

NamesCon is always a great resource for connecting both industry veterans and industry newcomers. The people in attendance offer a valuable range of skills and services. The spirit of the conference is of knowledge and business development.

 

NamesCon is all about business networking. Can you tell us a story about the success of a meeting at NamesCon?

Simple story. Drinks lead to domain name sales. All were pleased and a friendship was born.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

As the company is oriented to service the wine industry, my experience as a winemaker helps clients in sourcing names valuable to the various branding possibilities the market has to offer.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

We love the new TLDs. They provide such a great resource for sales and marketing opportunities.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

A greater adoption of new TLDs in the wild.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Connecting with old friends in person. I am also looking forward to connecting to new business relationships.

 

What fact about you would surprise people?

The blend of experience I have had over the years. Am I a winemaker, a banker, a domain investor, or simply a writer? Reach out, and find out for yourself.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

Taking a breather and traveling with family globally for many months. I developed a deep appreciation for the differences in the world.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I have accomplished many of my goals, which is why I enjoy adding new goals to the list.

 

What are you proudest of in your life?

I am a good Dad.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Enter into a position of ownership only when your desire to affect change is limited by your position.

 


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here

Speaker Profile: Sandeep Ramchandani

Sandeep Ramchandani
VP & Business Head — Radix
Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Location: Mumbai, India
Number of years in the domain industry: 13 years
Favourite extension: .online
Domain name you wished you owned: liquor.store
Now watching: Narcos
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV

Q&A

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

Namescon 2016 was fantastic. I spent most of my day meeting with our top partners, charting out plans for 2016. As someone who lives outside of North America, NamesCon offers me the best opportunity to get quality face to face time with our existing partners. Personally, the highlight was getting an opportunity to play a DJ set at the coveted, Hakkasan Club, which has been home to some of the world's greatest DJs. Since then I've been signed on to do a monthly gig with one of the top nightclubs back home in Mumbai.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Im encouraged by the shift I'm seeing where many industry players who wrote off new domains early-on, now recognize their role in the industry. Registrars have marketed nTLDs aggressively in 2016, the number of premium names and average values are rising, and the number of new domains sightings has become more frequent. We are also seeing increased adoption by credible and popular figures. As usage and awareness grows, nTLDs will play a big role in moving the industry forward.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Every NamesCon so far has been bigger than the one before, I'm certain that this year will be no different. I'm really excited about the unique and.fun activity we're going to be running on the trade-show floor this time. Hopefully, it will be the most hilarious, discussed, photographed and shared fun activity at NamesCon. I will also be taking time out from meetings to attend some of the sessions. There are so many good ones I've scheduled to attend on the namescon.tech app. Lastly, I'm looking forward to participate the keynote panel discussion where we will try to predict the future of this rather unpredictable and volatile business.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

Three years into the launch of New Domains, we're at the ideal point to stake a step back and review the success and failure of the program, and evaluate the overall value added to both consumers and internet users world-wide. 2016 in particular has been a year of rapid changes, and I look forward to hearing industry veterans analyze the hits and misses.

 

Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

Elliott Noss, CEO Tucows. Elliott has always been one of the most respected and opinionated veterans of the domain industry. Given his recent focus on growing Ting (Tucows’ Telecom Business), its been a while since I’ve seen him publicly comment or actively participate in a discussion regarding domains. As one of the industry’s pioneers, he would offer a unique, high-level insight on the likely risks and opportunities for the domain business, and how all players can come together to achieve the common goal of growing the industry in a socially responsible way.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

Our company is playing a large role in expanding the global internet addressing system to make it more open, descriptive and interesting.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Make funny faces and noises to my four month old daughter in an effort to make her giggle.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

I feel extremely fortunate to find myself in a position where at a relative early age I’ve been put in charge of a company with an investment of over $50 million, with the tools resources (kickass team) and assets (fantastic TLDs) to make a real difference to the future of internet addressing. I really appreciate the confidence faith and support our founders, Bhavin and Divyank, have provided thus far.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

Headphones, smartphone, and quality company.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Tomorrowland, Boom Belgium. Once a year over 200k people from all over the world come together as one. Just been there once, hopefully I can make it again this year.


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Speaker Profile: Negar Hajikhani

Negar-Hajikhani-750.jpg

Negar Hajikhani
Senior Sales and Brokerage Consultant — Sedo.com
LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Session Name: China Masterclass
Location: Houston, TX / Boston, MA
Number of years in the domain industry: 8 years
Favourite extension: .com
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Sedo.com is the world’s largest domain marketplace, where I’ve had the privilege to work in premium domain acquisition and brokerage for the past eight years.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

At the core of our business is the Sedo marketplace, which connects buyers and seller from around the globe. To compliment that, we offer award-winning domain brokerage, traffic monetization, appraisals, transfers, auctions, MLS partners networks, and of course support in over 25 languages!

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Although the .com still remains the most desirable on the aftermarket, the arrival of new TLDs may very well bring significant changes to the domain name landscape in the near future.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

I think there are some exciting new emerging markets that will certainly impact the industry on a global scale. I also see a lot of new opportunities as companies try to align themselves with changing consumer behaviour and new technologies that make the whole world of eCommerce available on smartphones at all times.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Having interesting debates with colleagues in the industry, meeting new and old friends, and sharing ideas and knowledge on the panels.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

Certainly how some of the new markets like China and India will affect the space.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

I studied International Business Management with a special focus on Asian Pacific Management. International commerce and networking have always been passions of mine. With its worldwide connections, exciting trades, and a great group of people, the domain industry offered exactly what I was looking for. I initially started with an internship at Sedo eight years ago and was very excited to be learning from one of the world’s biggest players. I loved what I was doing and worked my way up pretty quickly. Now I am a Senior Sales Executive and focus mainly on premium domains.

 

What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain industry?

Contact people from the industry; don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

We are like an eBay for domain names, and I help facilitate those deals.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Spend more time with my family and friends.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Certainly one of the more memorable accomplishments was winning the “Broker of the Year” award a few years ago!


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Moderator Profile: Braden Pollock

 

Braden Pollock
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher — Legal Brand Marketing, LLC
Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook


FAST FACTS

Location: Los Angeles
Number of years in the domain industry: 13 years
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: AR.com
Now reading: Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson
Now watching: The Night of...
Best city for conferences: Los Angeles, NV!
Your mentor: Too many to list...

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there.

I founded LBM in late 2003 with a DUI directory. Back then DUI lawyers would pay a flat monthly rate to be listed on 1800DUILAWS.com and could use the phone number 1.800.DUI.LAWS in their own marketing. Now almost everything we do is leadGen. While we're still exclusively for lawyers (for now), we cover almost all legal practice areas. Way back when, we would build websites for our clients as well. That led me to buying domains for our clients. Once I discovered the domain aftermarket, I was hooked. We started selling far more legal domains than we did websites. Now our domain focus is primarily generic, premium one-word .com names.

 

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

I get a lot of coffee out of it! I've moderated at every NamesCon — about a third of the total panels each year. Between moderating, guest interviews, expert tables, my own meetings, dinners, parties and general schmoozing, it's a tiring week with very little sleep. I love it! Richard and Jothan have done a fantastic job with this conference. They've created the industry leading — can't miss — event and I feel fortunate to experience it every year. The networking and face-time is unmatched. Anyone that invests in domains should be at NamesCon.

 

NamesCon is all about business networking. Can you tell us a story about the success of a meeting at NamesCon?

Every year I meet new people. People that have been in the industry a long time that I've never had the opportunity to get to know — and people new to the industry. The chance encounters are invaluable. Every year, I've put deals together, not to mention buying names at the auction.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

I'm still bullish on new TLDs. They are certainly taking a while to develop into valuable aftermarket but I believe this will come. Before mass adoption, we need large brands to market themselves using the new extensions. Only then will general awareness start to develop. It's going to take some time.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

Over the next 5 years, we'll see a major consolidation in the registry industry. The big players will start to gobble up the smaller guys and I believe we'll see some new entrants like private equity firms or perhaps GoDaddy.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Seeing all my old friends. There's nothing quite like spending a few days socializing with folks who you've known for years but only get to see a couple of times per year.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

I think much of the conversation will be about gTLDs, and the Chinese market as it relates to liquid names.

 

Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

Tuesday morning, I'll be interviewing Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Wordpress. I plan to ask him about his purchase of the .Blog TLD and what his plans are for the extension. Should be very enlightening!

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

I attended the first Domainfest and was blown away at all the people making a living on their parked domains. I knew I wanted to be a part of the industry.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

Believe it or not, I'm doing precisely what I thought I'd be doing. I always knew I'd own and invest in multiple businesses and that exactly what's happening.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

When asked, I always tell me that "I'm an investor".

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Spend it at the gym.

 

What's the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?

In the book I'm reading the author discusses developing a skill — becoming an expert at something. It's often said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. (it was actually this author that coined the phrase). But in this book he further explains that just 10,000 hours of repetition won't make you an expert, that you need determined, focused attention while practicing to improve that skill. At first it seems obvious, but who really focuses in great detail on each and every possible variant while practicing a particular skill? Certainly not me.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My wife. She taught me to pay more attention to the news, to politics and what's happening in the world — beyond just business. She showed me people on the other side of the planet should matter to all of us, and that society should care about how we treat the environment and animals.

 

What are you proudest of in your life?

Daniel, the boy I foster. He's 17 and about to go off to college — with straight A's. I'm very proud of him.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

I sold a company last year that my staff and I built from zero. I was nice see that chapter close and reap the rewards.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

iPhone, charging cords, Bose in-ear noise cancelling headphones.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Someplace far, far away. I travel internationally several times per year and don't quite have a favourite place. I suppose I just like traveling to new countries to experience different food and cultures.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Dig deeper.

Featured Attendee Profile: Katrin Ohlmer

Katrin Ohlmer
Co-Founder and CEO — DOTZON GmbH
Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Location: Berlin, Germany
Number of years in the domain industry: 20 years (if MCI Worldcom counts as part of the domain industry)
Favourite extension: .berlin
Best city for conferences: Singapore

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there.

DOTZON is a consultancy specialized in top-level domains. I co-founded DOTZON in 2007 and I am the CEO.

 

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

2016 was my first attendance at NamesCon, and it was very informative as I learned a lot about secondary markets.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

I like that companies can get their digital identity on the Internet like .audi, .lamborghini and .volkswagen.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

Industry consolidation.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Networking.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

Since there was no commercial Internet when I was young, I had career perspectives with a focus on IT and software. That the domain name system became the vital part of my business life was not foreseeable then.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I help create digital identities.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Go for a run.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

My laptop, cellphone and earplugs.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The ocean — to swim, surf and snorkel.


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here

Speaker Profile: Sean Tyson

Sean-Tyson-750.jpg

Sean Tyson
Chief Strategy Officer — Quietly
Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Session Name: Why Content Marketing Matters for Growing Your Business
Location: Vancouver, BC
Number of years in the domain industry: 3 years
Favourite extension: I have two favourites: .luxury + .sucks
Domain name you wished you owned: www.seantyson.ca (someone snatched it from me!)
Now reading: Genuine Authentic (the unauthorized biography on Ralph Lauren)
Best city for conferences: New York City, NY
Your mentor: My father!

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Quietly is a full service content marketing agency. I've been there since the beginning, when it was founded in 2013.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

People should walk away with a strategic and tactical framework for how to generate traffic, especially when it comes to organic search.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

We tell our clients what content to produce (and why), we create it, can help distribute it, and measure/optimize.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

They're great because they give businesses new creative ways to get their messages out there.

 

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

All the great people!

 

 

What's something most people don't know about you?

I used to be a professional athlete! I'm also a musician.

 

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I help brands understand where content plays a role in their business/marketing efforts.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Read The Economist.


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Featured Attendee Profile: Vinod Reghunathan

Vinod Reghunathan
Mr — vinodr.in
Twitter


FAST FACTS

Location: Kerala, India
Number of years in the domain industry: 3 years
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: VR.com
Now reading: The Millionaire Next Door
 

Q&A

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

I have attended DomainFest in Macau which is associated with NamesCon. This will be my first visit to NamesCon. Business is all about networking and building long-lasting relationships. It's a hard road but it's a solid once once established.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Like with every other business, there is a hype at the early stages, which has been the case with gTLDs. Many of the extensions will not be around in 4-5 years; most of them will soon be history. Those who stay will be there for a longer period of time. Even if people start adopting them, it will not be on a mass scale. Good combination of words will stick around.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

Short names will become more valuable, there will be a sustainable market for liquid names, more marketplaces will open, and more players will appear. Only time will tell who ends up sticking around.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

My top priority will be to let people know that "I" exist. Second priority will be to keep building relationships and establish myself in the industry.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

It has yet to come!

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

No boss and no timetables; I happily work from home. I really enjoy my life; it was my dream and I'm living it.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

It's like real estate, but I buy and sell names.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

I have never felt that I needed more time in a day. 24 Hours is good enough for me!

 

What's the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?

Patience is the key. I knew it before, but 2016 taught me that lesson again (quite harshly).

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. That book has changed my life. It taught me to "follow your dreams."

 

What are you proudest of in your life?

My family.

 

What was the best surprise you've experienced so far in life?

Nothing has surprised me so far.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

Mobile phone, mobile phone and mobile phone.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Anywhere with a mountain and a cold breeze.


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here

Speaker Profile: Toby Hall

toby-hall.jpg

Toby Hall
CEO — MMX
LinkedIn 


FAST FACTS

Session Name: A Look Ahead at New TLDs
Location: My cell — time equally split between Europe, U.S., and Asia
Number of years in the domain industry: Industry side — 18 months
Favourite extension: I love all my children equally
Extension you wished you owned: for purely personal reasons — .ski
Now watching: House of Cards

 

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

MMX is a leading registry. I took over as CEO in February 2016.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

Perspectives and hopefully an open-mindedness generated from not having grown up within the industry.

 

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Be open-minded and recognize that as a registry, we are here to both listen and partner. Ultimately our goal is to help others make money — registrars, domain investors, and end-consumer businesses.

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

For MMX, it’s really the other way around — we want to continue learning and developing how we can best help our potential partners, namely the people attending this event.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Quite simply that they have the ability to transform. Today people are typically just thinking about how they can transform the way businesses market themselves — and that’s important, very important. However, their scope and applications are far greater than this. And it is for that reason, I’m truly excited to be part of this industry.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

Great minds figuring out the above.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Listening, connecting – in a real sense.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

I have been fortunate enough to have had a lifetime working with people working on the frontiers of new ideas, so I was fortunate to learn about the developments in the sector from a very early stage. However, I only stepped onto the industry side last year.

 

What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain industry?

Finding the right balance between listening, clarity of vision, and execution.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

Realizing that the power of two is greater than the power of one. 

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

Frankly, am as excited now as I was in my twenties when I first learnt about a technology that would allow people to connect and communicate via their computers,  a technology that could help create whole new ecosystems. The difference now is that my hair is white and my body not so strong but the opportunity is all the greater 30 years on.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I help others make money.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Call my family.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My father – with whom I probably had no more than five serious conversations during his life. The most important things I learnt from him was “not to judge a book by its cover”, “never be afraid of the new” and “tolerance… and kindness of heart,” and this came from someone who’d been in the sharp-end of WW2.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Working with the MMX team to restructure the business and transform a loss-making business into an ongoing profitable one. A big shout out to Michael Salazar and the team that spearheaded our expansion into China.

 

Describe a recent challenge, at work or in your personal life, that you overcame.

Answering some of these questions!

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The mountains — they always help provide perspective

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Listening is much more than hearing the words that are spoken.

 

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?  

My phone… 


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Featured Attendee Profile: Ryan Colby

Ryan-Colby-750.jpg

Ryan Colby
Founder & CEO — Outcome Brokerage, LLC
TwitterLinkedIn | Facebook


FAST FACTS

Location: Charlotte, NC
Number of years in the domain industry: 10 years
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: crowd.com
Now reading: Tools Of Titans: Tim Ferriss
Now watching: As little TV as possible!
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there.

I founded Outcome Brokerage 4 years ago as a way to work closer with my clients. We specialize in ultra-premium domain brokerage, which is primarily one word generic .com names. We do about 70% buyer brokerage and 30% seller brokerage.

 

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

Last years event was amazing. Most people don't know I actually got my start in the events industry. I have sold millions of dollars worth of exhibit space and sponsorships, so I understand the value of face to face networking, and also how much work it actually takes to pull off a first class event. NamesCon delivered what the industry desperately needed at the right time.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

At the end of the day the value I provide clients is my ability to connect ideas and businesses with domain names. I act as a conduit between startups, VCs and domain owners.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

Based on where I see the money flowing, I think we are still very early in the adoption cycle for TLDs.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Dedicated quality time to network with industry friends as well as meeting industry newcomers.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

I see a notable rise in the demand for premium .com domains as well as brandable domains.

 

Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

Jason Calacanis. As a top Angel Investor he would be an excellent resource. He can speak intelligently on how the naming process actually works for internet startups.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

My very first domain brokerage sale was a .org extension for $500,000! This single transaction opened up my eyes to the possibilities with domain names. I knew this was a niche that I could immediately apply all of my sales training in.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I help clients buy and sell very expensive domain names through my professional network.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Read.

 

What's the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?

The most productive people work in 20 minute "sprints" which is called a "pomodoro." I bought myself a basic kitchen timer and use this every day. It's amazing how much more productive you become when you work this way instead of sitting at a computer for 24 hours like most domain brokers do.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My mom was a highly respected Kindergarten teacher of 27 years. She passed away at the age of 54, however at her funeral she had over 1,600 people attend. She was able to impact and influence so many people in her short time here on Earth. She taught me that everything you ever needed to know you learned in Kindergarten, and I think that still holds true to this day. The more you can gear your life towards investing in people, the bigger the payoff at the end.

 

What are you proudest of in your life?

I'm the proud father of a 19 month old. I'm already teaching him about domain names. :)

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

My greatest career accomplishment was starting my own brokerage firm. I've had the benefit of working at 2 of the largest domain brokerage firms in the industry, so I have a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't when it comes to helping clients buy and sell premium domains.

 

What was the best surprise you've experienced so far in life?

Meeting my future wife in Florida!

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

My laptop, ear buds and Bulletproof Coffee.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Our family enjoys cruising and we would like to try out one of Royal Caribbean's new ships this year.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Choose yourself. The more comfortable you become with taking calculated risks the easier it gets to position yourself for success. You can spend your time building your own dream or someone else's.

 

What is the one question we haven't asked that you want to answer?

Are you available to speak on a domain brokerage panel at our next event? ;)


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here

Speaker Profile: Marco Hoffmann

Marco Hoffmann
Head of Domain Services and Product Management — InterNetX GmbH
LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Session Name: Meet The Expert: Head to Head: Comparing Domain Registrars
Location: Regensburg, Germany
Number of years in the domain industry: 16 years
Favourite extension: .de/.com/.bayern/.club
Domain name you wished you owned: bier.de
Now reading: 11freunde
Now watching: House of Cards
Best city for conferences: Los Angeles, CA
Your mentor: Hakan Ali

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

InterNetX is an award-winning ISP, founded in Regensburg, Germany, in 1998. With over 3.8 million managed domains, about 3,000 physical servers and more than 20,000 managed SSL certificates, InterNetX is one of the largest Internet service providers on the international market for resellers and professional users, serving a network of over 25,000 partners worldwide. I've been working at InterNetX for more than 15 years.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

They will find out more about the must-haves for a successful, smooth-running domain and registrar business taking into account future-oriented domain strategies, security aspects and the ongoing transformation of the domain business.

 

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

The attendees should examine their current business situation: how they run their portfolio, how they deal with security aspects, which problems they face and what could help to optimize their domain business.

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

I want to provide participants with new business ideas and show how they can improve their business when looking at it from the view of a registrar.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

A well-functioning administration background tool is the basis for a smooth-running domain business. Our domain management software AutoDNS and the services that go with it, such as WhoisProxy, Privacy Service, domain monitoring, parking and monetization tools or secure name server solutions, help our clients run their business efficiently – saving time and money and thus generate more revenue.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

The new gTLDs are a breath of fresh air for the market. They open new business perspectives and provide new cross-selling models.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

The awareness for domains, DNS and online activities in general will increase in terms of security, online reputation, online marketing, etc.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

I’m looking forward to meeting all the inspiring people from the industry. Surely, it will be fun to listen to the keynotes, join workshops and discussions, and get new industry insights.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

I suppose, the focus will lie on new ICANN policies, premium domains and the administration and consolidation of registries of new gTLDs.

 

Who are you excited to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

I am curious about what Frank Schilling has to say on the “Future of Domaining” and how Frank sees the future.

 

What's something most people don't know about you?

I love Bayern München.

 

What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain industry?

In an evolving business like this, it’s essential to stay up to date. Therefore, beginners should keep an eye out on all industry related topics such as domains, DNS, hosting, SSL and follow industry trends.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

When I started my job a InterNetX and discovered what’s behind the scene. The Internet and the online business in general is a huge future-oriented industry full of exciting opportunities to create new products, services and ideas.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I have always been excited about computers – it started with a Commodore64. It’s fantastic that I had the opportunity to turn my passion into my job.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

We are a part of the Internet and provide services to use the Internet.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

I would use the spare time to play soccer with my son.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

I am happy to work for InterNetX for more then 10 years now – every single day is great. I enjoy making a living with my passion.

 

Describe a recent challenge, at work or in your personal life, that you overcame.

The birth of my son brought a me new perspective. It's challenging and wonderful at the same time.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Bavaria, in Germany.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Never drink wheat beer out of the bottle, always use a Weißbeer glass. 

 

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?

A Bayern München shirt, a pretzel, a bottle of wheat beer and a Weißbeer glass.


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Speaker Profile: Elaine Pruis

elaine pruis.png

Elaine Pruis
Vice President, Operations — Donuts Inc.
Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Session Name: Women in Domaining On...Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent
Location: Bellevue, WA
Number of years in the domain industry: 15 years
Favourite extension: .bike
Now reading: Desert Queen, the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell
Your mentor: I've had several great mentors including Garth Miller, Antony Van Couvering, and the four founders of Donuts to name a few. I'm open to learning from anyone willing to teach me.

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Donuts powers the world’s largest and most diverse group of new, relevant and expressive Internet domain names. From .bike to .coffee, .life to .services, and hundreds of other useful domains. Donuts offers businesses, individuals, organizations, families, and others fresh and meaningful Internet identities in a stable, secure environment.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

Meeting some superstars. The domain industry culture is evolving but it hasn't been easy for women to navigate. The women you'll meet on the panel have overcome difficult barriers to achieve success in this industry.

 

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Think about "What does it mean to enter and succeed in a realm without privilege?"

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

How to recognize talent, and how to support people that are striving to succeed.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

New TLDs are fabulous on so many levels. Choice for consumers, creative expression, and an opportunity for innovation. Six years ago, Elaine Pruis ... used her two minutes to succinctly state, to applause, the views of many: "Innovation lifts people out of poverty. Innovation not only creates jobs. It creates industries. New gTLDs will create jobs, not only for registry operators like myself and registrars but for the increased demand for DNS services." Donuts alone has nearly 40 employees because of new TLDs!

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

The Things of the "Internet of Things" will get names. Domain names. Billions of them.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Hearing about new markets, trends, and tools. Meeting up with industry friends. Learning from leaders.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

I started in the domain industry by providing customer service and doing QA testing for .CX.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I wanted to be an archaeologist and study ancient cultures. Domain names did not exist in my youth! So my career is MIND BLOWING in that regard. Instead of studying ancient ways, I think about what's next, where our society is heading with technology, and I work to pave the way.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Spend it with friends.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Being appointed to the Customer Standing Committee, which provides oversight to the IANA function in the post ICANN transition world.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Outside, in the sunshine, fresh air, trees, mountains, ocean, sand. Anywhere outside.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

The best advice comes at just the right time ....

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." — Jeremiah, 626 BC

"Never give up, NEVER!" --the dad in the movie "Alaska", circa 1996

"Let it go, let it go..." — Elsa the ice queen in the movie "Frozen", circa 2013

"Don't spend any energy on regrets" — Teacher, 2015


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Speaker Profile: Michael Fountain

michael-fountain-750.JPG

Michael Fountain
Principal Product Manager — Rightside
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Session Name: Best Practices Selling Domains Through Hosting
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Number of years in the domain industry: 16 years
Favourite extension: .ninja
Domain name you wished you owned: fake.news (for debunking purposes of course)
Now reading: Quora
Now watching: The Grand Tour
Best city for conferences: Do they have beer?

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

I've been at Rightside.co for a little over a year now, and I work on the Enom business, specifically focused on driving the Enom API. However, I've known Enom for the better part of my professional career all the way back to my ModernBill days in the early 2000s.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

The domain name used to be the first step of the buy-flow process. That's legacy old-school thinking. Domains are now part of the up-sell bundle. Done right, they are also more profitable being packaged this way.

 

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session?

If you have teenagers, ask them to tell you what a TLD is.

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

Focus on the customer experience. Break out of the traditional domain-first buy-flow funnel.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

The Enom API is consumed by thousands and thousands of resellers worldwide, but it's more that just a domain name API. We also support basic email hosting, G Suite apps by Google, SSL certs by most providers, and much more. Using the Enom API, you can easily create bundles that enhance the customer experience.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

"The Riches Are In the Niches"... Quoted by many but executed well by only a few.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next five years? 

App developers are the future of broader domain adoption and consumption.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

This is my first NamesCon, so I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of industry peers in person. :)

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

The role app developers will play in new TLD adoption.

 

What's something most people don't know about you?

In the mid-90's, I was in the restaurant industry working as Manager at a small Italian restaurant in Raleigh-Durham, NC. I got to know a fellow who used to come into the restaurant every Wednesday for lunch. He was a software engineer and drove a red Pantera. We talked cars and computers. The rest is history.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

I left Amazon.com back in 2001 to turn a small shell script that automated the batching of credit cards with Authorize.net into ModernBill. From 2001 to 2008, we played a major role in fully automating the web hosting industry for hosters & domain resellers worldwide.

 

What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain industry?

If you don't start the journey, you won't arrive at the destination.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

Who didn't want to be an astronaut when they grew up?

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I work with some really smart engineers to build one of the best domain name management platforms for app developers and web hosting resellers worldwide.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Write more code.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Selling two businesses in less than six months in 2008.

 

Describe a recent challenge, at work or in your personal life, that you overcame.

Picking up the pieces in 2009 and starting all over again.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

A race track, any race track. Or a long stretch of road. Full throttle.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

"Adapt, Improvise and Overcome" - My father and father-in-law are both retired military, Air Force and Marines respectively. They didn't have to say it. You just saw it in everything they did.

 

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?

A family photo.


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Speaker Profile: Bennett Collen

Bennett Collen
CEO — Cognate
Twitter | LinkedIn | Cognate Twitter


FAST FACTS

Session Name: Practical Strategies for Disciplined Growth
Location: Boston, MA
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: trademark.com
Now reading: The Business Blockchain by William Mougayar
Now watching: Westworld
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV
Your mentor: My father

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Cognate is the first step in trademark protection. We use technology to help businesses protect their trademark rights quickly and affordably. Cognate uses blockchain technology to make an immutable record of your trademark rights, and a machine-learning trademark monitoring algorithm to find and alert you to any potential infringement or misuse of your trademark. I founded Cognate in 2014.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

Practical and actionable advice on how to grow a company, no matter the industry. I’ll discuss strategies for crafting and honing a pitch, gaining initial traction, and run through a list of tools that I use that make starting and running a business more manageable.

 

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Think about your company’s objectives and current day-to-day operations. What can be improved?

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

Concrete action items that can be applied immediately to improve your business.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

Trademarks (names/brands) are often a company’s most valuable asset because a distinctive trademark has virtually unlimited potential for commercial value. Cognate makes protecting trademarks easy, fast, and affordable, so any company — regardless of size, stage, or budget — can take proactive steps to safeguard this incredibly valuable asset. Cognate’s Common Law Trademark (CM) Registry uses blockchain technology to make an immutable record of your trademark rights, creating a timeline of use of your mark. Once your application is approved, you also gain the right to use the CM Certification Mark in conjunction with your trademark (ex: CognateCM), putting potential infringers on notice of your claimed trademark rights. Cognate also uses a machine-learning trademark monitoring algorithm to find and alert you to any potential infringement or misuse of your trademark, allowing you to catch potential conflicts early, and resolve them inexpensively.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

They create exciting new branding opportunities!

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Networking. NamesCon always boasts an impressive list of attendees

 

Who are you excited to hear speak at NamesCon? Why? 

I’m looking forward to "The Name Game: Discover Unique Naming Strategies" Meet the Expert panel with Adam Strong and Victor Pitts. Names fascinate me (which is why I spend all my time helping people protect their names), and I’m always interested in hearing new strategies for naming, since most traditional company names are already ‘taken’.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I wanted to be the starting shortstop and ace of the Boston Red Sox, so I’d say I came up short.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I use technology to help companies protect their most valuable assets (their trademarks) for a fraction of the cost and time of the traditional avenues for trademark protection.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Read. Still the most effective vehicle for learning (for me, at least) and I don’t make as much time for it as I should.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The beach.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

“Done is better than perfect” is the best advice I received about starting a business. Doesn’t apply in all situations, or all walks of life, but there are countless things that need to be done when starting a company, and you can’t give all of them equal attention. Getting things done is more important then getting them done perfectly.

 


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Speaker Profile: Andrew Hazen

Andrew Hazen
Founder & CEO — Domain Success
Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazing Domains


FAST FACTS

Session Name: The Cart Before the Horse: Building Your Domain Name into Big Business
Location: Long Island, NY
Number of years in the domain industry: 18 years
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: bobbleheads.com
Now reading: The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy
Now watching: Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru
Best city for conferences: New York City, NY
Your mentor: T. Harv Eker

 

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Domain Success provides the resources to learn to earn with domain names. We inspire, inform and celebrate domainers.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

Attendees can look forward to learning firsthand how to build a business from domain names like I have with bobbleboss.com, bagelofthemonth.com, coupons.info and more. We will also discuss various ways to drive traffic and sales to your domain names. Strategic relationships can be vital when leveraging domain names.

 

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Attendees should consider industries and categories that interest them as an opportunity to explore launching an online business. Also think about relationships you can leverage to go into business with a strategic partner.

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

I want attendees to learn that businesses can be built on domain names and those names can be acquired for a reasonable and realistic cost. There are also many ways to drive traffic and sales to your domain name. This will be explored as well. A majority of online marketing is trackable, which means that accountability and testing is key to success. E-mail marketing is still extremely effective but not used often enough.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

Domain Success inspires, informs and celebrates domainers. Our readers get a tremendous amount of insight and information about the domaining industry.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

I look forward to meeting many new domainers and connecting with those who I have conversed with over the years.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

New TLDs.

 

Who are you excited to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

Frank Schillings — I'm curious to learn why he is so enthusiastic about the new TLDs.

 

What's something most people don't know about you?

Most people don't know that I am an attorney and also a vegetarian.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

I started buying domain names when I was in law school in 1998. I equated domain names to vanity phone numbers and began registering many domain names that started with 1800 (.com).

 

What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain industry?

Learn from experienced domainers who have "been there and done that" — the industry is tight and many great interviews are out there where successful domainers share their stories, failures, lessons learned and successes.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

In 1998, I realized I could get websites to rank on the first page of search engines (this is before Google and what we now call SEO). I knew at that moment that I wouldn't practice law but instead launch an Internet marketing company, which I did and then sold.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

In grade school, I wanted to be a dentist and drive a Porsche convertible. By the time High School came around, I no longer wanted to be a dentist but instead a lawyer. Let's just say I never became a dentist and only practiced law for about 10 weeks...but I did get the car. :)

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I build businesses from domain names.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Spend more time with my wife and three boys (and then go through more domain name drop lists).

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

I have learned a lot from reading T. Harv Eker, Michael Gerber and Tony Robbins. I have been working since I was very young and I have had some extraordinary mentors in my life like Adam Rosner who owns Bagel Boss which has 13 locations. Adam has taught me about customer service and "doing the right thing." I also learned a tremendous amount from Steve Rosenberg who is the NBC executive who first bought my company (I sold it twice) and taught me about leadership.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Making the Inc List of Fastest Growing Companies for the third time in 2015, ranking #72 in the U.S. and #4 in New York.

 

Describe a recent challenge, at work or in your personal life, that you overcame.

I lost nearly 50 pounds after becoming a vegetarian and cycling almost everyday.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Anywhere with my wife and three boys.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Let your life proceed by its own design.

 

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?

A bobblehead.


Registered to speak at NamesCon 2017? We want to give conference attendees the opportunity to learn a bit more about you before the show! Fill out the Speaker Profile form here.

Featured Attendee Profile: John Colascione

John Colascione
Chief Executive Officer — Long Island Media Inc.
Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Location: Long Island, NY
Number of years in the domain industry: 15 years
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: li.com
Now reading: drudgereport.com
Now watching: ID Discovery
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV
Your mentor: Steve Jobs

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there. 

Long Island Media, Inc. is digital advertising agency superior for its public relations and marketing communications. The only truly geographic ‘.com’ company with both a national and international reach, Long Island Media, Inc. is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau®, a Google Certified Partner Company, and owner and operator of LongIsland.com, Long Island’s Most Popular Website since 1996, giving Long Island Media Inc., a significant advantage in public relations, particularly for clients in the Long Island region. I've been working there for 15 months (merger in 2015).

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

Our customers and clients, like most, need to be found online. We help connect local businesses with local customers through a wide range of local websites and provide other opportunities to be found on search engines like Google.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

I believe buzz on gTLDs will simmer down some in a few years and the value basis of domains will follow the 1-800 phone numbers model where 1-800 is and has been recognized as the premium (.com) number everyone wants, although there are alternatives such as 855, 888, and 866. While other extensions will create additional opportunity, .com will remain king.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next five years? 

As the industry matures, regulation will be its biggest challenge. As advertising begins to depend entirely on the Internet, more and more control over the system will be sought, and it will become difficult once there are too many laws. Corporations will work their way in to gobble everything up, not by participating or innovation, but by law.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

I'm looking to connect with more domain entrepreneurs to network, share and learn.

 

Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

Google and the ICA. Google because everything online seems to revolve around them — most follow what Google does; ICA because its mission is to protect those in the domain industry and their interests.

 

What fact about you would surprise people?

I find most are surprised when they learn about my original career as a class-B commercial driver.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

Nowhere near what I envisioned. As I child, I wanted to be a police officer.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I run an internet advertising agency.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

I really hate to admit it, but I think I would work; more than likely, searching for recently dropped or available domain names.

 

What's the most recent thing you learned?

That while I have focused too much on product and service deliverables, I have dropped the ball on further adequately developing my sales department. This will be my main focus for 2017. I must find a way to shift some of our overhead and expense from operations to sales without hindering service and quality.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

Probably my father. If you want something, you better go out there and get it; because no one is going to do it for you.

 

What are you proudest of in your life?

My three children, my wife of 15 years and our moderate yet sufficient home on Long Island.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

I will be in the March issue of SmartCEO magazine for winning their Future 50 Awards which recognizes 50 of the region's fastest growing, mid-sized companies.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

My laptop, my cellular phone, and most importantly, their chargers.

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

I enjoy visiting warm climates; South Eastern Florida is my favourite.


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here

 

Speaker Profile: Michael Sumner

michael-sumner-750.jpg

Michael Sumner
CTO — NameBio.com
Twitter | Facebook


FAST FACTS

Session Name: What's My Name Worth?
Number of years in the domain industry: 10 years
Favourite extension: .com
Now watching: Shameless
Your mentor: Nat Cohen

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there?

NameBio is a searchable database of historical domain name sales. We have nearly half a million records totaling more than $1.4 billion and spanning nearly two decades. Visitors use our site both to track the market, and to research comparable sales when buying or selling domains. We also developed The Domain Game for iOS and Android to help investors improve their gut instincts on domain valuations. I have been with NameBio for two years, but it just recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

 

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

I will briefly discuss my thoughts on how to most accurately appraise domain names, and then we'll have a workshop-style session where I take domains from the audience and show how I would go about putting a value on them. We will cover topics such as wholesale vs retail pricing, liquidity, sales velocity, attributes of domains that determine value, and more.

 

Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Attendees should look through their portfolios and select a few domain names that they would be open to discussing with the group. I'm not looking for your best domain names or for this to become an opportunity to show off. I'm looking for examples that the attendee legitimately doesn't know how to valuate, or ones that will lead to interesting discussions.

 

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

I want attendees to walk out of the session feeling more confident in their ability to appraise domain names. It is a very complex and confusing topic, and often subjective, so at the very least I would like to get people thinking and fine-tuning their own valuation methods.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

We often hear parallels between domain names and physical Real Estate. Like a building, the best way to determine the value of a domain name is by researching what comparable domain names have sold for in the past. NameBio can help you figure out what a domain name is worth. The domain industry is very fragmented, there are more than a dozen marketplaces, forums, private brokers, and individual owners producing sales. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the market, and being aware of which domains are selling and for how much, would be nearly impossible for an individual even if he or she is a full-time domain investor. 

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

I like them and think they are both interesting and memorable. That said, in my opinion they generally represent a poor investment opportunity for domain investors because registry operators are basically playing the role of domainer with premium pricing/renewals. The economics of maintaining even a modest-sized portfolio of legacy gTLDs at $8 renewals is tricky considering sell-through rate and average sale prices. Bumping the renewals to even just $40 per domain makes any kind of scale very difficult even for experienced investors. Domain investing is about buying at wholesale pricing and selling at retail pricing, bottom line. Most new gTLD operators are pricing for retail, that's why you see them wrapping buses, putting up billboards, running commercials, etc. and not advertising much to domain investors. 

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next five years? 

I think we're going to see a lot more consolidation, both in terms of portfolios and companies. Many of the larger portfolio holders are getting close to retirement age and want to cash out. Others have been overpricing and playing hard to get for decades, and players like NameFind will continue swallowing them up and using their data and reach to make the portfolios more profitable. Weaker new gTLDs will get gobbled up by larger ones that have better economies of scale.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Hearing people's stories. A majority of domain investors are not full-time and have other side hustles, and it's fun to hear what people do outside of domaining. This industry is really diverse and there are so many interesting people in it.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

The Chinese market, new gTLDs, and UDRP reform.

 

Who are you excited to hear speak at Namescon? Why?

I'm really excited for the "Always Be Closing: Case Studies of Recent Negotiations" panel with Dave Evanson, Richard Lau, Andrew Rosener, and Gregg McNair. Talk about a brain trust! Hearing those guys give play-by-plays of their negotiations will be worth the price of admission alone.

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

In short, luck. Since this is already getting pretty long I would direct readers to this interview if they want to hear more.

 

What advice can you offer those who are just getting their start in the domain industry? 

Read and learn as much as you can before you invest. Participate and ask questions at NamePros, read Domaining.com, watch DomainSherpa interviews, study the charts and DNJournal and NameBio, play The Domain Game until it starts making sense. Then when you have a good idea of what makes a domain valuable, start slowly. Build a small portfolio and then try to sell every single domain in it, starting with end users and then to other domain investors. In that way you'll have immediate feedback on whether you're on the right track or need to adjust your strategy. 

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

It is pretty much exactly what I envisioned. I was fortunate to have found my passion (web development and programming) in my early teens, and everything I've done from that point on was to further that goal. It has always blown my mind that you can tap away at a keyboard, and suddenly people from all around the world will start giving you money as long as you add value.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I don't even try any more, people's eyes just glaze over. I just say "internet stuff" or something similar.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them? 

A nap sounds nice :)


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Featured Attendee Profile: Don Ruiz

Don Ruiz
Head of BizDev — Knock Knock WhoIs There, LLC
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn


FAST FACTS

Location: Toronto, Canada
Number of years in the domain industry: I have been in or around hosting and hosting related industries for almost 20 years, with over 10 years directly in the domain industry.
Favourite extension: .blog
Domain name you wished you owned: I already own it: don.blog. Though as a Canadian, hockey.com comes a close second.
Now reading: I am an avid non-fiction reader. Right now I am reading "Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions".
Now watching: My wife and I are hooked on Ray Donovan.
Best city for conferences: San Francisco is one of favourites. Boston is a close second.
Your mentor: Glen Day (former CEO of an encryption email company I co-founded). He is a highly technical person with a strong business acumen and an amazing communicator.

 

Q&A

Describe your company and how long you have been there.

Knock Knock WhoIs There, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Automattic, Inc. It was formed specifically to launch and operate the .blog TLD. I have been with KKWT since March 2016, but have worked as a partner with Automattic prior to that.

 

Can you tell us about your last time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?

Last year I was with Tucows, a wholesale registrar. This year I will attend as a part of KKWT, a registry. I am curious to compare my experiences. Last year, like previous years, NamesCon afforded many opportunities to foster new and existing relationships, which is an integral part of how this industry operates.

 

NamesCon is all about business networking. Can you tell us a story about the success of a meeting at NamesCon?

Last year at NamesCon I had the opportunity to meet with Russell Haworth, the CEO of Nominet. It was serendipitous because shortly after NamseCon, I went from working for a large .uk registrar (Tucows) to working for KKWT, which partnered with Nominet as the registry backend for .blog.

 

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

Our new TLD (.blog) is the only TLD that specifically targets bloggers, companies with blogs, and all other types of content creators. There are over 150 million content creators actively publishing content to the web today. This is a growing segment of the internet, and now our clients, registrars and resellers of domains, have the ability to present a wonderful and relevant domain extension to their new and existing content creator clients in the form of .blog.

 

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

New TLDs are not going away. In fact, they will play a more integral role in how the internet is shaped moving forward. With over 7 billion people on the planet, and only a small fraction of them who actually have a website, the market and demand for new TLDs will continue to develop and grow, but it will take a collective effort by the industry to reach its full potential.

 

What kinds of changes do you foresee within the industry in the next year? 5 years?

The industry will continue to evolve, and with each passing year, new TLDs will play more of a role. Within such a crowded name space as .com, finding a relevant web address has not been easy. Until recently, traditional search and suggestion algorithms have not included new TLDs or right of the dot. We are now starting to see the impact of more relevant and targeted searches and suggestions on conversion rates, usage and renewals. On the registry level, we will see continued consolidation across the registries as many smaller registries struggle to compete against the larger ones. This consolidation will also continue with registrars and resellers for the same reasons. Finally, the success of this first round of new TLDs by ICANN is yet to be fully determined, though it is moving in the right direction. Depending on how, when and under what requirements ICANN launches their second round of new TLDs, the impact will hopefully complement and build on what we are seeing in the marketplace today.

 

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

NamesCon represents KKWT's first B2B industry event since launching .blog to the general public on November 21, 2016. We are proud sponsors of NamesCon and WaterNight, and look forward to engaging with attendees throughout the event. It will also feature the second keynote appearance, since NamesCon's inaugural event, by Automattic's founder and CEO, Matt Mullenweg.

 

What industry trends or topics do you think will be at the forefront of panel and keynote discussions this year?

I think the main one will be the future of buying and selling domains as the industry evolves. It will also include a continuation of the conversation regarding the Chinese domain marketplace. We are now into the renewal cycles of that market and the recent approvals by China's MIIT for several TLDs. Another topic will be VeriSign's plan for .web, provided all current legal action regarding .web has been resolved. As always, there will be much debate around the next areas of innovation within the industry.

 

Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?

Now that NamesCon is a part of the WHD family, I would like to see more international speakers, particularly from emerging markets to better understand the struggles we face in trying to reach the 99.5% of web users that do not own a website.

 

What fact about you would surprise people?

I was on a Canadian reality TV show in 2001/2002.

 

What was one of your biggest "Aha!" moments in life?

The first time I changed a diaper.

 

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

Not even close. I thought I was going into the medical field like most of my family, but I somehow ended up in this wonderful industry.

 

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I am sure I am not alone, but an ongoing challenge I have is effectively describing what I do to people, friends and family outside of our industry. In our world, everyone knows what a domain is. Outside of our world, not many people do.

 

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Read with my family. With two small children, often reading time gets disrupted by "life" or the universal "nodding off" after another busy day.

 

What's the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?

After attending a recent B2C event, I was surprised to learn how most people who are not directly involved in the domain or hosting industry cannot clearly define what a domain is.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?

My high school basketball coach (the late Les Campbell). Les was a wonderful father, teacher, coach, and friend who volunteered his time and viewed life through a different lens than most. He always took things in stride, the good with the bad, and demonstrated a level of dignity and integrity I have always admired.

 

What are you proudest of in your life?

My family, period.

 

Latest and greatest accomplishment in your career?

Working with an incredible team to successfully launch .blog to the world.

 

What was the best surprise you've experienced so far in life?

First meeting my future wife, very unexpectedly, at a conference in San Francisco.

 

Name 3 things you can't travel without.

Something from my family, my cell phone and a battery pack charger (in that order).

 

Where is your favourite place to escape?

Anywhere I can put on my earphones and go for a run.

 

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Work hard. I witnessed it every day with my parents.

 

What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?

A picture of my family playing outside in the snow.


Whether you’re the head of a large company or a one-woman operation, we want to hear and share your story! Fill out the Featured Attendee Profile form here