Location: Folkestone, England
Domain name you wish you owned: poker.com
Favourite extension: .xyz, of course
Current read: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
Your mentor: A lot of people, but my wife most consistently.
Describe your company. How long have you been there and what led you to this career choice?
I work in the Retail Division of CentralNIC with all of the Registrar brands, most relevant is as Product Manager for Internet.bs. I started my career with NetNames working in ccTLD management and then moved over to CentralNIC as an Operations Manager and the first full-time Registrar employee. When we acquired Internet.bs in 2014 I started working on the migration of domains into a new legal entity and was excited by the how incredible the development team was and how "light" the platform is. I've since started work on regearing Internet.bs towards being a domain investor focused registrar by captialising on it's natural assets, being low cost to maintain (hence cheap) and offering everything in bulk.
NamesCon is all about business networking. Can you tell us a story about the success of a meeting at NamesCon?
I haven't been to NamesCon Global as yet but I was at India in 2017. I took a long our head of customer service at Internet.bs who is Indian and had never been to a conference before. He stood next to me the whole time and collected about 20 business cards whilst we watched the band at the end of the night but no one spoke to me, he had a great time. Still waiting for that great NamsCon connect.
Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?
Internet.bs is a domain investor focused Registrar. We offer very low cost domains, particularly cheap in Western CCTLDs and great bulk services supported by 24/7 support. Large portfolio holders are given the services of a portfolio assistant who can support them in anyway they need. Our goal is to provide domain investors with free features and information that will help them with their investments, we do this my being low touch, very agile and very open to suggestions from our customers. I'd love to hear from any investor who has a suggestion on a useful tool or product that they would like to see, chances are we will add it to the platform quickly.
How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?
Completely different,.I didn't know what a domain name was and I thought computers were for playing Prince of Persia until I was a teenager. Then I thought I would be come an actuary. I am glad it went in this direction.
What kinds of changes to you foresee within the industry in the next year? The next 5 years?
I am keeping an eye on blockchain and the naming systems coming out of them, I think that registrars will start to offer these namespaces as an alternative to DNS.
The GDRP will likely enforce less capturing of information by Registrars from account holders and domain owners, which will allow freedom of movement between ownership of names and hopefully make it easier to move a domain to a buyer post sale. It will also make it near impossible to recover a name if it has been stolen though so investors should make sure they use a registrar with two factor authentication
At the end of the next five years, I believe we have a good awareness of new TLDs around the world. But during those five years, it seems likely to me that we shall experience a global financial downturn that is likely to affect our business short term. Even if it is not needed, I believe we might see another application opening for new TLDs during those five years.
What are the most innovative products or services that are currently impacting your business?
As we are operating a low cost model we are always on the lookout for cheaper payment processing methods so again I am keeping an eye on blockchain and the potential that this will lower processing fees significantly. At the moment gateway fees add about 30c on top of our margins but it should reduce in the future to as low as 5c, we'll be wanting to stay ahead of the curve there and pass the savings along to our customers.
Who would you like to hear speak at NamesCon? Why?
I would love to hear Brain Krebs give a speech. He is an investigative journalist that uncovers a lot of security breaches and data thefts, as well as online criminal gangs. I would love to hear his take on domain theft, use of domains for money laundering, future risks, etc.
What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?
I am looking forward to attending the blockchain related talks, as much as I know about it I still don't understand the very technical elements of it. Mano Samy's workshop should be very helpful.
What was one of your biggest "A-ha!" moments in life?
Probably when I figured out how to tie my shoelaces in a much more efficient way! Find me and I'll show you.
What object would you put in a time capsule that best represents who you are today?
A rubber duck.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
"You do it and then it's done." - My Mum.
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