NamesCon 2016's first major keynote comes from none other than Frank Schilling, CEO of Uniregistry and co-founder of the Internet Commerce Association.
In explaining what he does in the taxi to the Tropicana Hotel (a typical conundrum for those reading this), Schilling was shocked when his taxi driver said, "I have two of 'em! And they run on your registry!'"
It's been a tremendous year for growth in the TLD world, said Schilling: "We became a real company, you know? And we watched many of you in the room do the same thing with your businesses."
Besides helping people do business, registries can be a force for social good, said Schilling to the packed auditorium, noting how Uniregistry helped set up and support .HIV.
"I think about our registrar like a great hotel," he said, in that there's a service element as well as a space element. "We care about your names running well... we strive to be the Four Seasons."
"35% of our walk-up registrations in 2015 were new extensions," said Schilling, and that's 35% of a large number: Adding 3500 registrations and 500 customers every day, Uniregistry manages 1.3 million names.
Part of that Four Seasons focus, said Schilling, took the form of designing the Uniregistry app. "Easy and delightful" were Schilling's words in describing a user-friendly app to help clients manage their names more securely and efficiently. "These names just look good," said Schilling of names like 123.link, beach.diet, and funny.lol. In a live demonstration of how easy it is to transfer these "tasty" names, Schilling popped open the app and pushed a name live to Zeina Osman, a member of the audience. She went with paleo.diet. The Uniregistry app accommodated for live-demo typos, prompting password and biometric security checks.
Osman began the approval of the transfer with a smile. Feeling lucky, Schilling gave another name away: NamesCon attendee Joshua Eisenhower chose 123.link.
Taking Care of Business
"We're all kind of innovating all the time," said Schilling. "We can do things virtually and we can do things in real time." With that, Schilling launched the new Uniregistry live at NamesCon. "We've been blessed to be able to build some great stuff," said Schilling, to support the business of supporting businesses. This includes tools to help users pass domains down to their heirs: "Not fun to talk about, but we're all getting older."
Schilling admitted to a slight case of the nerves in presenting the new Uniregistry Market: "We're all a little bit scarred, by the drama, the passion, the blow-ups... it's a little bit like a reality show."
Schilling spoke of using in-flight WiFi to get work done at scale: "The hair on my arms stood up. I was like, 'Wow, I can't believe I'm doing this!'" The tools Schilling showed off at NamesCon were built for a world in which such experiences are normal: quick and easy selling across 34 registrars (and that number is going up).
"We're at a point now where early access is available," said Schilling, and NamesCon attendees can migrate to the new Uniregistry platform early. At the end of the month, the new Uniregistry will be open to the public.