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DENIC -> Epic FAIL

Posted on 23 October 2009 by Andrei

“The Beginner’s Guide to Screwing Up Royally”, that pretty much sums it all up. DENIC had a chance to do something truly great but after making one bad decision after another, they ended up turning the introduction of one and two character .de domains into a fiasco for everyone except a handful of people. It takes a lot to piss me off but in this case, it happened and here’s why:

Look, if it were a simple “profits, profits, profits” situation (like with one letter .biz domains, for example), there would have been nothing negative to comment.  But there’s one huge difference between Neustar (the people “in charge” of dot biz and dot us) and DENIC: the german registry operates as a non-profit service provider. As a result, I have just one question for them:

Guys, What Were You Thinking?!

Here’s how things unfolded:

1) After the VW.de legal situation (VW won the domain in court), DENIC decided to let people register one character domains, two character domains, pure numeric domains and three character domains which were previously not available (com.de, for example)

2) It was obvious that people would be willing to pay top dollar for the newly introduced .de domains

3) DENIC could have helped a LOT of people if they would have done the smart thing by auctioning the domains themselves (TV.de went for $400,000 over at Sedo and that alone says a lot: there were millions of dollars/EUR on the table)

4) Ok, so there were obviously millions of dollars/EUR on the table. What did DENIC do? They set the table on fire by releasing them on a “first come – first served” basis!

5) Sedo jumped in and registrars started charging hefty fees (the natural reaction of a profit-driven market). The result: a handful of people ended up making a lot of money. End of story.

While it’s true that some companies will be donating a certain percentage of their earnings (and they definitely deserve credit for that), we’re talking about pocket change compared to the amount of money DENIC would have raised by auctioning the domains themselves.  Now someone from DENIC would probably offer an explanation similar to:

“It would have been complicated”

“There would have been a lot of technicalities involved”

“There would have been potential legal issues related to how the money is donated”

Dear DENIC, there comes a time in a person’s life when explanations aren’t worth squat. Maybe it would have been hard but you had the possibility to help thousands upon thousands of people by raising MILLIONS. Let me make myself perfectly clear:

You Should Have Made Things Happen. Period.

Stop for a second and imagine how much good you could do with $50,000,000. Now after doing that, do you still feel like listening to excuses? I didn’t think so.

Out of all possible solutions, DENIC chose the absolute worst. Think about all of the options:

1) Auction them yourself

2) So you wouldn’t be able to handle things technically? Ok, why not contact a few companies which would be able to help in exchange for some free press?

3) Is that also complicated? Alright, then just give Sedo 10% and let them take care of everything. That would leave you with 90%, not too shabby!

The list could go on and on and at the end of the day, we’re left with one question:

Who’s to Blame?

Sedo and the registrars for making a quick buck? Absolutely NOT! They’re profit-driven companies, they saw an opportunity and took action.

VW for suing them? Nope! Nobody forced DENIC to rush things.

DENIC? Yes! YES! YES!

The conclusion is (painfully) simple: Epic FAIL!

Why Did I Bother Writing This Post?

Anyone with half a brain will realize that other registries will also start releasing one and two character domains. Maybe next month, maybe next year but it’s obvious that it will happen again.

If the people behind at least ONE of them (one of the non-profit ones, profit-driven companies can obviously do whatever they want) read this, then I’m sure that the answer to the “why bother writing about this?” question is more than obvious.

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Nick Says:

    I see what you mean, it’s like they just wanted to get it behind them. Doing a charitable auction would have also changed the way the domain industry is perceived by traditional media, at least European traditional media.

  2. nmwando Says:

    There’s been a frenzy around these domains and I think auctioning them through their own platform would have resulted in even higher sales. Maybe it’s just me but I think people would have been even more tempted to bid if they knew for sure that they would get the domains if they win.

  3. LewisJ Says:

    I wonder how much sedo’s profit from all this was… well over a million? Not many details about the partnerships with other companies, it’s only a guess.

  4. Andrei Says:

    @Lewis: to be perfectly honest, I have no idea. They didn’t make their partnerships public, so it’s hard to determine how many domains they’ve managed to grab for their customers at this point. But after the negotiation phase is over (as per the terms customers had to agree to, Sedo can act as brokers and buy domains from the people who’ve managed to snag them within 14 days), I’m pretty sure that they’ll draw the line and realize that they’ve made over a million bucks. Again, I’d have to be the biggest hypocrite ever to blame companies like Sedo for trying to make some fast cash, the people who run the German registry are at fault for not making the best decisions.

  5. friendship gift Says:

    The real fail here is the drawing of that red circle. What mutt wouldn’t notice the coffin if that red circle wasn’t drawn? The guy who created this pic thinks we’re all retards. Bastard!!!

 
 
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