Categorized | Domaining Tips

Could Verisign Destroy Your Business Model?

Posted on 20 March 2019 by Andrei

I think it’s a good thing that the recent developments when it comes to dot info and dot org (the possibility that price ceilings might be removed and, as such, we venture into “everything goes” territory… in other words, just like with new gTLDs, huge price increases might become the norm for legacy TLDs as well) have caused great concern in the domaining world.

Why?

Well, because even if you don’t have skin in the game when it comes to .info/.org at this point (for what it’s worth, I don’t), you do need to understand the possible implications when it comes to the elephant in the room: dot com.

The landscape has changed for domainers… and not in a good way.

I’ve already mentioned Verisign’s attitude shift when it comes to domainers, the fact that the industry is losing various important allies from a lobbying perspective and what not… there’s little point in beating that dead horse further.

The bottom line is this: the world in 2019 and beyond is shaping up to be less domainer-friendly from many perspectives and if we’re serious about becoming more resilient individually and as an industry, we need to realize just how vulnerable we currently are.

Aside from being a domainer, I’m also an economist and entrepreneur, so fellow domainers ask me for my 2 cents when it comes to business-related stuff every now and then. The most common denominator I’ve noticed when others ask me to look at their business or business idea is their over-reliance on a third party.

In other words, if a third party can ruin your business model with the stroke of a pen… you’re vulnerable.

The same principle applies to domaining.

Let me ask you two questions:

  1. What if Verisign would be allowed to quadruple dot com prices and decide to do just that… what would your domaining business look like the text day?
  2. What if Verisign would be allowed to implement “premium pricing” structures… or, in other words, perhaps they’d decide those who own LLL.coms need to pay $500 per year from now on. What would that do to your business?

A few years ago, I would have considered such scenarios ludicrous.

I still consider them unlikely… but ludicrous? Not really.

If the current trend when it comes to the attitude of the powers that be when it comes to domainers persists, I just don’t see it ending well. Maybe you won’t pay $500 yearly for your LLL.coms but even if you have to pay $250 or $100… you get the point.

My main concern is that way too many domainers still prefer being blissfully ignorant of threats such as these, which is why the statement at the beginning of this blog post should now make more sense… the statement that I’m happy people got goosebumps when reading the current .info/.org debates.

What can or should you do?

Honestly, I’m not quite ready to articulate a position on this that I stand completely behind. At the very least, I guess tuning into more ICANN debates might be a good starting point, something pretty much nobody likes doing.

Or, more broadly speaking, you could/should start by understanding that these discussions are more than just boring bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo… they’re boring bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo that can ruin entire business models overnight 🙁

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Anunt Says:

    We own a pizza place in Atlanta and we are paying $5000/month for rent alone.

    And the guy that owns Pizza.com is paying $10/year for rent.

    Something is not right here.

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