Categorized | Domaining Tips

You Make the Bed You Lie In

Posted on 14 March 2017 by Andrei

As someone who has been warning domainers against investing in new gTLDs since before bashing new g’s was “cool” (2015, to be precise), I have to say I feel sorry about the drama Frank and Uniregistry are going through right now. It’s literally a feeding frenzy of hate out there and here on DomainingTips, I don’t believe in jumping on bandwagons and beating dead horses just so I can score some popularity points. Which is why I’d make a poor politician, I guess.

A lot of dramatic things have happened over the past couple of days, culminating with GoDaddy’s decision of dropping Uniregisty strings altogether (all of them, not just the ones affected by the price increase) and I believe it’s time to draw some conclusions with a clear head. Which is what I’ll be trying to do now.

My great-grandfather (whom I consider my #1 male role model) always told me that at the end of the day, you make the bed you lie in.

He always loved using this expression and I agree with it 100%.

You make choices, you deal with their consequences.

Fair enough, right?

Frank, just like everyone else, made choices. Strategic business choices. And in my opinion, he screwed up royally, so here’s my interpretation of things in the form of questions and answers.

I’ll start with the things I believe Frank/Uniregistry did wrong.

Q: Does Frank deserve to lose money?

A: Yes, he made wrong business choices (going after strings for which he grossly overestimated the demand, poor communication coherence, poor strategy choices, etc.) and as such, has to accept the consequences. No conspiracy here whatsoever. All a matter of an adult businessman living with the consequences of the choices he made.

Q: Does Frank deserve to lose out on the reputation front?

A: Yes, he does. He tried to brand himself and Uniregistry as far more “domainer-friendly” than reality has proven that he was. He pitched his strings too aggressively and gave people bad advice. As such, I believe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he suffered a significant reputation hit.

Q: Did GoDaddy make the right decision by eliminating Uniregistry’s strings?

A: I think so because in my opinion, they effectively got a message across: that they as the registrar have to suffer consequences as well after such price hikes, that it’s bad business and bad customer service to go from charging $10-$20 yearly to $300 or even $100 and most importantly, that they don’t want to tarnish their brand by associating themselves with companies that do this. Fair enough. They’ve also severely weakened a competitor, which is something they might consider a plus as well.

I think that’s enough on the “fail” front and so far, I agree 100% with what the majority is saying.

Let’s move on to the aspects I don’t agree with.

Q: Is Frank receiving *too much* hate?

A: I believe so. As mentioned in another post as well, I think we should always keep things civil and not cross one definitive line, which is that of hatred. After reading lots of comments, I believe too many domainers have crossed that line and gone too far. There’s a huge difference between taking a reputation hit and a public execution.

Q: Has he done nothing good in this industry?

A: Come on, we all know that can’t be true. Some of you who are just starting out probably don’t remember the “old Frank” but back when he was running SevenMile, his advice was worth its weight in gold. Also, let’s not forget that DomainNameSales was a huge step forward compared to the status quo back when he launched it. Or that Uniregistry is a pretty good registrar.

Look, I’ll end this post here because I’m sure you understand the message I’m trying to get across.

Frank made the bed he’s now lying in and that’s normal. Just like anyone else who made bad business decisions, he’s suffering consequences.

But I really think some people have gone too far with their public display of hatred towards him.

And I’m saying that as a person who a few months ago had a very negative experience with Frank, one which involved him being anything but fair towards me. So if you look at things from that perspective, I should be one of the most enthusiastic dancers on his grave right now. But I know that’s just not right. And even as someone who has personal reasons to be disappointed in Frank (which have nothing to do with new gTLDs), I do have to say that this public execution has been taken too far.

Just my 2 cents.

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Expired Picks Says:

    Frank just did what they all will do, raise prices. Donuts and Rightside can say they are keeping extensions that lose money the same price, because they have zero intentions of being the owners a couple years from now. They just want to pass the problem to the new owners.

  2. Rob Says:

    Donuts made their money in contention sets, nobody was contending for .blackfriday, or .guitars he should have gone more mainstream, and came in to early.

    I understand 5-10 percent increases in a single year, but when you increase 3,000 percent you are going to get hated on, it’s human nature.

    I haven’t read a single person say Godaddy made the wrong move, maybe others will follow.

    Most domainers don’t know what domains are live, how are end users if Godaddy, and others delist.

    Andrei, I rmemeber you relentlessly trying to sell your gtlds, without any takers, that example was a good field test to follow thru.

  3. Mobile Notary Says:

    You reap what you sow.

    Frank sowed his registry demise. I hope other registries follow and drop Uniregistry domain support. We’ve already seen NameCheap do it with .XYZ domains.

  4. Andrei Says:

    @Rob: maybe you remember the case studies I’ve posted on DomainingTips in 2014 when new g’s started going live. I mentioned right from the beginning that I’d give new gTLDs a fair chance and believe I did. I’ve personally invested in several new gTLD domains, spread across multiple strings and the results along with what others shared made me very confident in my conclusion (that new gTLDs are just not worth investing in), which I posted one year later:

    I gave it an honest effort but the numbers just don’t make sense, which is why I kept warning domainers against investing in new gTLDs as of 2015.

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