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Clara Edberg — 04/02/20

Dotkeeper meets – Paul Nicks at NamesCon 2020 in Austin

During NamesCon our Dotkeeper representative, Marcus Glaad, has had the pleasure to meet with a lot of exciting people. Marcus had a nice talk with GoDaddy’s Paul Nicks. Paul tells us about his expectations and how the conference has been so far!

So, Paul, what about NamesCon 2020, how has it been so far?

Well, the biggest thing for me is the location. The Conference didn’t really know how it would be received. But the number of attendees is really high. The more compressed nature of the hotel in Austin makes it feel like more people and you can bump elbows and have more hallway conversations then you could in Vegas, where it was a little bit more spread out.

I think our CEOs keynote today went very well and it was well received.

You know, GoDaddy hasn’t had a CEO being the keynote speaker in ten or so years. So, I think it’s nice that the community sees him and sees his vision for how we are going to bring the domain investors as a core part of the customer journey.


I think for many in Scandinavia GoDaddy has been a typical webhosting company, but you are taking a pretty clear stand in domain investing nowadays. Tell us a little bit about that journey for GoDaddy?

Yeah, it’s not that we are shifting products at all, it’s just that we are making sure that we are offering competitive products for each type of customer. So, the way we structure ourselves, is that the small businesses, the entrepreneurs that are building websites and ventures, have a place. And you got a single organization lined up to address this. And then we have another part of our organization for domain investors. A different tool set needed. We just have to get away from one tool set, one platform – that tries to serve everybody and serves no one well.


Last year you told us a little bit about owning big portfolios, GoDaddy has been acquiring big portfolios and have been domain investing themselves. How has that been going?

Well, I’m going to be diplomatic in my answer because we are a public company. I would say that we continue to acquire. And so that’s a signal, that we are seeing it as something that domain investing is certainly a thriving industry. We are doing fine, great news on this is that we can actually use are own portfolio to test our own services.


Any new learnings, from being on the investing side?

 Yeah, I think a few learnings are that you never know when the domain with the exact right buyer will come along, so you have to make sure that you can catch as many possible leads as you can. It is important to have a kick-ass sales team that can make the customers realize the value and understand why you are charging 2 000-10 000 or whatever for a domain name.


We see a lot more end-users, buying up domain names, more than investors buying between each other. Is that your view as well, that companies are more interested and more ready to pay for the right domain name for their business?

Well, you’ve got large companies, they certainly see the Internet and the massive scale of it. So, you will have companies that are buying up domain names to protect their brands, protect their niche in the world. So absolutely, a lot of large corporations are coming in and buying a lot more domain names. I think the corporate registrars base is growing quite a bit. That is an exciting area.


2019 voice.com was sold for 30.000.000 US dollars. What lessons can we learn from that and do you see any trends regarding voice specific domains?

 I don’t think the lesson from the voice.com sale was that voice or even like voice automated systems are the next big trend. I think the lesson from the voice.com sale is that the buyer that found the absolute best single word .com domain name, stepped up and payed the price to own that market. Because as you mention earlier, the large corporations are coming in and are able to buy. The best way to protect your brand is to make sure no one can use your wanted domain. And the best way to get into a market is to buy the perfect category killer domain name. That dynamic is really interesting.


Do you see any specific trends coming up?

I like the more generic cctlds. .co has always done very well. You got .ai, and .io, that are just getting hotter in the investment community. And you have .gg, which is short for “good game” in Esports. And all of a sudden you start to see Esport teams that are branded with a .gg-domain. So, the ccTLDs, they are short, two letters. They kind of have a natural advantage over the longer gTLDs that are a little bit more descriptive, you can get a short memorable name on it. So, I see this is picking up, where you got someone taking a ccTLD and turning it into something that is a bit more generic.


Getting that killer name is the important thing and you will probably find a TLD to put it in under?

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, understand that if you going to brand your entire corporation on a dot “whatever”, then you either going to have competition from the person how owns the .com or the price on the .com go up for every day you become a bigger company on a none .com domain. So, if you have the aspiration of becoming a massive brand you still need to get the .com.


Thank you Paul Nicks for talking to Dotkeeper.