I have been holding this story for a while but I guess it is time to post it now.
On Wednesday, January 14, 2015 I was attending what was probably the last session at NamesCon 2015 called “The Executive Roundtable: Outlook for 2015”.
It was a panel of “senior level executives from Registrars and Hosting Companies to talk about their takeaways from the 2015 NamesCon and the outlook for 2015 and beyond.”.
Moderator Christian Dawson was talking with Antony Van Couvering, CEO / Founder of Minds + Machines, Cybele Negris, CEO of webnames.ca, Jeff Neuman, Vice President Registry Services Neustar, Inc., Michele Neylon CEO Blacknight, and Elliot Noss, President and CEO Tucows Inc.
As you can see the panel involved representatives from a couple of registrars, a registry and a couple of registry/registrar combos.
The conversation got to a point where the panel was talking about New gTLDs and their outlook for 2015. At that point someone complained that New gTLD registries are making it too difficult for registrars to incorporate new domains into their systems. A couple of people agreed with that.
Then Antony Van Couvering from Minds + Machines said that he didn’t care if a few registrars didn’t carry its companies New gTLD strings. All he cared was that his domain names were getting registered.
Well, in the past you couldn’t have the one without the other. You couldn’t have your domains registered if the registrars were not selling them.
But now that Minds + Machines owns its own registrar it seems that it doesn’t mind having less competition for its own extensions.
The rest of the panel and the audience kinda of froze when Antony Van Couvering said that. It was very awkward to be on a panel with 3 registrars and say that you don’t care what they do. Registries are supposed to work with registrars as this is their only sales channel. But as it seems this has changed a bit lately.
I asked a couple of people from the audience if that was really awkward or it was just me. They agreed it was and also said some other stuff I will not repeat.
I don’t think that this attitude that Minds + Machines has to everyone has changed since. After messing up the .London launch, they have lately selectively increasing the renewal prices on several registered domain names of their New gTLDs. I have received several complaints about this issue.