Investing in Trust

A young new company paid US$825,000 buying premium domain name

They were interviewed about the decision:   (link)

 "Fast forward one year ... each week that passes only further vindicates our decision to commit to the brand name.

We sell an intangible product and at the end of the day, we’re in the trust business. Owning has lent an extra level of legitimacy to the brand and this, in turn, has translated into sales."

Monopoly Bestowed on Verisign is Unjustified

Verisign is the huge provider of technical registry services. The grossly-profitable company has been allowed to manage the lucrative .com domain names (as well as .net, .edu, .gov, etc).

Oddly, there has been no competitive tender to determine which company is given the extremely valuable contract. Is this a recipe for corruption? Why has Verisign been bestowed a no-bid, presumptive right of renewal for their .com operations?

We hope that Verisign's position will be challenged by another operator who can provide equivalent or better services at a substantially lower price. And now Verisign is seeking to raise the annual fee they charge every owner of a .com domain.

There is substantial movement of personnel and informal contact between key private sector firms, Verisign, special-interest groups, and ICANN, the global organization charged with oversight. Each organization needs certain pivotal people, and transfers can easily generate conflicts of interest. Is there sufficient transparency and oversight to avoid fraud, nepotism, bribery and corruption? 

With the Verisign monopoly generating billions of dollars in a no-bid arrangement, it appears collusive, likely unjustified, and perhaps corrupt.

Read more:
Verisign increase of Fees Unjustified   (link)

Rely on Conglomerates? Bad Consequences

It is vital for businesses to control your own domain and web presence.

Rick Schwartz ( explains it clearly:
"While first contact may be made on social media, follow up contact should be done within the confines of your own website. It is a HUGE business mistake to allow these third parties [Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter] such control of your business and lives.

If you are opening an online business and dependent on Google for your traffic, GOOD LUCK!! Google traffic is a BONUS. Your job is to use all other sources FIRST! If Facebook or Twitter is where you conduct customer service, it's FOOLISH at best! Your #1 job is to transition them off of these platforms and to your website!

These 3rd parties are TOOLS, they are not FOUNDATIONS! The domain name is the ONLY foundation you can control on the Internet." = Opportunity

No .com domain exists using the standard single Latin letter o.

There has been talk and conjecture, and Verisign recently floated a strategy to offer for auction to benefit non-profit causes.

Some companies already are trying to do business in that space, hoping a trademark on the still non-existent address might offer some priority. The firm, Inc. seems to have USA protection for various retail goods as well as vehicles, etc. -- claiming protection in many class codes!

Intellectual property & domain lawyer John Berryhill wrote about this process ten years ago (link) - calling this trademark registration process, when the domain is unavailable, as "phony" and deserving of contempt. Firms must be cautious of infringement.