This afternoon’s NamesCon sponsor spotlight interview is with Mason Cole, Vice President of Communications and Industry Relations at Donuts. This interview is part of a series of interviews with NamesCon 2016 exhibitors and sponsors.
NamesCon will be held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas from January 10-13, 2016. 1,000 attendees are expected to attend this annual domain investing conference.
If you have any questions for Mason, you are welcome to ask them in the comment section.
What is your company’s mandate, what sets you apart?
Donuts is a domain name registry running the largest number of new top-level domain names, or as we like to call them, not coms. Operating over 180 new not coms we have something for everyone – from .ACCOUNTANTS to .ZONE, whatever your business or passion, you can find a meaningful and memorable not com with us.
Who benefits from your product or service?
Registrars benefit by providing more variety and choice to the registrant (end-user) who benefits by being able to find the name they want, like, and that actually means something and has value.
What factors have contributed to your company’s growth and success?
Our large number of not com offerings. Having a fantastic team. Working with great registrars. The market being ready to embrace not coms.
What’s the story behind how your company was founded?
Two of our founders were working together on new gTLD, and separately, two others were doing the same. They eventually decided to go in together to start Donuts. Our CEO, Paul Stahura, always has wanted to operate a domain name registry; he and the other co-founders set an ambitious agenda to make a very big play in new domain names.
How would you define your company strategy and vision?
Our vision is to bring the widest possible set of new naming options to the market and provide real value and choice to registrants. We very much wanted to validate the concept that new gTLDs would provide competition and consumer choice, as both had been lacking for some time. So that played into our strategy of applying for 307 domains originally. On the internal side, a big part of our strategy is to hire and keep the best possible team we can — we’re very proud of our team and how we manage the registry.
What major milestones has your company accomplished?
In the beginning it was securing over $100 million in funding. Most recently it was crossing the 1.5 million registration mark.
How will your company engage attendees at the upcoming NamesCon?
We will have a booth in the exhibit area with donuts available to attendees in the mornings. We also have two wine bar tastings scheduled to promoting the launch of .WINE and .VIN. The first one is scheduled for Sunday, January 10th from 3:00 – 6:00pm in the Network Lane. The other on Tuesday, January 12th, from 3:00 – 6:00pm in the exhibit hall. A sommelier will be on hand to tell about the wines and answer any questions. And finally, our CEO, Paul Stahura is a keynote speaker on Tuesday afternoon, 4:20 – 4:45. You won’t want to miss that!
Can you tell us about your first time at NamesCon and what you got out of it?
We’ve been a supporter and sponsor of NamesCon since it began two years ago. The event well covers the issues salient to the industry, from policy to business. Our first time at NamesCon was the inaugural show, and we were impressed with the opportunities to network, learn and contribute.
What was one of the most memorable sessions or keynotes at a previous NamesCon?
All the sessions are informative and NamesCon is supremely well run, so it’s hard to pick a favorite
How has NamesCon helped your company achieve its goals?
It’s a very good spot for us to meet with our registrar partners and end-user customers, so every year we have a chance to get the temperature of our channel and our investor customers. That’s time very well spent.
What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?
Obviously, we love them! They just make sense. We think they’re great and about time that new businesses can 1.) get the domain name they want and 2.) have a domain name that is memorable, meaningful, (not to mention keyword rich), and specific to their business.
What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming conference?
Besides networking, we also will have our third annual company all-hands meeting while at NamesCon. All Donuts will be in town for the event!
Where can attendees find out more about your company, product or services while at NamesCon?
Come by our booth! We’d love to talk with you and answer any questions you might have.
If you have a company representative speaking at NamesCon, is there anything you can share about what to expect during your session or keynote?
As mentioned above, one of our co-founders and CEO will be speaking Tuesday afternoon. This will be in the format of a Fireside Chat with Ron Jackson interviewing Paul on how he became an industry legend.