NamesCon 2017 is just over one week away and we are busy getting ready for our largest — and best — conference to date! Our attendees are already making great connections through our new mobile app and organizing their schedules to maximize their time at NamesCon. Tickets are still available to purchase — don’t miss out on the chance to attend the biggest domain name industry event in the world. People from all parts of the domain community are set to converge on the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from January 22-25, 2017.
We want to help you make the most of your conference, which is why we are running this interviews series introducing you to NamesCon Sponsors and the people behind the big names. Today’s Spotlight interview is with Mason Cole, VP of Communications & Industry Relations at Donuts Inc.
What is your company’s mandate; what sets you apart?
Donuts’ mandate corresponds to that of ICANN when it introduced the new TLD program: expand consumer choice and competition in the domain name space. We did so with more than 300 applications for a wide variety of common and useful dictionary terms — we now operate almost 200 unique extensions. Donuts is set apart by its strength and leadership — we’re a team of highly experienced domain industry professionals and lead the market in the number and variety of new TLDs.
Who benefits from your product or service?
Anyone who seeks a meaningful and relevant online identity for their product, service, company, organization or idea benefits from our services. Intellectual property owners benefit from our unique Domains Protected Marks List (DPML) service. The broader world benefits from having intuitive navigation choices and an expanding list of internationalized domain names.
What factors have contributed to your company’s growth and success?
Primarily, it was the careful selection of a menu of new domains that would be appealing to businesses and individuals. There’s more, of course: Donuts is an innovative company, one that doesn’t follow the status quo. Since new TLDs have become available, Donuts has set the trend with a new tiered pricing structure, new products (our Early Access Program, DPML), and new programs (Affinity Partners).
What’s the story behind how your company was founded?
Our founding CEO, Paul Stahura, has been involved in domains since 1997, when he started the registrar eNom in his garage. Ever since that day, and despite his tremendous success with eNom, he was attracted to the registry space and the idea of expanding the namespace. When the new gTLD program became a reality, Paul joined forces with other industry veterans to start Donuts — they were committed to bringing real change and expansion to domain names. That certainly became a reality.
How would you define your company strategy and vision?
Now that we have successfully introduced nearly 200 new gTLDs, our vision is to continually expand the reach of our names to those around the globe who, for too long, were artificially constrained by only a few existing domains. Our objective is to continually seek adoption of these naming options by not only those looking for a new online identity, but by the millions who have yet to participate meaningfully in the online economy.
What major milestones has your company accomplished?
Over 2.6 million domain names registered.
How will your company engage attendees at the upcoming NamesCon?
Donuts has attended every NamesCon to date. We make a point of having all our employees attend. It’s an opportunity to meet with our partners, customers and industry experts to talk about what’s interesting and new in the space and what our company offers. This year, we have several of our team on panels, with others attending sessions, networking with colleagues, and otherwise engaging our industry.
What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?
We love them, of course! And don’t ask us which is our favorite. It’s like having kids, each is unique and we love them all.
Where can attendees find out more about your company, product or services while at NamesCon?
Stop by our booth or visit us at www.donuts.domains.