First they ignore you…
Posted by Daniel Negari in Featured, gTLDs
June 2 marks the 1 year anniversary of .xyz going into General Availability. Wow. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I have been reflecting on the ups and downs of launching what has become the world’s largest and controversial new top level domain extension, and I was reminded of this quote by Gandhi, which describes the path that my team and I have taken:
“First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
Then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
When you think about it, the parallels between Gandhi’s famous quote and .xyz are real.
The internet has taken .xyz to a new level. We surpassed 900,000 registrations this month – less than 1 year after launching.
“First they ignore you”
I remember when I applied for .xyz, no one supported me – even my business partner was skeptical. But behind .xyz was the concept of Generation XYZ – the awareness strategy and community we have fostered for the next generation internet users. It is the driving concept behind a domain ending that is instinctive, natural, and just makes sense. .xyz is THE domain extension that transcends borders, because it’s used daily, worldwide, as a simple phrase that allows YOU to make XYZ whatever you want.
Prior to launch, people asked me how many registrations I was projecting, and I boldly predicted 1,000,000 domains by our 1 year anniversary. Many scoffed at my prediction and ignored our potential to be new go-to domain extension. A competing gTLD applicant even told me he would build a statue of me if I broke 100,000 .xyz registrations (still waiting for the delivery on that one, Colin).
Although there were a few believers, many registrars ignored me and competing applicants looked down on me.
Even the founder of Engadget tweeted on the day we launched:
Why would anyone buy a .xyz domain name? That’s the worst extension I’ve seen yet — I mean, .sucks is better!
— jason (@Jason) June 2, 2014
“Then they laugh at you”
Many prominent domainers laughed at me when I proclaimed .xyz as the next .com (FOR THE RECORD, THAT’S MY OPINION). But what many people from the .com-era forget is that .com was originally meant for commercial registrants, .net for networks, and .org for non-profit organizations. They all served specific purposes, but eventually became unrestricted due to demand for a generic TLD. As a result, Web 1.0 was dominated by .com.
By not investing, domainers and speculators are leaving great, valuable .xyz domains on the daily for members of Generation XYZ. My intention with .xyz has always been to put domains in the hands of the next generation of innovators, web designers, developers, and businesses who will use the domains. And that’s exactly what has been happening – individuals and businesses are leveraging .xyz to come online for the first time or rebrand their business to what they’ve always wanted. Let’s look at some of them:
So what do my team and I do to support the Generation XYZ community? We promote them in national interviews like Maria Bartiromo’s on Fox Business News, on local TV spots like NBC’s Press:Here, and in our weekly #WebsiteWednesday blog posts on gen.xyz.
“Then they fight you”
I set out to be the next .com, and I won’t give up until we are. But as many of you know, the 800-pound gorilla who ignored me and laughed at me is now fighting. They filed a federal lawsuit for, amongst other things, false advertising.
The market leader Verisign, better known for running .com, .net, and .tv, among others, is objecting to my company’s marketing and some things I said to an NPR reporter last year. What could I have possibly done to wake the sleeping giant? I explained .xyz’s strong value proposition, given that most of the consumer-friendly real estate in .com was taken. Verisign also claims that our traction in the market is falsely inflated because a domain retailer gave some free .xyz domains to its top customers.
They were also deeply offended by a 35-second video that showed a sleek black Audi R8 with an XYZ license plate pull up beside a spluttering old car with a COM license plate. The voiceover said “it’s impossible to find the domain name you want.” Sure it got some views, but it wasn’t exactly a viral sensation. Check it out for yourself below.
Verisign also attempted to bully me by claiming that I misrepresented the availability of short and memorable .com domains. I think most people who have searched for a domain recently would agree that finding the name they wanted in .com was challenging. I have heard from a number of the largest domain retailers around the world that it can be extremely difficult for their customers to register the domain they want. In fact, Hari Ravichandran, the CEO and Founder of Endurance International Group, was recently on Bloomberg stating “there is a real supply-side imbalance…If you go in and look for a particular domain, 8 out of 10 times you’re going to find that it’s not available.” Please see the 10 minute mark here.
Verisign now markets that “the number of possible .com domain names is over 10 to the 98th power,” “…including super-short domain names. Over 95% of .COM five character combinations are available and over 99% of six character combinations are available.” Try searching for the .com you want and see if it is available. Then try with .xyz.
The bottom line: it’s harder to claim short, memorable domain names ending in .com, and easier to do so on new domain extensions, like .xyz. That might seem obvious, considering .com has been around for 30 years and has over 117 million domain names registered, while .xyz and most other new extensions have only existed for 1 year or less.
This lawsuit is ultimately the 800-pound gorilla beating its chest, trying to litigate a competitor out of business. We’ve seen fledgling startups that are now huge companies in their own right — think Uber and even Apple — challenge the status quo or poke the industry bear at one point or another.
I’ll let the DomainGang poll results by speak for itself:
“Then you win.”
.xyz is for the next generation of internet users – the ones who are actively building their new online presence. And despite the ones who doubted, laughed at, and are fighting against .xyz, we are moving forward by providing the platform and naming choice for everyone. This is evident by the way Generation XYZ is reshaping the internet and building incredible value for themselves.
For my loves JuliaKelly.xyz @xyz I have some big surprises coming for you this week. Love you!
– Julia Kelly
“What we do as an organisation and our approach is a fairly unique model, and we wanted our URL to reflect this and help us stand out of the crowd. It has already been a talking point internally and externally! And that’s what we wanted, to get people talking about our brand.”
We love our .XYZ domain and more than anything, we think a .XYZ domain really shows just how the Internet is evolving for the better.
Cradle yourself in the lap of innovation. http://t.co/VfESL3VBhr
— Silicon Valley (@SiliconHBO) May 4, 2015
All of these active .xyz sites have led to us surpassing 2.5 billion monthly DNS queries. CentralNic notified me of this in January when we broke their reporting, which was limited to 32-bit integers. If this sounds familiar to anyone, that’s because the same thing happened to YouTube’s counter with the Gangnam Style music video. I am proud as hell of my team for raising awareness about .xyz and making this happen.
Will .xyz hit 1 million? At 903,000 registrations and a month left until our 1 year anniversary, we will all know soon enough.
The bottom line is that .xyz is here to stay for the greater benefit of the internet.
Thank you Team XYZ and Gen XYZ for making XYZ what it is today. I am committed to supporting XYZ and keeping the growth coming.
24 thoughts on “First they ignore you…”
I couldn’t agree more with you.
“First I ignore .xyz,
Then I laugh at .xyz,
Then I am using .xyz”
Another good thing about .xyz is that there’s no language barrier. I have choosen a .xyz because I can say it in English or French and people understand.
People think that I am a geek/website builder because my email address sounds cool in the .xyz!
Thank you for this amazing tld!
I thought you’d be smart enough to to know it’s the pioneers who get the arrows. Congrats!
I also think this Gandhi quote greatly sumarizes your terrible route.
But your dedication and impressive marketing efforts looks to have paid, even if a lot of names do not renew there was so much registered that you are almost sure to be successful. We will probably more and more domains turned into websites in the future.
I am absolutey not part of those who laughed or fighted but I admit as a domainer I was a bit septic about the success of this new extension (like many others). I did not invested in .XYZ but I also not invested in any other, probably due to the fact I lost so much money with the .MOBI and .CO.
In a domaining point of view it’s possible to trade dot XYZ domains at:
I wish you a continue success!
Please let us know when the company layoffs begin
We are hiring 10 + talented men, women, and cyborgs head on over to http://careers.xyz
I decided after reading this article that I had to have one of the first 1million .XYZ domains…
I started by trying for these:
So I Got: Swappers
. . . Smile . . .
I bought about 60 .xyz domains in the first hours of GA. I bought my children and grandchildren’s firstname.xyz along with other names associated with extreme sporting and outdoor sports. I love .xyz’s future potential and although none are developed, my children will have their firstname.xyz to use or sell as they see fit – along with a great sporting portfolio. It’s all about the future.
Thank you for your support – be sure to email us hello @ gen.xyz when your grandchildren build a web page – maybe we will feature them on #WebsiteWednesday !
Very confused. You advertise that one of the reasons XYZ is better than COM is because there are more domains available.
You then later claim that you won’t give up until XYZ overtakes the COM extension.
Now my question is – what will you tell people one day about domain availability in COM when XYZ is bigger than COM?
It doesn’t sound like you truly believe in XYZ being bigger than COM otherwise you would’ve been careful with those words. You have a short to medium term strategy, but not a long term one.
Availability is only one differentiator. Learn more about our marketing at http://gen.xyz – It is about being part of the next generation. Not having a specific meaning, and being transcendent to language barriers are some additional reasons why I believe we will prevail in the long term.
Time will tell. This is a marathon – not a sprint.
“Verisign also claims that our traction in the market is falsely inflated because a domain retailer gave some free .xyz domains to its top customers.”
“a domain retailer” is Network Solutions, one of, if not the biggest
“some … to its top customers” is actually a huge number… hundreds of thousands…. A significant chunk of your 900,000 registrations. Why won’t you release those numbers? The court will make you.
So, if you want to earn sympathy, and show that you were not spreading falsehoods, your response ought to be more accurate.
Hi Todd. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, which is why I approved your comment. I am not looking to earn sympathy. The truth will come out, and there is pending litigation right now – so lets let the courts decide. In the meantime head on over to https://ntldstats.com/tld/xyz to get a registrar breakdown.
Great analogy with Gandhi and your .xyz path in this great post. I’ve been with .xyz from the very beginning. Reserved many premium names along with my first name, and wear my many .xyz t-shirts with pride ;)
I foresee .xyz as one of a handful of the new gTLD’s having a lasting sucess with Internet users and businesses.
Cheers! to your success.
Thank you #GenXYZ
Rendering an auction for xyz domains this Q1 2015 to Q2 / much exposure could result in selling prices achieving new heights!
I saw sar.xyz for sale $200,000 so I’m grateful to own our domain!
Good wishes to xyz!
Hey, I am not sure I can support it, but I do like that the Asian market uses it instead of .com, because it is something that makes more sense than “com”. I recently however had to contact you when I saw a few abusive sites, and ended up blocking some people from my Facebook group for posting that stuff there, but I think it was a phishing virus, that would appear to be logging you in, but was giving the registrant permission to post that stuff on the facebook user’s groups. That is where it would then spread.
Anyway, when is .college coming out? I saw .science was offered for 1 year for 2.99 or something recently, and then 30+ for future years… But most of their obvious names were on Sedo, like college.science. But I found one 2 word one that was available. I did not register it.
The extension is not the Problem. The matter is how we bring up our business into the next level. Good luck for us all.
Congratulations on the registration of over 900,000 .xyz names. I have about 130 .xyz names and I plan on renewing about 95% of them or more.
We have been brain washed into the .com and I think more people are thinking twice before they type the domain extn. in their browser although for many the .com will be the default extension and I think over time this will change.
I am on board with .xyz
Good Luck to you and your team.
Have a Great Day,
Richard St Cyr
I’m still at the laughing point, by the way, what does xyz stands for?
Thats the beauty of it X Y Z are the last three letters of the alphabet, so the meaning lies in your brand in your domain! .xyz can be used for every website, everywhere!
Hi Daniel, I believed in .xyz extension from the day 1 or from the minute I saw it. Your struggle for it has been quite similar to Gandhi’s quote and I have been reading all about it. I purchased few .xyz domains despite people were talking negatively. I am sure this extension has a very healthy future, I believe this. And coming 2 years will take .xyz extension to new heights for sure. I took NewGen.xyz, too. Probably you may need ‘New’ word to attach to Gen.xyz seeing the demand of it. In case, you need NewGen.xyz for any purpose, vision or marketing purpose with .xyz, do ask me and I’ll give Newgen.xyz to you. Best wishes ahead!!
Thank you for your support – I wont let you down #GenXYZ
Was happily an early adopter and have even received $xxx offers on my .xyz names (which I’ve easily turned down). I’m looking forward to the future!