When I filled out my ICANN application for .xyz, I initially thought that 20,000 registrations would be enough to consider the first year a success. As my other business interests began maturing and our team expanded, I began thinking 100,000 .xyz domains would be possible. Despite this, I set a high bar and publicly stated my prediction of 1 million registrations. And today – on our 1 year anniversary – I’m proud to announce that we officially came within 5% of this projection!
It’s amazing to think that the launch was just 1 year ago. And reflecting back, June 2014 was by far the most pivotal moment in my professional and personal life. Let’s go through the course of events leading up to today:
On June 1, 2014, my 97 year old grandfather – a husband, father, spiritual pillar of the community, and the most loving and caring individual I knew (maybe other than my mom) – passed away. He lived a great long life and continues on to be with all of us in spirit.
The following day, on June 2, .xyz was born and became globally available for the very first time. After years of hard work, my wildest dream finally came true.
Soon after we launched, we declared that this would be the Year of the Registrant, and the focus of Team XYZ would be to create a namespace where internet users have the freedom to build a unique online presence on a flexible and affordable platform.
August 2014 marked the first #WebsiteWednesday, a tradition we started to show the world what users have been creating with their .xyz domains. From URL shorteners to celebrities to small businesses, we highlight a different .xyz website every week to showcase just how creative Generation XYZ is.
It was beyond my imagination that immediately after launching, registrants across the world would push live .xyz sites into the wild in a wide range of categories. With thousands of new sites constantly going live, it’s hard to grasp that a year ago today, you were able to count the total number of .xyz websites on one hand. Now, there are hundreds of thousands of live sites.
View some of my favorite sites and applications using .xyz on gen.xyz/GenXYZ:
This collection of use cases is a perfect representation of the breadth of .xyz sites, and how my vision of making .xyz the domain extension for every website, everywhere, is becoming true.
That fall, our growth continued on as we contributed to the internet officially hitting 1 billion websites. And why did we continue to have this growth? Simple. Businesses and individuals will always need domain names for their online presence. Since .xyz is the most generic domain ending with global relevancy, it encompasses everyone from around the world, regardless of their age, language, location, or interests. It applies to every person, business, idea, cyborg, or IP address.
Already surpassing the established .mobi and .me domains, over the next 5-10 years, we will continue to lead in the new domain space. We will start growing larger than country codes, as well as disrupt the status quo of .com.
The ultimate validation.
During the holidays, I was slapped with a federal lawsuit from my biggest competitor Verisign, the company behind .com and .net. By suing my company and me, personally, it was validation that we were on .com’s radar, not just as an up-and-coming competitor, but a threatening presence that shook the 800 pound gorilla to take legal action. They wanted to stop .xyz from becoming the next .com. I was shocked by what my lawyers call a frivolous lawsuit that appears to be designed solely to silence a promising competitor.
And since XYZ has been doing so well, the holidays also marked our move to our new office in Santa Monica. I purchased the building, formerly occupied by Yahoo, to accommodate our rapid growth.
Ringing in the New Year, my team and I powered up for the .College launch in February. Soon after, new domains began gaining mainstream awareness through global press coverage and high profile users. It became increasingly common to see individuals, startups, and established businesses with websites on new domains.
On top of that, the largest player in the industry went public. It was hard to miss the news about GoDaddy’s IPO, which I am a long term holder of.
With so much attention on the domain industry, I was interviewed on Fox Business News with Maria Bartiromo, highlighted in an amazing piece on Wired magazine, and featured in the Telegraph in the UK.
Pandell, Lexi. “The battle to make .xyz the next .com.” Wired Magazine April 2015. 28. Print.
And we weren’t slowing down. In April 2015, we announced the upcoming launch of .Rent, followed by the reveal of one of the biggest business moves in my life: my acquisition of .Car from the tech giant, Google. Teaming up with my mentor, Frank Schilling, XYZ and Uniregistry will be jointly launching .Car, .Cars, and .Auto in Q4 of 2015. I’m excited to say that there will be many more acquisitions as we fill in market demands for vertical specific namespaces.
However, there will never be a domain extension larger or more important than .xyz. There is only one ending to the alphabet, and only one way to end a domain name.
My vision is to acquire more extensions in order to offer users more options for their online presence. Additionally, the profits from these new acquisitions will be poured back into marketing campaigns to build the awareness of .xyz domains. We’re here to support every internet user with their online endeavors.
I can’t wait to experience the next 10, 20, 30 years. If .com was able to reach 117 million registrations in 30 years while being narrowly focused on commercial enterprises, what does the future hold for .xyz?
I am determined to lead .xyz into the future, allowing registrants from all over the world to secure a cool new domain ending with .xyz.
All registrants can feel confident that my team and I will continue to drive awareness and growth of Generation XYZ. We are working on benefits and perks for all members of the #GenXYZ community, so you can continue to innovate and succeed online.
So here is to the first year of .xyz – and many, many more to come. For my readers, let’s celebrate .xyz’s anniversary with special offers from GoDaddy for $1 .xyz domains, as well as Rebel.com, Dynadot, and more of our retail partners for .xyz sales. For my team, let’s celebrate with a company outing…skydiving!
Want to join our team? We’re hiring. Visit careers.xyz
Your fearless leader,