Recently there was another “domaining incident” by a very prominent and well-known industry personality from Canada (Adam Dicker).
Just to give some background, Adam has been a VP at GoDaddy; then became the owner of DNForum (which along with NamePros is the largest domaining forum in the world). Along the way he had a large domain development business offering mini-sites; and then he started DNFCollege (a “domain university” for would be domainers). He has been featured on DomainSherpa (though all trace of him on there including videos has now been removed); and he has been a sought after speaker at many conferences around the world.
But apparently he chased the dollar too hard, and this became his downfall.
He supposedly made promises of wealth to others that didn’t come to fruition; and he ended up allegedly owing a lot of people a lot of money. He also had some aggrieved employees who didn’t mind sharing what really went on behind the scenes.
And so it all came out. In chronological order:
NamePros Forum (Be warned, this is up to 72 pages with about 97,800 views and 1,789 replies).
Domain Name Wire article 1 – (well written, balanced article. Comments at bottom are worth a read).
I have no axe to grind against Adam, and I can see he is now trying very hard to fix the problems of the past. I wish him well in that.
The fact remains though that he is badly scarred, and once proud supporters and sponsors have run for the hills. Not to mention clients. Hard to come back from that.
What Lessons Can Be Learned?
- It’s great to be entrepreneurial, but the mighty dollar isn’t everything.
- Look after your customers; and don’t try and screw them for the sake of an extra dollar.
- Communicate regularly. Keep promises. Be transparent.
- Should a crisis hit, don’t try and threaten people / customers with “banning” and legal action (and do other nasty stuff like personal abuse). Instead, do a “Volkswagen” and take responsibility and at least try and fix the problems of the past – no matter the cost. Reputation is everything.
So What About Netfleet?
Do I have a vendetta against Netfleet? No I don’t – but until past issues are dealt with properly, I will continue to beat the drum. As a corporate entity, you can’t just “sweep stuff under the carpet” – or “bury your head in the sand”.
Nor can you simply say what happened is all in the past – let’s just concentrate on the future.
We all want a great future for Netfleet, because that benefits us as domain investors.
One thing is for certain. I’d rather be writing positive stuff about Netfleet than being a “lightning rod” for the disaffected.