As most regular readers would know, earlier this year I had a short-lived dalliance as a registrar. And when I say short, I mean short!
On the 2nd February, I took effective control of three registrars previously owned by Dark Blue Sea – Drop.com.au; Fabulous.com.au and Yexa.com.au. Two weeks later I had an offer I couldn’t refuse from David Warmuz of Trellian – and on the 20th March (after necessary auDA approvals had been made), Trellian took effective control. By my calculations, that is a total of 47 days in the chair.
Having previously been a “domainer” for nearly 10 years, it was fascinating and scintillating to experience “the other side”. I can now definitely be classified as “well rounded”.
Over the next few weeks, I will do a series of articles about some specific things I learnt as a registrar.
What I Enjoyed Most
♦ Working with Cam and Katherine. I’ve known them for many years (as a client); but being the new owner enabled me to see them in a totally different light. They were incredibly helpful and supportive of me in getting to “learn the ropes”. Did I mention “patient” as well? 😉 One of my bug bears in life is poor service, but Cam and Katherine could never be accused of that. They genuinely care for all their clients – I know, because I saw the back-end emails. Whilst Drop is certainly not the most technologically advanced registrar in the market place, the personalised customer service that they offer is second to none. And that’s worth its weight in gold. In my humble opinion.
♦ Learning new things. I’m not a technical person by any means, nor am I am a web developer. But I got a sudden education in the “problems and opportunities” that exist behind the scenes. And for that steep learning curve, I’m incredibly grateful to Brett Dutton. Brett is a very smart software professional who used to do a lot of work for Dark Blue Sea (owners of Fabulous and Drop etc) “back in the day”. He was introduced to me by Cam, and he became an important and integral part of the team.
What Stressed Me The Most
♦ When I bought Drop and the other two registrars, I knew that the “back-end” and “engine room” were tired and in need of an overhaul. Particularly in relation to drop-catching. But I didn’t realise how chronic the situation actually was. When Drop went down for a day, I can’t tell you how stressed that made me feel! Thanks to Brett and Cam, we handled the problems as they arose – and had plans to place to inject new hardware / software to make us a giant killer again. Then along came Trellian …
♦ A drop-catcher has no protection against bad debts; or people who take advantage of your goodwill and generosity. One particular instance stands out – and this will be the subject of a separate article in the very near future. The story will shock you – but it needs to be told. In our industry, a person who cannot keep their word or honour an arrangement should ultimately be named and shamed. It would have been published already, but I have been distracted by auDA events.
Until next time …
Ned O’Meara – 8th May 2017