Right of the Dot

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RightoftheDotLogo.png
Type: Private
Industry: Domain & Internet Cosultation
Founded: 2011
Founder(s): Michael Berkens, Monte Cahn
Country: USA
Website: RightOfTheDot.com
Blog: RightOfTheDot.com/blog
Facebook: Profile
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@RIGHToftheDOT
Key People
Monte Cahn, co-Founder & President,
Michael Berkens, co-Founder & Managing Director

Right of the Dot is an Internet and domain consultancy founded by two famous entrepreneurial domainers, Monte Cahn and Michael H. Berkens. The company's services are focused on new gTLDs and existing TLDs and related domain strategy;[1] however, they also provide more general business consultancy such as corporate growth planning, merger and acquisition guidance, and market positioning and sales.[2] There was a buzz surrounding the launch of Right of the Dot, as the industry recognized two renowned individuals pioneering a new service directed at a changing industry.[3] Their specialties include domain valuation and monetization, and they are offering full service gTLD consultancies from positioning a TLD, designing launch strategies, determining premium names and pricing and facilitating auctions, to marketing launched TLDs. They are also offering Private Auction Services to new gTLD applicants in contention.[4]

Clients include .co Internet, who were helped by Right of the Dot when launching their well-received new extension. Their help included marketing their premium domain names, such as i.co.[5]

An interesting side note is that the actual extension for their company, rightofthedot.com, was purchased from the portfolio of Frank Schilling, another elite domainer.[6]

The company received U.S. trademarks for their company's name and logo on February 28, 2012.[7]

Partnerships

Since launching, Right Of The Dot has quickly announced a number of partnerships and agreements with industry leaders.

Verisign Referral Agreement

In July, 2011, it was announced that Right of the Dot would be referring all clients needing registration and resolution services to Verisign; in exchange, Verisign will be referring clients interested in new gTLDs and premium domain consultancy to Right of the Dot.[8]

Afiias Collaboration

Afilias and Right of the Dot announced a collaborative deal in which they would both be able to assist new gTLD applicants. Afilias are to utilize Monte and Michael's wealth of expertise regarding premium domains and domain valuation to help clients better predict a possible market.[9]

Minds + Machines

In July, 2011, a non-exclusive agreement between Right of the Dot and Minds + Machines was announced. The agreement entails Minds + Machines referring new gTLD applicants looking for high-value domain services, while Right Of The Dot is to refer clients looking for TLD registry services.[10]

Architelos

In August, 2011, Right of the Dot and Architelos announced a cooperative agreement in which Architelos will refer gTLD applicants seeking premium domain name consulting services to Right of the Dot, and Right of the Dot will be referring clients looking for new TLD feasibility, financial modeling and TLD application services, as well as front office functions solutions for TLD registries, to Architelos.[11]

Domain Name Association Membership

Right of The Dot is a member of the Domain Name Association, an organization that promotes the domain name industry and includes Registrars and Registries as its members.[12]

Private Auctions

Right of the Dot is one of 3 prominent providers offering private auction services to new gTLD clients in contention. There are 751 applications of 1,930 in contention. Their competitors include auction specialist Innovative Auctions and prominent aftermarket provider Sedo. In all models the winner will pay the amount of the second-highest bid, and money will be split either equally or proportionally between the losers, so that all applicants will receive a percentage of their initial investment back. Auction fees will be taken from the amount before it is split among the selling ("losing") applicants.[13] All applicants must agree to participate in a private auction model in order for it to proceed; otherwise, the contention set will be managed via ICANN's auction system.

An ascending clock mode, such as the model proposed by ICANN and the competitive provider Innovative Auctions, is offered by Right of the Dot, though it is the only provider also offering "sealed bid" and "live auction" models. The sealed bid auction sees each applicant submitting a sealed bid, the highest bidder wins and pays the amount of the second highest bid. Live auctions are held in real time as bidders shout out or submit electronic bids. An "ascending clock" model is where a price is increased by the auctioneer at each stage and bidders and sellers can then either drop out or bid on the increased amount.[14] One of Right of the Dot's overall goals is to offer applicants "flexibility", and cater to the "desires of the participants".[15] In comments on a CircleID Post by new gTLD applicant Raymond King, Mike Berkens of Right of the Dot notes that the main opponent Innovative Auctions (formerly Cramton Associates) is restrictive, writing: "the other auction solution is offered only during highly restricted time frames, and in a highly restricted manner, which we think was designed in mind with the those with largest number of applications." He goes on to say: "We believe that other auction solutions are overly complex and overbearing [which] we believe is more subject to game playing and over paying by winning bidders. We think each auction should stand on its own; each participant should know what their fees will be based on their own auction(s) not be based off auctions they are not participating in; and most importantly should be held at the time and in the manner in which the applicants to each string desire." Their flexibility is extended to the point that Right of the Dot offers to design unique auctions if requested by the applicants.[16]

Right of the Dot has partnered with Escrow.com to facilitate their auctions. The auction fees begin at 4% and depend on the auction model selected.[16]

The company stresses that they have 17 years of domain auction knowledge and experience and have conducted tens of thousands of auctions. They emphasize their industry knowledge and personal connections are a unique asset that they bring to bear, and believe it will empower them to bring more applicants to the table compared to non-industry service providers.[15] Right Of The Dot has received an Auction Business License for Contention Resolution Services by the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for the exact purpose of: New TLD Contention Resolution and Consulting Services including Private Auction Services for competing applicants, Internet Domain Name Auctions, Sales, Brokerage, and Management Services.[16]

References