Monte Cahn

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Monte cahn.jpg
MonteCahn Caricature.jpg
Organization: Right of the Dot
Affiliation: Other/Special Interest Group
Stakeholder Group(s): Private Sector - General Business/Legal
Region: North America
Country: USA
Email: monte [at] rightofthedot.com
LinkedIn: LinkedInIcon.png   Monte Cahn
Userboxcards.png Featured in the ICANN 49 - Singapore playing card deck

Monte Cahn is a renowned Internet entrepreneur and domainer. He established the first Internet domain brokerage, NameShop.com, in 1996.[1] He has founded and acted as CEO for a number of important industry companies, such as Moniker and Domain Systems.[2] He is currently working on a new project, Right of the Dot, with another famous domainer, Michael H. Berkens.

Mr. Cahn hosts "Domain Masters", a weekly radio show on WebmasterRadio.fm.[3]

In a letter dated December 8th, 2011, Monte Cahn, along with twenty-seven other domain name industry representatives, wrote to Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to support ICANN's new gTLD program, in response to the Senate Hearings taking place on the same day. They supported ICANN's argument that the program would be innovative and economically beneficial, and noted that the program took a diverse group of international stakeholders years to develop.[4] The letter can be found here.

Background

Monte Cahn was already establishing himself as a medical equipment salesman before he graduated college. Post graduation, he took his business of selling specialized cardiology equipment to South Florida. Next, he took on a low-performing unit of the drug corporation, Eli Lilly; within 2 years Mr. Cahn had moved that department from its #111 rank within the company's territories, to #4. He and other senior managers then set out to establish their own distributor of specialized medical equipment in San Diego, California; they later sold the company to one of the world's largest drug distributors, after first bringing it public and seeing their systems integrated in a majority of American hospitals.[5]

Domaining

Monte Cahn became aware of domaining through a client, and decided to start a side business with him. The result was the Internet's first domain brokerage company, NameShop.com. His next company, HitDomains.com, made headlines throughout the late 1990s thanks to their multi-million dollar domain sales; a merger with SolutionHome.com created DomainSystems.com.[6] Through a business model that allowed him to capitalize on domains being sold off due to bankruptcy or other court proceedings, Monte Cahn was able to set record sales numbers for highly-sought domains. Some of his famous sales include: WallStreet.com (1.03 million, 1999), Autos.com (2.2 million), eCommerce.com, eToys.com, Mortgage.com, Celebrities.com, Hotel.com, Guns.com, OfficeSupply.com.

His reputation as a domaining expert was certainly solidified when some of the world's largest corporations tapped him to manage and protect their online brand presence.[7]

Leaving Moniker & Oversee Lawsuit

In 2008, Moniker was purchased by Oversee.net for $35 million USD. It had previously been acquired by Seevast in 2005.[8] Part of the acquisition of Moniker by Oversee stipulated that Cahn come along as the President of Moniker for 3 years. During this time he also filled other roles within the company, such as President of SnapNames.[9] He left in December, 2010; in May, 20111 he filed a lawsuit against his former employer.[10] He filed suit against Oversee, and named its CEO, Jeff Kupietzky, and its founder, Lawrence Ng; the suit was over alleged non-payment of a $13 million USD incentive plan.[11]

In September, 2011, Mr. Cahn updated his claims of breach of contract and fraud after a judge tossed out his original claim. The new claim now contains specific language on how Oversee.net allegedly affected Moniker's revenue. He now states that the original acquisition was in violation of an agreement between Google and Oversee, and that Oversee improperly deflated Moniker's revenue and performance numbers.[12]

In November, 2011, Oversee countered against parts of Mr. Cahn's lawsuit addressing his Management Incentive Plan. It seems that they had set targets for bonuses and Oversee is denying that those marks were met and thus, that they believe they owe Monte Cahn nothing for the MIP and requested summary judgement on the matter.[13] Monte Cahn, expectedly, countered this claim.[14] In December, 2011, it was decided that their legal battle over the MIP would not be a jury trial and the case will thus be argued in front of the court.[15] In January, 2012, the judge threw out two of Mr. Cahn's claims against Oversee and a claim of fraud by Oversee.[16] In February, 2012, the first verdict regarding the case was rendered, and the judge found that in Oversee's favor in a narrow aspect of the case. Details can be read here.

Current Work

Right of the Dot

Mr. Cahn is the co-founder, along with Michael H. Berkens, of Right of the Dot, he is also its President.[17] This new company specializes in Internet consulting, with an emphasis on the new gTLD market, but also still focuses on their expertise in the existing TLD market, domain monetization, and premium domain and market positioning.[18]

Investment in Domain Holdings

In May 2012, Mr. Cahn invested and joined Domain Holdings as Executive in Residence, responsible for the daily operations, over-all strategy, domain brokerage/sales and monetization. He will also serve as Advisor to the company's Board.[19]

Industry Achievements

  • In 1999, Monte Cahn made the first one million dollar plus domain sale, for WallStreet.com, shortly afterwards he made the first two million dollar plus domain sale for Autos.com. These two sales are often attributed with starting the domain buying rush of 1999.[20] He was involved in the historic sale of Porn.com for $9.5 million USD, another record at the time.[21]
  • Mr. Cahn was head of Moniker in 1999 when it became a registrar and set the unprecedented standard of passing its ICANN registrar accreditation and connection requirements on its first try.[22]
  • His company, DomainSystems, invented the first domain appraisal system, which has largely become an industry standard.[23]
  • He is seen as a visionary in the areas of Live Domain Auctions and Domain Escrow services.[24]
  • Monte Cahn has participated in more than $300 million USD worth of domain name sales.[25]

Education

Mr. Cahn has degrees in Marketing, Biology, and Business Administration from The University of Kentucky.[27][28]

Video Interview

Ray King interviewed Mr. Cahn during ICANN 49 as part of the Dyn video blog produced with ICANNWiki.[29]

References