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We’re Moving Forward. You Coming?

Written by Sean Kaine, Vice President, Registry Services at Neustar, Inc.

New TLDs: Neustar is on a mission.

Many of us reference the ‘lives we had before our current jobs.’ My career started in the military of all places, serving quite a few years as an officer both at home and abroad. Spanning the pre- and post- 9/11 world, it was a pretty dynamic time.

Today, when people ask me how my role leading the Registry team at Neustar compares to my military days, it’s actually not difficult to draw a few parallels. The haircuts are different and the ‘uniforms’ are not as uniform but at the end of the day, people are people. And working with people to achieve a mission is the same no matter what field you are in.

Although I get a lot of questions about my time in Afghanistan, one of the stories that helps to paint the analogy best is the process my team and I went through to get in to Afghanistan.

You don’t always have a manual.

Have you ever tried to get helicopters, Humvees, and planeloads of soldiers to a country that many have never set foot on? At that time, neither had I. It was 2002 and there weren’t too many manuals or people to ask. You just had to figure it out…and so we did.

I grabbed my supply guy, my personnel guru, the sergeant who vaguely remembered deploying to Bosnia 10 years earlier, and we put a plan together based on what we knew, and what we anticipated. We figured out a way to get the resources we needed, big things like giant planes and shipping containers and smaller but more important details, like family support structures and phones that worked in the desert.

We then put that plan into motion. We learned some valuable lessons along the way, like letting a group of soldiers out for ‘one last night on the town’ during the 20-hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany is incredibly risky, but pays off in spades later when you need things done in 114-degree temperature. We adjusted based on our learnings and we continued to execute with urgency and determination.

When it was all said and done, we succeeded safely and on-schedule (both getting there and redeploying months later). It was exhilarating, terrifying, and although not exactly according to plan, incredibly rewarding.

Start with vision, teamwork, and execution.

Oddly enough, I feel a similar sense of excitement and challenge today. The way we all do business is rapidly evolving. The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a reality; the largest expansion of the Internet’s naming systems in history is well underway; and everyday, more of our lives—and our dollars—move to the online world. There is a vaguely defined but very real challenge ahead, and it’s exciting.

The best part for me is that Neustar is at the very nexus of this journey, especially in the registry space. We are helping our clients “get from here to there” with many of the same elements that helped a young captain safely deploy an Army unit half-way around the world—have a clear vision, build a fantastic team, put a plan together, assemble the right infrastructure, and most importantly, execute.

New top-level domains are now a reality. Every day, we are seeing examples of how businesses are leveraging them to create one-to-one customer relationships with their brand. From small business owners in New York City to CMOs of the largest financial institutions in the world, the questions we’re hearing are similar:

  • Can I build personalized conversations?
  • Can I create more trust with my customers?
  • Can I engage prospects more effectively?
  • Can all of this happen in near real-time?

The answer to each is a resounding “YES!” Assuming, of course, the vision, the team and the execution are there too.

At Neustar, we believe the Golden Age of the Internet is just beginning.

New TLDs have incredible potential: helping brands create real-time marketing campaigns, personalizing consumer interactions across every channel and instilling a deeper level of consumer trust. So far, Neustar has helped .nyc become the fastest-growing city domain extension and we are making sure that .CO remains the TLD of choice for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Although it may be difficult to see ALL the future use cases for new TLDs, it would be shortsighted not to embrace this new evolution of the Internet. At Neustar, we practice what we preach and shortly after launching .neustar, we moved our customer ticketing system to a .neustar address. Our internal employee intranet has done the same. Industry events, products, business units, and subject matter experts will all soon begin to appear on our branded TLD.

It’s an exciting time for our team, from marketing and support, to technology and sales. Yes, we are adjusting the plan as we go and there are some surprises that we didn’t see on the map. But we are on this journey together, figuring it out. Our plan is in motion, our team is assembled, and the resources are at our fingertips. Now it’s time to execute. Are you coming?

By GoDaddy Registry, World-Leading Provider of Domain Name Registry Services

GoDaddy Registry (formerly Neustar Registry) is one of the world’s largest and leading domain name registry providers. We operate top-level domains (TLDs) on behalf of sovereign nations, city governments, global brands and domain registries so that people worldwide can bring their ideas to life online.

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