Top Level Domains and the Changes in the Internet
I hear many critics of the gTLD program saying that nothing needs to change and everything is fine the way it is. But, yet, change always comes in every industry. I find stories are often the best way to help people understand how change is coming, so, I’d like you to watch this brief clip from the movie Money Ball. In this clip, the character of Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, played by Arliss Howard, is talking with the character of Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics, played by Brad Pitt, about how he rebuilt the model of a winning baseball team and is changing the business model of baseball. I’ll explain more after the clip about how it applies to the gTLD environment.
This quote, while applicable to a new way of building a baseball team, can apply to what’s happening on the Internet. A lot of people with loud voices have said they don’t want anything to change, they don’t see why it should change – just as many in baseball didn’t agree with Billy Beane’s way of building a team. And, the first people out there saying it’s time for there to be an expansion of the Internet, for things to change, are under attack. But just like the Boston Red Sox ultimately did win the World Series, those who understand the opportunities that are created by the new gTLD landscape and execute on it will win and those who thought it was crazy, unneeded, and a waste of time and money, will be left behind – like the dinosaurs.
Take a look at those who are most opposed to the expansion of the Internet and didn’t even apply – the establishment. The established social media companies don’t want to see anything change because it threatens their business. So we didn’t see Facebook, eBay, Pandora, Groupon, or others apply. The established advertising companies don’t want to see anything change because it also threatens their business. That’s why the Association of National Advertisers has been so vocally opposed to the program. This is what happens when a paradigm shift is about to occur: those that are happy with the way things are – meaning those that are fat and happy as it is – don’t want that status quo challenged. But that makes no sense. Our society must change, grow and evolve – it always has and always does. So, for every entrepreneur out there, for every visionary executive leader, this is an opportunity to think disruptively and use this as a catalyst to innovate and develop new ways of living our lives on the Internet.
The expansion may not seem fair to the establishment, but to everyone trying to build something new or expand the use of the Internet to include more people and ideas, it just might make it better and more fair for everyone.