NameSilo

I am Todd Han, Founder of Dynadot, Ask Me Anything

Located in Ask Me Anything (AMA), started by Dynadot, May 21, 2020

Replies:
127
Views:
8,474

Page Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this interesting question. I feel that I have a lot of grit and determination. So I am able to endure difficult situations, and fight when the odds are against me. As to why I have grit? I didn’t have a lot of advantages growing up. My family was poor. We were recent immigrants to America. I am introverted by nature, so I have always been a bit of an outsider. So simply encountering and overcoming a lot of small obstacles from a young age probably hardened me in some way.

    - Todd
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for your questions. We are an American company. We are an LLC incorporated in California. We have offices in other countries, but our official headquarters is in San Mateo, California.

    We have some exciting marketplace changes being coded up by our engineers as we speak. We will have a redesigned For-Sale page, a new Make-Offer system, and other tools for domain investors.

    The ICANN accreditation fees are $4000 a year. I had worked for 4 years at a software company before I started Dynadot. So I had some money saved up from that job. Here is more information on ICANN fees for registrars:

    https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/registrar-fees-2018-08-10-en

    Regarding the payout minimums, yes we are working on lowering that.

    - Todd
     
  3. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for your feedback. Yes, I will look into adding wire transfer payouts in the future.

    Regarding the 5% fee, credit card processors charge us 2-3%. So we need to recoup that somehow. However I acknowledge your point that perhaps the payout is not the place to do that.

    - Todd
     
  4. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
  5. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this question. We don’t currently plan on adding new ICANN accreditations to our drop catch system. However the drop game is constantly changing so anything is possible. And yes we are constantly working on our drop catch algorithms.

    - Todd
     
  6. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this great suggestion. I understand what you are saying, that the forum_name is confusing. I will look into changing how our domain push works.

    - Todd
     
  7. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    I only own 16 domains. I don’t own anything good, mostly just names of family members. For example I own toddhan.com.

    - Todd
     
  8. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for your kind comments. If Dynadot didn’t exist, I would probably register my domains at Porkbun.com. They focus on good design. GoDaddy is also a contender as the industry standard. They have always treated us fairly. However I am more of an end-user of domains, rather than a domain investor. So not sure how valuable my opinion is.

    - Todd
     
  9. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for your question. Our office in China is located in Tianjin.

    - Todd
     
  10. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this question. I have never been a domain investor. I own a total of 16 domains, mostly the names of family members. Meeting and talking with domain investors is important to me, because I don’t have investor experience myself.

    Dynadot as a registrar does not own a portfolio of domains either. All the expired domains in our system are either auctioned off or deleted. We don’t keep any of them for ourselves.

    - Todd
     
  11. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this interesting idea. I believe it is the first time someone has suggested this to me. I will look into credit card reward programs some more.

    - Todd
     
  12. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for your questions. I am 47 years old. The fee to become an ICANN registrar in 2002 was around $3000 I think. The fee is $4000 now so it has not changed much.

    - Todd
     
  13. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this suggestion. I understand what you are saying. The expired domain auction page gets a lot of traffic. So it would be nice if user auctions received as much traffic. I will discuss with our aftermarket team.

    - Todd
     
  14. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for your question. There are actually 4 fees that an ICANN registrar has to pay:

    1) One time application fee: $3500 (only first year)
    2) Yearly fixed fee: $4000/year
    3) Yearly variable fee: depends of zone size of registrar (for more info see second link below)
    4) Transaction fee: $0.18/domain

    https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/registrar-fees-2018-08-10-en
    https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/registrar-fee-approval-fy20-09sep19-en.pdf

    - Todd
     
  15. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this question. For internal communication we use Slack. For accounting software we use MoneyWorks. For email we wrote our own system.

    Technical: Java programming language. Postgres DB, Linux operating system.

    Regarding a reseller program, we have discussed it many times over the years, but as of right now we don't have any definite plans. Reseller registrars are B2B, with long sales cycles, which currently we are not set up for.

    - Todd
     
  16. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this question. Our team is the secret behind our success. As a knowledge based company, our entire business is inside the heads of our employees. We try to set up a company culture where everyone is treated fairly. And people are given room to grow and to make decisions. We have a pretty high employee retention rate. The very first employee I ever hired still works at Dynadot.

    - Todd
     
  17. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this question. India is a key market for us. India and China are our two fastest growing markets. We have attended domain conferences in India for a couple of years now. You are right though that we need to do more. We have some big plans for the Indian market this year, but I can’t announce them just yet.

    - Todd
     
  18. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this question. We are not looking to acquire any registrars at this time.

    - Todd
     
  19. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this suggestion. You are correct that we don’t have many below cost offers. I guess one reason is that you have to make up the money in some other way. For example by charging higher renewals or upselling other products.

    Our current pricing philosophy is to charge a tiny margin on top of the registry and ICANN costs. Then we push costs down by automating as much of our business processes as possible. Finally we drive volume to get economies of scale.

    - Todd
     
  20. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for this interesting question. Burnout when starting or running a company can happen pretty easily. There have been some days that I come home and I am just exhausted. But it doesn’t happen that often. I am pretty good at telling other people to do things. So if there is problem, I usually assign an experienced employee to handle it. So I never get overly tired.

    - Todd
     
  21. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    The first code I wrote was during a summer vacation coding camp. I was probably around 11. We used Apple II computers to program a simple animation. My animation was of a spaceship. Dynadot has taken up all my time since I started it. By the time I come home I just want to watch TV or play a game. So I haven’t done any other dev projects.

    However I did take up Argentine tango dancing about 10 years ago as a hobby outside work. And that has brought me tremendous joy.

    - Todd
     
  22. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    SuperBulk customers get a lower pricing level than Regular and Bulk pricing. They are also assigned an account manager. There are some smaller benefits like higher search, api, and whois quotas if you are doing any research or data collection.

    - Todd
     
  23. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you for these interesting questions. Employees 1 and 2 were both engineers. Employee 3 was customer service.

    Our customer service team is 15 people and growing fast.

    Yes, everyone in the company used to handle customer support tickets. Especially on weekends or evenings the rest of the company would handle customer support, so the support reps could get time off. However about 4 years ago we reached a critical mass of customer support reps, and so they could cover most of the weekend and evening work. At that time the rest of the company stopped doing front line customer support. However more difficult technical problems are still escalated to the engineers. And more difficult disputes are escalated to our in-house counsel.

    I would say that our engineers and customer support work pretty closely together, to this day. Customer service is pretty proactive at getting engineers involved if there is a problem. If there is a bug in our system we want it fixed by the engineers as soon as possible, instead of covering it up or ignoring it. This takes more time on the front end, but in the long run it makes our site more reliable and lowers support costs.

    Our next big project is revamping our For-Sale page, our Make Offer system, and the overall aftermarket experience. After that we are investing a lot of time on our APP, which for domains now has feature parity with our website. Finally for our retail customer base we are in the process of re-architecting our email hosting system.

    We have rewritten sections of our code base, but in general have managed to keep technology debt pretty low. So we have never needed a full rewrite. I am proud to say that much of the code I wrote 15 years ago is still in use today.

    I actually have not hired anyone for many years now. But before I would tell them that the domain industry is in it’s infancy, with difficult problems to solve, interesting people to meet, and room to grow. What else can anyone ask for in a job.

    - Todd
     
  24. Dynadot

    Dynadot VIP Member Dynadot Staff VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    User's Time:
    7:02 AM
    Thank you everyone for your wonderful questions. You really made me think. I enjoyed this AMA very much. I am out of time for now.

    - Todd
     
  25. Doron Vermaat

    Doron Vermaat Co-founder, Efty Efty Staff PRO VIP ICA Member

    Posts:
    1,813
    Likes Received:
    4,421
    User's Time:
    10:02 PM
    I've really come to love Dynadot as a registar over the last few years (as I started using them for .co and .io registrations) and reading Todd his answers here (and meeting him at NamesCon in January) has even more confirmed for me what a great company he and his team have built over the years. Most importantly, many of the end-users I have sold domain names too are also happy to purchase a domain name that lives within Dynadot as the company has a great reputation with end-users, is US-based and free from any controversies.

    Thanks Todd and @Dynadot for this AMA.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020

Want to reply or ask your own question?

It only takes a minute to sign up – and it's free!
Page Status:
Not open for further replies.
NameWorth
  1. NamePros uses cookies and similar technologies. By using this site, you are agreeing to our privacy policy, terms, and use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...