The most influential person in the domain name industry is…

Survey says…

Who is the most influential person in the domain name industry?

Frank Schilling, according to respondents to this year’s Domain Name Wire survey.

37% of respondents said Schilling was the most influential person in the domain name industry. The next highest was Rick Schwartz with 18% of the vote.

Who would Domain Name Wire readers most like to have dinner with? Again, Frank Schilling. 26% picked Schilling as a dinner date, and the vote was spread a bit more broadly across other popular names in the domain industry.

Of course, Schilling has become a bit controversial over the past year with the launch of new top level domain names. As one person noted, he’d most like to have dinner with Frank “to ask him what the heck he’s thinking.”

I can only imagine this comment has to do with new TLDs, either investing so much in them or the controversy over the number of reserved domains.

Another respondent quipped, “How do you make a small fortune? Start with a large one.”

As for me, I’d enjoy dinner with Frank and everyone else on the list. As long as they’re paying :)


  1. says

    Controversy is a good thing, it means people pay attention to things that stand out. When you break the mold, and Frank has achieved that in more than one way over the years, then people’s interest is piqued. One does not have to like someone in order to rate them as influential, but listening carefully to what they have to say helps.

  2. Larry says

    This is a classic beauty contest. People are going to pick someone who has the most ink on the domain blog pages. It’s not like they know anything other than what they read here or elsewhere about these “legends”.

    This happens often in the business press (about general business figures). People want to talk to the celebrities. Not the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Corp. (89 billion revenue).

    The thing I would always ask, which is sure to never be disclosed, is “how many deals did you miss out on by holding out for the big dollar deals that everyone knows about that you brag about”. They call this, in so many words, survivorship bias.

    • says

      Well, Larry, speak for yourself there, sport. Those of us that have actually worked with Frank, can appreciate his vision and delivery of it. It’s not a competition, it’s stats by a blog owner who receives enough votes to compile meaningful data. But if you don’t take my word for it, call Frank and set up a meeting, he’s one of the most approachable, down to earth business people I’ve known.

  3. BT says

    Frank is one of the smartest guys in the domain industry and has done more than anyone in it to move the business forward. I expect it’s hard being open and honest about everything you’re doing when you’re at the top and running a biz from there because everyone is always studying everything you say. I still think he is the most connected and tuned in guy in the business. Respect.

    • Robbie says

      Well said, I know lots of people will be mad with the gtld launch stuff, but when you have that much money invested, and the dynamics of this fast changing landscape change, you have to do what is best for your company, and employees. It is just business, and nothing personal, I think you guys should look more into that.

  4. says

    I see this two ways, one of those two guys (Frank or Rick) may have the biggest voice or impact on the industry. In fact after using the word industry I would have to go Frank, let’s be honest here when it comes down to it Rick does not win a dollar race with Frank let alone dozens of other domains. Rick wins the battle of the voice.

    However when we look at it as who has the biggest impact on the domain community as a whole we would have to start looking at people like Elliot Silver, Michael Berkins, large forum owner(s) yourself even Andrew. I think there is two categories here. One is truly ment to serve and provide knowledge about a market, the other simply to make a buck. Both respected for what they are but the true impact for the community is not either Frank or Rick but rather a grouping of the people mentioned above.

Leave a Reply