Business models dependent on ICANN are risky.
If the new top level domain name process and .xxx are any indication, staking an entire business model on something that must work its way through the ICANN process requires unending patience and a strong appetite for risk.
New top level domain names haven’t even been approved yet, but we’ve already seen layoffs in the new TLD business. Companies that sprung up to launch new TLDs have had to cut back to lower their burn rate.
His post is quite long but worth reading. In it he discusses how the new TLD process has stretched on and how recent developments between ICANN and the Governmental Advisory Committee may push it back further. He refers to the ongoing battle over .xxx as another example of a “damaged process”.
I think this one paragraph sums up the tone:
…The Board and staff think they are being clever, and the GAC thinks it’s being clever. The cleverness is so intoxicating that it’s all too easy to forget that the process has actually become quite idiotic.
The dot-xxx farce (yes, it has gone beyond “sagaâ€ and is now firmly in the “farceâ€ camp) is a case in point. Neither the Board nor GAC really know what they are doing from one day to the next. There had to be a public comment period on the substance of course. And a comment period on the process steps that might be taken (which no one agreed with). And then discussions of the upshots of those comment periods. And then a discussion about what the Board was likely to do in response to those comment periods. And then a check whether that likely decision would break the GAC’s advice. And then a discussion about what to do if it did. And then the Board saying â€˜we think we disagree with you, do you agree?’ And then a discussion saying ‘so you agree we disagree with you. How do we find a way to agree to disagree’. And on and on and on. It would be funny if it wasn’t so appalling.
On the one hand you can say businesses that operate with ICANN knew what they were getting into. But I can’t help but feel that this process has been much longer than it could have been.