Digital archery services are a no lose proposition — for the service provider.
I just got a press release from an outfit called Digital Archery Hotshots, the latest company to offer digital archery solutions for ICANN’s batching process.
I don’t recall how many digital archery pitches I’ve received now, but I think I might no longer be able to count them on one hand.
Most of these companies have a pay-for-results system, where you pay a higher fee if you get into the first batch. Some charge for the second batch as well. (Make sure you don’t have to pay if there end up only being two batches!)
They all bill this as a no-risk service since you only pay for results.
But it’s also no risk for the digital archery service. They basically get to shoot arrows for free, and as long as some of them land near the bullseye they’ll make out like bandits. If they mess up for you, there’s really no penalty — they surely made it up on another applicant.
(The good news is they can’t use you to test, since the actual digital archery system won’t show anyone how you did until after all the results are in.)
If I were to engage a digital archery service, I’d want it to be more painful for the service if they don’t get me into the first batch. Sure, it’s OK to pay the service $10k or $15k or something like that if they get you in the first batch. But if they land you in the third batch, they should pay you.
Of course, there’s a slight possibility this will all go away next week in Prague. ICANN has left open the possibility of scrapping digital archery by putting all of the domains into one batch. The odds are slim. But if this happens, another new TLD business opportunity will be wasted.