Jan 17, 2018 - by Matt Serlin
It’s been a busy few months here at Brandsight. For a small and young company, we have had a lot of initiatives closing out 2017 and entering 2018. By far, our biggest focus since launching the company has been on the development and release of our domain management product.
We’re getting extremely close to launching a beta version of our product and I wanted to get my thoughts about the process into words. Of course, I have to be mindful of prying minds to not give too much away about what we’re planning, but I know my colleague and long-time collaborator, Elisa Cooper, won’t let me do that!
For years, I would cringe anytime I was at a quarterly business review and someone would use the term, “MVP…” At first, I thought someone was referring to Tom Brady or Steph Curry, but then I discovered they were talking about a Minimum Viable Product. To me, it always seemed like a cop-out, creating just the minimum. Why would we want the minimum??? No, we want the opposite!
Now that I’ve gone through the product development process on the Brandsight product, I have a better appreciation of the term. Standing up a corporate domain management product isn’t easy, so if we were to hold out for perfection, the opportunity that’s in front of us now would evaporate. And it’s not that we’ve settled or have strived for a lesser product. No, it doesn’t mean that at all.
To me, it means we’ve gotten the product far enough along that it’s time to expose it to the market, get feedback and continue to develop it. The reality is, the MVP product we developed and are rolling out has some major advancements over what’s available in the market today. For a company as young as Brandsight, it’s amazing to be in that position so quickly.
Another interesting thing to me has been the balance between doing things the same way they’ve been done in the past versus innovating and finding a new way to approach things. It’s a delicate balance for sure.
Some things have been done the same way for years for a valid reason and I totally get that. It’s important though to take a step back and ask yourself, “what is it the user is trying to achieve?” When you take that approach, and look at it from the perspective of the desired outcome of your users, you get a clearer sense of whether or not the way it’s always been done is actually the best way or if it’s just been that way because no one ever took the time to look at it differently.
If I had to sum up what has helped guide me through this initial product development process, the word that comes to mind is focus. It takes incredible focus to nail the myriad details that a corporate domain management system demands, while simplifying and streamlining at the same time. All of the ins and outs, use cases and corner cases can trip up even the most seasoned folks. We’ve got a team that has well over 50 years of experience in this industry and there were some things we struggled with identifying and solving.
It hasn’t just been the focus on details though that I think has been important, but also the focus on exactly what we want this product to be in the long term. We want to make the lives of our users and employees easier. We want to create a platform that provides powerful technology and a data-driven approach to domain management in a way that hasn’t been done before. I’m convinced that we are well on our way to making that a reality.
Stay tuned for more information about our beta launch and additional products and services as we get rolling throughout 2018.
Matt Serlin is the former Chair of the ICANN Registrar’s Constituency and is currently a member of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) team on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. For the past several months, Matt has met at least 2 times each week with members of EPDP team. As a reminder, the EPDP team is comprised of 31 individuals representing various groups within the ICANN community including intellectual property interests, the governments who participate in ICANN, as well as the at-large users and contracted parties.Read full post
Brandsight recently concluded their Second Annual Domain Management Survey. Respondents to the survey were corporate domain name professionals. Of those that responded, 35% had portfolios that were between 3,000-10,000 domains and another 30% had portfolios greater than 10,000 domains. Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported that they manage domains out of the legal department, with the remaining respondents’ portfolios managed out of IT, marketing and other groups. This year’s survey revealed that for 53% of respondents, managing domain name portfolios has become more difficult.Read full post
With a focus on security, service and support, Matt Serlin joined Brandsight in 2017 to lead all domain operations, including client services and domain name provisioning. Matt has over 15 years of direct domain name experience most recently with MarkMonitor where he was instrumental in building the industry’s first dedicated client services team, which has become the de facto standard for all corporate registrars.