Jan 17, 2018 - by Matt Serlin

Paving the Path to the Brandsight Beta

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.

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  • Apr 14, 2018 - by Matt Serlin
    GDPR and WHOIS – We’ve Heard from the Article 29 Working Party, Now What?

    Well, here we are on Friday the 13th and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day than providing an update on GDPR, WHOIS and ICANN. There’s lots to cover, so let’s dive right in. As we have been talking about for a number of months now, the EU’s new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) will become enforceable on May 25th. The ICANN community has been struggling with how GDPR will impact the WHOIS system.

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  • Apr 5, 2018 - by Matt Serlin
    GDPR and WHOIS – Winners and Losers

    I think we are all hoping that when ICANN meets with the DPAs (Digital Protection Authorities) a clear path forward will be illuminated. We are all hoping that the DPAs will provide definitive guidance regarding ICANN’s interim model, and that some special allowance will be made so that registrars and registries are provided with additional time to implement a GDPR-compliant WHOIS solution. But given that a major registry has recently announced their intention to essentially remove all contact data from publicly accessible WHOIS – things are not looking good for the future of WHOIS.

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  • Matt Serlin

    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.

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