Some people start a business venture because they have a good idea, and that’s great. But other people start a business venture because they have a good idea and a love for skiing, and that’s even better. Such is the case with .SKI co-founder and Senior Vice President of Starting Dot, Rob Rozicki. Rozicki’s love for skiing goes way, way back (check out the commitment to ski safety in the photo above).
Rozicki took some time to talk to us about Starting Dot’s international reach, the amazing .ARCHI marketing campaign and, of course, skiing. And more skiing. Oh, and there’s another glorious kid photo in there, too.
name.com: Your .ARCHI marketing campaign featuring Corinne Vezzoni and Paul Andreu is pretty awesome. Why was it important to Starting Dot to engage well-known architects in this campaign?
Rozicki: The architectural community around the world is very close. Paul and Corinne are recognized globally for their achievements in architecture and design and it is a real honor to have them support .ARCHI. Engaging well-know architects is really important to help spread awareness of the value of .ARCHI in the community. Paul and Corinne are more than just members of our campaigns, they are .ARCHI supporters who will actively use their .ARCHI names. Having these founder members and support from national organizations like the UIA shows the architectural community .ARCHI was built for them and is being actively used in the community.
We know you’re a devoted skier. If you could pick any skier to anchor a similar .SKI campaign, who would you pick? What ski spots would you photograph him or her at?
Aw, man. That’s a great question. There are so many amazing skiers to choose from, which is a testament to the growth of snow sports.
Well, not withstanding some of the world’s top skiers we are currently working with to be anchor users (which I can’t tell you about just yet), on my bucket list would someone like Glen Plake. Glen has been a true pioneer in snow sports and is one of the most recognizable snow sports stars on the planet because of his distinct look.
I’ve been lucky enough to ski some of the most amazing spots on Earth but if I had my choice of places to do a shoot with Glen, I would do it on a sunny morning after a massive snow dump the night before on the top of Grizzly Gulch, in Alta, Utah. It might not be the most picturesque spot, and to be honest I don’t think we would get a lot of shots in, but it would be a hell of a day.
.SKI, .ARCHI, and .BIO don’t seem to have anything in common, at first glance. Do you think they share a common thread?
If you look at them individually, you are right. But, they do have a common thread: There are passionate and dedicated members in the communities these new TLDs represent.
I can’t think of any other New TLDs launched that have such clearly-defined communities that are well organized and share common interests. If you’re a skier, and you meet another skier, you’ve got an instant common bond—great stories and even a similar vocabulary—no matter where you are in the world. The same is true about architects and those involved in the bio-agricultural community.
Starting Dot is based in three cities—Dublin, Paris and New York City—which office are you in? Do you guys do anything fun to keep connected?
I am based in New York—Brooklyn in fact. Brooklyn is a great place to have our North American headquarters. There’s a ton going on, and it’s the latest tech hub in New York. Keeping connected can be tough with people in different locations, but we try really hard to stay connected via Skype or phone and we regularly have big video calls. We also share our adventures with each other constantly. I’m always getting and sending videos from ski trips, hikes, and other activities the team is involved with.
What’s the reaction been so far from the communities these New Domains represent? Are you feeling that people are ready for new domain options?
The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, we’re surprised ourselves with the volume of interest for all our TLDs. These communities are excited to have their own unique identifier on the Internet.
.SKI is a perfect example. All the major snow sports governing bodies around the world have publicly shown their support for a community-based .SKI, and we’ve had thousands of requests from brands, businesses, and skiers eager to get an address that links them to their passion or profession. Communities and their organizers are also eager to see TLDs that have mechanisms in place to protect their members. They want to make sure that we’re protecting their interests and helping these communities grow rather than being abused.
Have you thought about registering any of your own new domains?
Of course I’ll certainly purchase robrozicki and rozicki in .SKI, so I can share all my adventures and ski trips, but I’m not allowed to register any of those potentially fantastic short names that come with the opening of a New TLD. I’m not sad about that, as I’m eager to see what innovative people in these communities do with the names. I think we’ll see some awesome new sites and businesses using them in all the TLDs.