In the domain industry, everyone plays their part in adding value and making the sector run smoothly. But then, there are visionary minds who succeed in playing a central role in the industry they belong to by adding something brand new and unique. From buying and selling premium .com domain names as a hobby to successfully running his new gTLD registry business, Daniel Negari most certainly counts as one of them and is responsible for a wide range of new gTLDs – from the last letters of the alphabet, to the .beauty industry, to .cars, .rent, .security, .college and many more. Daniel Negari is ICANN's youngest registry operator and, together with his team at XYZ, is bringing innovation and accessibility to the internet. We definitely could not skip him in our interview series!
Daniel’s XYZ Registry started with .xyz. Today this unique domain extension is the most registered and used new gTLD, with Google's holding company Alphabet Inc. being one of the first major corporations to register their website under abc.xyz. As of today, Daniel's company manages 23 domain extensions, such as .college, .rent, .protection, .baby, .car, .beauty, and .hair, to name just a few. We are happy to host Daniel Negari, founder and CEO of XYZ, a digital entrepreneur and one of the most prominent figures in the domain industry.
From buying and selling premium domain names in the aftermarket to becoming the CEO and founder of a successful registry operator. When and how did the switch happen?
I bought my first domain in the computer lab of my middle school and, after making some money, I started purchasing legacy domain names to develop projects while I was in college. I met a few entrepreneurs through a Southern California Entrepreneurship Academy I joined (SCEA) and heard their stories of having built toys.com and .ws, which subsequently gave me the confidence to know that I could be the next great innovator.
By the time I started building my first business, I had learned that registrar visitors were searching nine times on average before going with their tenth choice, resulting in confusing domain names with numbers and dashes that don’t pass the radio test. That information confirmed a need for a short, affordable and universal ending for domain names to allow individuals to express themselves online. The most popular domain extensions at the time were no longer sufficient. There was an extension missing. One that had unlimited connotation and could be used by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose. I started to dream of creating the .xyz domain extension. I wanted to create a generic, affordable, and available option truly made for anyone. The extension .xyz is whatever you want it to be. It’s a customizable domain extension that is for every website, everywhere. That’s how the XYZ Registry was born.
The domain extension .xyz has become a real internet star. How did you manage to position this new gTLD as "a platform for the next generation of internet users", as you love to define it? And how do you assess its wide popularity in China?
I am proud to be a part of Generation Y and the advancements that my generation has brought to the internet. XYZ is a disruptive force in the domain namespace and we created the concept of “Generation XYZ” to express that force. We are giving all generations, X, Y, Z and beyond, a chance to explore the limitless potential of the internet. As an unrestricted platform, .xyz helps facilitate the next generation of internet users and creative minds to exchange information and express themselves.
.xyz is an affordable domain extension that is generic, memorable and for use by everyone. .xyz gives users maximum flexibility because it has no built-in meaning or connotation. The all-purpose yet memorable nature gives people the freedom to build a platform to express themselves, share their knowledge and innovate without being limited by a label. Just as importantly, it carries instant familiarity as a well-known string of three letters. We have received a significant amount of interest globally because of this; X, Y and Z are recognized as the last three letters of the Latin alphabet. This TLD is instinctive, natural, and memorable. We end the alphabet with xyz and it makes sense to end a domain name the same way!