Where's the Beef in New gTLDs
A fundamental and value rule of thumb in developing a new product or service is having an answer for the five w's (who, what, when, where, why), or in Product Management lingo, what is the value proposition? Invariably, the stronger the value proposition the better the likelihood of success for a new product or service.
In the simplest of terms, if your product or service can't be distilled down to a single sentence and have at least hundreds (or better yet a thousand) people say, "wow I would buy that", then either the product has no basis in reality or the demand doesn't justify the costs of development, procurement and distribution.
So what value propositions are strongest among the new gTLDs? So the winners are .... , well this article is not meant to crown a winner, but to critically ask some hard questions about new gTLDs.
Q1. How is the new gTLD different in value and possible usage than .com?
Frankly, most new TLDs come out whiffing on this first question. Many new TLDs are stating the reason for their TLD is that they provide an alternate namespace for .com. Wow! sign me up! This is like saying the reason to open a new gas station is to provide gas. TLDs by their very nature are namespaces, truly a red flag indicating a weak value proposition.
Additionally, some new gTLDs are stating it will be easy for companies to consolidate information related to the TLDs topic. So in essence the TLD is equal to a bookmark or a shortcut. Again, is this really their value to Internet?
Without having a clear and precise difference in usage for a new gTLD, the value to the end user will be negligible compared to having a proper .com website with good navigation and SEO.
Q2. Does a new gTLD really make the owner of the TLD certified or approved?
Have you ever been to a fast food restaurant and have the person in front of you order two burgers with cheese and an extra large size fries, then to ask for a large DIET soda? The diet soda doesn't mean one is on a diet. In the same way, I really don't think the public will eat the idea that a company having TLD X means they are of type X, basically they are selling empty stamps of approval that no one will respect.
Q3. Is the new gTLD trying to change the way, people and companies do business?
Though this is a noble idea, but the ambition is misplaced for most. Unless the scope of the change is small, a TLD is not the right vehicle for such change. If a sovereign government with billions of dollars and the power to legislate can't get companies to change their ways then I don't think there .... well how does that adage go .... something to do with a snowball in hell.