A few weeks ago, we hosted DOTGreen COO/CFO Tim Switzer for an interview on DomainSkate’s Internet Law Talk podcast.
We’ve had a few requests for a transcript of that interview, so here is part one. We’ve also included the audio so you can listen along. You can also hear Part 2.
Howard Greenstein: Hey, good day and welcome to Internet Law Talk. I’m Howard Greenstein and with me today, David Mitnick. How are you David?
David Mitnick: Good. Thanks, Howard.
Howard: Internet Law Talk is brought to you by Domain Skate. We’re going to have a special guest today. Our guest today joining us from the West Coast is Tim Switzer. He’s the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of DotGreen. We’ll be watching for your tweets, @domainskate. If you want to call in and ask us a question, you can give us a call at 347-205-9963. Welcome Tim. How are you?
Tim Switzer: I’m doing very well. Thanks for having me on. I’m looking forward to the discussion.
Howard: Great! We’re looking forward to having you. Tell us a little bit about your business background. I have your bio here but I don’t necessarily want to sit here and read a bio. Give us 30 seconds on who Tim Switzer is and how you came to be the CFO, COO of DotGreen.
Tim: Okay. Well, actually started off and spent my first 15 years at IBM in various locations as they’ve always said. IBM stands for I’ve Been Moved and I did quite a bit of that early in my career. I worked primarily in financial and business operational roles with IBM. And then last enjoying a company called Visa Interactive that was a subsidiary of Visa in the electronic banking and bill payment business. Again, I was a CFO there as well as the head of business operations. And then left there enjoying NewStar in early 2001 in the domain name registry business. At that time, we launched both .BIZ and .US back in early 2001. I ended up and subsequently launched several other top level domains during the course of my tenure there. I did several different things at NewStar but at the last few years, I was heading up the registry business and then in the latter part of 2011, having been there for 10 years, I decided that I was just ready for a change and left NewStar.
At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do but having had DotGreen as one of the first clients that NewStar signed up as a technical registry services provider when the new gTLD discussion started, I knew those folks for a few years and so Annalisa Roger, the founder and CEO, called me up and we had discussions and here I am. I’ve joined DotGreen as the COO and CFO and I’ve been here now a little over a year and we’re very excited about where all of this is going.
Howard: Excellent. I’ll let David sort of ask you the next set of questions.
David: Hey, Tim. Can you talk a little about DotGreen? You guys are an interesting outfit with a specific mission and I’d like to hear a little bit more about it.
Tim: Okay, thank you. Thing that’s exciting about this opportunity is that this is not a last year or whatever concept. Annalisa Roger really formulated this idea and plan as long ago back in 2007. Actually, also her family members have a background with ICANN in the internet and she’s always been involved in environmental pursuits. So the idea of DotGreen was really hatched in her mind back in 2007. Obviously, she knew that the new gTLD program was coming forward. DotGreen and Annalisa have always been very visible and very open about their plan to pursue the DotGreen top level domain.
I think as you know, a lot of folks were keeping their plans kind of close to the vest but during the course over the last several years, we really had the opportunity to kind of spread the word around the globe, about green and green initiatives, social, environmental, economic health and so on. Doing so, we’ve actually, I wanted to say “we”, I’ve been part of this the last year but we very actively have participated in both what I’ll call the world of green and the world of the environment and the world of social and all the things that green represents.
We’ve also obviously, participated very actively in the ICANN and internet process. The exciting thing we see about DOTgreen is that it’s bringing together very relevant today topic which is green and the planet and the people on the planet and very global. We’re kind of marrying that up with obviously a very growing part of the world which is the internet and we’re going to that via DotGreen. The thing that’s exciting about this is that we play very actively in both worlds and whether we talk to folks on the internet size of the world or we talk to folks on the green side of the world, it’s very apparent to us that people really get this concept.
When we talked to them about creating a space on the internet where folks can be very green and talk about what they’re going to be as far as whether it’s products or services or activities or their entire company. It really provides an avenue for folks to address this very important topic that it’s only become more important and really kind of bring that online in an online presence.
David: Interesting. You guys have an interesting structure. You have a foundation and you also have a corporation. Can you talk about that in terms of the foundation aspect and how it fits into the mission, as well as the corporation and how the two are going to function together in terms of DotGreen?
Tim: That’s a great question. The DotGreen foundation, which is the non-profit arm has been in place for a good number of years and was kind of a concept that Annalisa kind of started this whole idea on. And then when it came time for actually applying for the top level domain as a company to ICANN, we formed what’s called the DotGreen Community to actually be the registry entity so very much connected up to two entities. Again, the exciting part of this is that we are going to take proceeds from every sale of a domain name and put a portion of our revenue and cash received toward the DotGreen foundation and then the DotGreen foundation has been a work very closely with a company called EarthShare that has I believe well over 500 companies and it is affiliated with that helps non-profits and activities around the world as far as putting funds toward initiatives and projects around the world. Whenever a DotGreen domain name is sold, a portion of that that’s sold will go toward ultimately a global project somewhere around the world that’s the going to benefit green in a way that the folks will be able to see and feel and touch.
David: Interesting. Now, in terms of the community, how did you go about creating this community and who’s a part of it?
Tim: Well, we have been in addition to as I’m sure you know, we obviously attend the ICANN events and the internet type events or whatever but we also are very active in a lot of the green events. We’ve been to many of the different green festivals that are held across the country here in the US. Last year, we went to New York, Chicago, San Francisco. We also went to LOHAS in Boulder back in June of last year—Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. We went to the Fortune Green in California earlier part of last year. Actually, Annalisa went down to Rio+20 down in Brazil last year as well. We very actively participate in this.
We’re over trying to kind of really portray in our approach to this is we don’t want to make this a closed kind of a concept where only those that are green today can be allowed in. We want this to be very inclusive. We want folks that are green today to be a part of that green. We want folks that are maybe on their way to being fully green to be there. We want folks that are just thinking about it. We want folks that haven’t even thought about it but might think about in the future. The term I’ve use before is that we welcome all shades of green. We’re really going about to find and pull people together that way.
Howard: That’s great. You’re listening to Internet Law Talk with David Mitnick and Howard Greenstein. Our guest today, Tim Switzer, chief operating officer and CFO of DotGreen. If you want to give us a call and ask a question, we’re at 347-205-9963 or you can send us a tweet @domainskate. David, you want to jump on here?
David: Tim, following up with that, you guys have some competition. There’s a bunch of different applicants for the DotGreen new gTLD. Can you talk about that, first of all? Are you guys preparing for an auction type scenario? Are you talking to these other applicants? Some thought on that.
Tim: We do have contention with three other applicants. The other three applicants that we have we are in contention with are “portfolio” applicants and that they’ve applied for multiple top level domains in addition to their applying for DotGreen.
We’ve have some very, what I recall, kind of light discussions and exchanges at this point but we are fully prepared to see this all the way through. I cannot necessarily get into details and specifics right now but it is our plan DotGreen community will be operating DotGreen and we are fully prepared to do what it takes to get that and if that ultimately means going all the way to the auction process. We are fully prepared to do that.
To be honest, we would have loved to on the big reveal day back in June of 2012 because before then, we never really were aware of other entities out there so we were obviously hoping that there was contention. But it would have been great if there wasn’t but there is and we’re prepared to kind of let the process kind of play out and participate actively in that and ultimately be the one that are launching DotGreen.
This transcript segment ends at 12:55 into the show. Join us for part 2...