One of the most prestigious publications in the world, the Financial Times out of London just published a huge cover story on Frank Schilling
“Tucked inside a nondescript building on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, a stone’s throw from the island’s largest and glitziest hotels, Frank Schilling’s home feels a bit like the Batcave. ”
“A lift leads to a large intercom-protected gate, which reveals a pair of oversized double doors that open into a huge marble-covered entrance passage.””
“We refer to it as ‘the house’ even though it’s technically a condo,” says Schilling, the owner of Uniregistry – a top-level web domain name registry – as we walk through an endless maze of rooms. “”
“A name that gets 20 visits today will get 18 tomorrow and 22 yesterday, but it will never get 300 unless something changes,” says Schilling.
“In technology circles, names are derided as overly simplistic. You’re just a speculator if you have names. There’s no technology there. After everything burns down though, the names still have value.”
“Only 1% the population owns a domain name – some own more than one. I have hundreds of thousands of domain names, and I’m one man. I’m betting that there might be interest for 2 or 3 per cent of people to have them. Somebody has to make those names for the residents of the future. There aren’t enough good ones in the spaces that are already held.”
Schilling likens the growth of the web domain industry to the westward expansion of settlers in the US in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
“New York will still be there which is .com, .org, .net, and they’ll be worth more than ever, but somebody’s got to live in LA. Somebody has to live in Houston, Seattle, Portland and all these great cities in the west.”
He likes to compare domain names to electricity. “Everyone takes for granted that you put the prong in the wall and the current comes out, but somebody has to make that magic behind the curtain firing a turbine generation plant.” It seems Schilling is more than happy to be that man behind the curtain.