Richard Kirkendall, CEO and Founder of NameCheap is Doing a Q and A Over at Reddit And It’s Going OK

Jan 27 2015

Richard Kirkendall, CEO of Namecheap. is doing an AMA aka Q and A over at Reddit to celebrate “Move Your Domain Day” a cleverly planned marketing day to get people to move their domains out of Godaddy.  Combine that with today’s release of Godaddy’s new Superbowl commercial and it should be pretty good time for NameCheap.  From what I heard, everyone seems content with Namecheap and most people I’ve talked to say Kirkendall personally is a good guy. But in my opinion the AMA is going just OK.  Not great, not poor, just OK.  Here’s why in my opinion.

1. He’s positioning himself as “if you are against Godaddy come here”.  I don’t think they would say that out loud but it’s pretty obvious that’s the play.  And a good play that is because there are a lot of Godaddy haters out there.  Especially today.

2. He has had trouble answering the biggest question.  Why should anyone move to Namecheap other than they are against SOPA and support the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Read all the way through and haven’t seen an answer to that question from a few people

3. The consensus is the back end is lacking.  They say its going to be changed soon and it will have “your socks knocked off”  but I’ve heard that a thousand times over my lifetimes and I still seem to have socks every time

4. Moving over names has been difficult.  No automatic DNS and Zone changes. He has stated that they have a concierge that will do everything for you but again that seems a bit 2007ish.

5. His employees are starting to answer questions randomly.  The questions need to be answered but Richard needs to stick with the AMA and answer them.  Not a bunch of employees

6.  No deals on renewals.  The only reason many people have stuck with Godaddy is a good rate on renewals.  A few people have talked about higher rates after the first year.  If you’re called NameCheap you better be cheap

7. The new trend is to give away privacy and one person complained they charge for it.   It’s actually free the first year and costs after that.  He responded by saying their privacy is more secure and will be changing the prices down to .99 cents.  I think this part is good but he needs to put those things out there early before asked.

8.  Calls Move Your Domain Day their biggest marketing push of the year.   I think that says a lot.  Probably could use more marketing besides a “Switch from Godaddy Day”

9.  Says his favorite new gTLD is .online.   Can’t be wrong on opinion 🙂

Those are just some of my opinions on the AMA. What are yours

READ the whole thing here

 

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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8 comments

  1. Tamar

    Hey Shane –

    First, the “random” employee who is commenting is here to answer this post.

    For one thing, if you look at all at my reddit profile (http://www.reddit.com/user/tamar), this is not the first nor is it the last time I’ve helped out on Namecheap-themed reddits. I’ve been at Namecheap since 2009 and I’ve been at our social monitoring/responses for years.

    Second, I’m also much faster than our CEO. Richard is an amazing guy and all, but he’s bombarded and the questions I can answer are customer service questions and not philosophical ones on company stances.

    I’ll let him respond to those. But I’m not so “random” if you know anything about Namecheap. I’m here to help since the AMA started 5 hours ago and we’re still at it.

    By the way, please try to transfer to us. The concierge is for hosting, not domains, and we inherit DNS settings.


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Tamar,

      I think the word random was not the proper word. First of all, I would love to have an employee like you. A team player that obviously loves the company that you work for. I don’t understand the faster than the CEO thing. It is HIS AMA, let his account answer the questions. Being on Reddit is a huge deal. You all should have sat down at a computer together and answered the question under his account. You can type if you are faster but it’s one voice as done through him. If he cant answer he can simply turn around and ask an employee. If this is one of the biggest things the company does then I think having everyone together to tackle it would be a good move. Again, my apologies of the use of the word random. It’s merely meant that Reddit didn’t associate you and one other person that was answering the questions with the Company until you pointed it out

  2. Richard K.

    Stop being a hater Shane and talk about the over $40,000 we will raise for EFF today. What have you done today to make a difference other than spout off nonsense?


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Richard,

      I by no means hate. I respect everything you do and what you’ve achieved. I merely don’t like the the marketing tactic of “use us because you hate them”. I like companies that build based on what they do well and why they are different. In your case, prices, support, great user experience. When asked those questions there was a lot of “its coming”. To me, pushing to get those released by this big day would have made a lot of sense. A perfect time to pull back the curtain. I know it comes across as Mr.Know it All and I realize its much easier to talk about it than do it but you are facing a giant and and a fantastic new entry, UniRegistry. I am not hating by any means, I am expressing my opinion, an opinion that probably is not too far off from reality. I am on team Namecheap. I want you to succeed and draw in new users but you have to build the company that makes them come, not by being the alternative to Godaddy but being the better place to hold your domains.


    2. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Richard,

      And one more thing. Great job raising the money. As far as me making a difference? Probably not as much as you but I try each day. And keep Tamar, she seems like a hell of an employee. I wish I had more people like her


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      NC Supporter,

      Glad to hear. No ill will from this side. Just business opinions, not personal. And NC, are you the last person on earth that uses an AOL email?

  3. Tamar

    Fair enough. To be clear, though, we are a distributed company: http://www.fastcompany.com/welcome.html?destination=http://www.fastcompany.com/3040867/hit-the-ground-running/how-to-work-when-your-team-is-scattered-across-time-zones

    And as for why I’m responding, it’s because if you’re familiar at all with AMA, the questions asked weren’t in the spirit of the AMA. The questions I tackled weren’t for Richard but were basic customer service questions. An AMA is most powerful when it actually addresses the asker. If there are general “how do I do X or Y?,” it can be answered by any member of the support team, which is why I decided to step up and respond so those simple questions had an answer. As for more questions like “why do you do XYZ?” and we’ve already crafted an answer to that (e.g. regarding renewal coupons, there’s a blog post Richard and I wrote in conjunction with our COO in 2011), I pointed to that so Richard could focus his attention on other questions that were in the spirit of the AMA. He can’t answer 500 questions, nor should he have to, especially when some of them are questions on how to use the service or why we are better, which I’d think/hope someone who isn’t a CEO is equipped to answer.

    I left the complicated questions for our CEO because that’s what he was there for. He did a few, but there was a deluge of questions all day and they keep coming. We stopped about 4 hours later, but he still did one or two after that.

    I mention the speed thing because I wanted to show there was still someone who was trying to tackle many questions in as short amount of time as possible to keep the AMA going. For that matter, given that some AMAs are usually close to 1 or even 2 hours, I think we did a pretty good job.

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