Career-ending moments in Celebrity-CEO-ism (or HowTo Transfer Your Domain Away From Godaddy)

Sorry for the clunky title, ever since I saw the original "Kids in The Hall" Career-Ending-Moments skit, it's been a meme I've always loved and been obsessed with, especially when I see one unfold in front of my eyes.

So unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know that last week a media fracas exploded when the video of Godaddy CEO Bob Parsons killing a "problem elephant" in Zimbabwe took the internet by storm. Our original take on it was posted here.

Confession:

When we originally posted that article, we had punctuated it with an offer to donate ALL proceeds from the first domain transferred-in for each new customer, regardless of where from or why.

Then, moments after we posted it, I saw a similar (albeit IMHO somewhat watered down) version of an offer making the rounds and suddenly it looked a little ghoulish to me. So the post was hastily amended so that we would just make a flat donation to the charities we mentioned (we see the awareness factor for both affected parties: the elephants, everybody loves elephants, and the Zimbabwean farmers….everybody loves subsisting as well.)

Some Registrars are jumping on this full throttle, buying sponsored hashtags on Twitter, yada yada yada. This isn't really the style of easyDNS. As I remarked in our earlier post, we will get a natural migration of customers from Godaddy over to us. Our job is to make those transitions as painless as possible, not to try to "grab a larger slice" of the elephant pie now being carved up by Godaddy competitors.

How To Transfer-Out of GoDaddy

I've seen some twitter chatter, etc from people who have already decided that this is what they're going to do (transfer-out of Godaddy) but they don't know how to do it. These instructions are generic, they show you how to transfer-out of Godaddy. You can use them to transfer to anybody. You are welcome to transfer here, if'n you want.

So here are some step-by-step instructions for transferring a domain away from Godaddy, you can download this PDF, or watch this video, but it basically comes down to 4-steps:

  1. Turn off whois privacy (you may be interested in our take on why you should not use whois privacy) NOTE: Godaddy may "lock" your domain for 60-days after you disengage whois "privacy", which contravenes ICANN rules. If this happens you can contact Godaddy support and "opt-out" of the 60-day lock. They have to do this.
  2. Disengage your "domain lock"
  3. Confirm the admin email address in your whois record.
  4. Get your EPP / Auth Code

Finally, Let's Get Philosophical…

I have seen some lively discussions on whether people are overreacting to this. The question is whether one should make a business decision based on one's ethical compass or emotional reaction to a situation. If the CEO of a company does something, does it reflect on that company?

For the record, I think people both overreact and underreact to pretty well everything. Horrible things go on every day, many of them in your name, in my name "for the greater good", terrible terrible injustice occurs and we just kind of "zone out" and are desensitized to it. And then discrete and comparatively "small" events stick their head above the scrum and become sort of strange attractors for our collective angst and outrage – these events tend to polarize and galvanize us.

Personally I think the separation of  "business" from everything else has always been an artificial one. Everything is personal, and everything is psychological/emotional. Think of it this way, if Godaddy was a public company and you owned shares, would you sell them? As a value investor, I view stock ownership as bona-fide ownership. I would have to approach the question as an owner of the company. And from that perspective I would have to either decide "I don't want to own this company" or maybe "I don't want this CEO working for me". (Example: during the nadir of the BP oil-spill my contrarian antennae saw what I thought was an "easy-double" in their stock price, and in retrospect I was right. But I didn't proceed because I didn't want to be an owner of a company that was responsible for that mess)

In this case, there are no shareholders, only stakeholders: the employees and the customers. You have to decide for yourself if being a Godaddy customer is compatible with your ethical compass, and whichever way you decide is fine, but I think that decision is perfectly germane and probably necessary. Too often things like ethical implications are "hedged out" of business calculus as being extraneous and unimportant. They are not. They should very much factor into your daily decisions and your business decisions.

I'm not here to tell you which way you should go, I'm just here to tell you that if the question comes up in your mind, you should not dismiss it and instead take the time to search within yourself and come up with the answer. Once you have it, you should take action to bring your situation in line with your ethical compass.

Comments

  1. Mark B says

    Wonderful post, I am glad to finally be on board with you guys. Any chance you will do a post about the domain serizures (most recently the poker sites)? There has been a lot of chatter about the US seizing domains even if they are not US based (the spanish filesharing one). Some are thinking of turning to alternative TLDs such as .is, would love to hear your thoughts on these events and how they affect EasyDNS customers as well as the industry as a whole.