The 20 Most Influential People In The Domain Industry

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 by clicky

2007 Edition

Meet the Executives, Entrepreneurs, and cutting-edge innovators who have positively influenced today’s domain industry business agenda.The names presented here weren’t selected on the basis of fame, net worth, or the accomplishments of yesteryears. Instead my goal was to identify people whose ideas, products, pioneering accomplishments and industry insights have or are changing the world of domaining. A remarkable who’s who of the domain industry.
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Vinton Cerf
Former ICANN Chairman/ VP and chief Internet evangelist for Google
Why He Matters: Widely known as the "Father of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet.Vint Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and in 1999 served a term as chairman of the Board. In addition, Cerf is honorary chairman of the IPv6 Forum, dedicated to raising awareness and speeding introduction of the new Internet protocol. Cerf served as a member of the U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1997 to 2001 and serves on several national, state and industry committees focused on cyber-security. Cerf recently made headlines when he was quoted as saying “Attempts by governments to create a controlling agency for the Internet are likely to fail.”

Rick Schwartz
CEO, President and Cofounder of T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
Why He Matters: Rick Schwartz purchased his first domain name in December 1995 when he paid $100 for Eight years later to the month he sold one,, for $1.32 million in a deal that was reported worldwide. As one of the early domain pioneers dating back to 1995, he was a pioneer in the history of domain names, and is generally regarded as an expert in the field of web site traffic, flow and valuation.He is also known for being one of the first people to recognize the value of "type in" web site traffic, which is also known as "direct navigation" traffic, referring to domain names that are typed in directly to a web browser's URL text box. Rick’s highly successful T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference is a premier industry event. More information about Rick Schwartz can be found at his blog.

Ron Jackson
Editor and Publisher of DNJournal
Why He Matters: The first domain Ron Jackson registered was in 1997. He came into the domain business strictly as a buyer/seller/investor, however having been a journalist, Ron soon recognized that despite this being a business where tens of millions of dollars were changing hands annually, it had no trade magazine. Ron decided to be the voice for the domain industry and put online New Year’s Day 2003. Today, is considered the “wall street journal” of the domaining world and Ron Jackson is one of the most highly respected journalists in the industry.

Monte Cahn
Founder and CEO of DomainSystems
Why He Matters: Monte Cahn is Founder and CEO of DomainSystems, Inc., which is the parent company of the domain traffic monetization solution, and 9 ICANN Accredited Registrars including industry leading registrar - He started investing in intellectual property and domain names in 1996 and helped start the first online domain brokerage business on the Internet in 1996.Success includes participating in the industry's first domain name sale for over $1 million dollars with the sale of and the industries first $2 million dollar plus domain sale with the sale of in 1999. Many feel that these two industry record sales were responsible for dot com buying and selling frenzy that started in late 1999. Monte is also responsible for co-developing the industry's first recognized domain appraisal system to date. Monte Cahn is the host of the new free Internet radio shows 'Domain Masters' on and that broadcasts each week.

Kevin Ham
The Man Who Owns The Internet
Why He Matters: Trained as a family doctor, Kevin Ham put off medicine after discovering the riches of the domain industry. Since 2000 he has quietly cobbled together a portfolio of some 300,000 domains that, combined with several other ventures, generate an estimated $70 million a year in revenue. His sites receive 30 million unique visitors a month. Kevin is also responsible for working a deal with the government of Cameroon, which owns the .cm country code domain, to forward all non registered domains to his website; which take advantage of users who mistakenly type .cm instead of .com.

Jon Postel
Why He Matters: He is principally known for being the Editor of the RFC document series, and for managing the creation and allocation of Top Level Domains and IP addresses in the pre-ICANN era. Postel was the RFC Editor from 1969 until his passing, and wrote and edited many important RFCs, including RFCs 0791-0793, which define the basic protocols of the Internet protocol suite. Postel served on the Internet Architecture Board and its predecessors for many years. He was the Director of the names and number assignment clearinghouse, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), from its inception. He was the first member of the Internet Society, and was on the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society. He was the original and long-time .us Top-Level Domain administrator. Postel died of complications following heart valve replacement surgery in Los Angeles, on October 16, 1998.

Frank Schilling
Pioneering Domain Investor /
Why He Matters: Frank Schilling's bidding and investment activities helped expand the expiring domain name auction houses; and later, other ICANN accredited registrars selling their registry connections as a drop registrar. Frank Schilling patented the "Generic Top Level Domain Rerouting System" in 2001, financed the Caribbean's first ICANN accredited domain name registrar in 2003, joined as a member of the ICANN business constituency and co-founded the non-profit 'Internet Commerce Association' in 2006. He began domain blog Seven Mile in 2007.Frank Schilling was one of the first to administer very large portfolios of domain names for third-parties and is one of the largest generic domain-name investors in the world.

Adam Dicker
Owner, / Go Daddy VP of Domain Name Aftermarket
Why He Matters: Adam Dicker has built a reputation in the Internet community throughout the years by helping people earn more revenue from their domain name investments. Adam Dicker is the owner of the largest domain industry discussion Adam purchased his first domain in 1996 and has since become a prominent play in the domain industry. With the knowledge of domains and the power of a highly successful domaining forum under his belt, Adam has recently been hired by Go Daddy as the Vice President of Domain Name Aftermarket.

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Russell C. Horowitz
CEO, Marchex / Chairman of the Board Director
Why He Matters: Russell Horowitz is a founding officer, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer of Marchex since January 2003. Russell was previously a founder of Go2Net, which he sold for $1.6 billion. Together Russell Horowitz and Marchex have become a leader in delivering vertical and local online traffic to merchants. Marchex offers services like “feed management” that delivers advertiser listings into search engines and shopping engines. It also offers “bid management,” which helps merchants monitor performance-based search advertising on search engines and pay-per-click networks.

Yun Ye
Elusive and successful domain pioneer
Why He Matters: A onetime computer programmer, Yun Ye used his newly developed software in the late 1990’s to amass an infamous domain empire that was ultimately sold to Marchex for an astonishing $164 million. Yun ye, a Chinese citizen who lived at the time in Vancouver, British Columbia, was intensely private and dealt with the Marchex people only under the agreement that they never mention his name. To this day, Marchex execs refer to the deal by the company name Ye adopted for the transaction: Name Development.

Tim Schumacher
Co-Founder and CEO, Sedo
Why He Matters: As one of the founders and CEO of the world’s most successful domain marketplace,, Tim Schumacher is responsible for driving the pulse of the domain buying/selling industry with it’s record selling auctions and popular user-interface web tools. As CEO, Schumacher helped Sedo become a profitable dot-com-while maintaining rapid growth and international expansion. Sedo stands for “search engine for domain offers” and is one of the most widely used domain aftermarket websites on the Internet.

Tim Berners-Lee
Director of the World Wide Web Consortium/ WWW Inventor
Why He Matters: Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, Senior Researcher at MIT’s CSAIL, and professor of Computer Science at SouthHampton ECS. In 1989, while working at CERN laboratory, Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web, including the first HTTP client and server. In 1994 he helped establish the World Wide Web Consortium and has served as it’s Director ever since. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.

John Berryhill
Patent Attorney and UDRP legal specialist
Why He Matter: Dr. John Berryhill has represented domain name registrants and trademark claimants in numerous UDRP proceedings and federal court proceedings. John has been a longtime advocate for the rights of domain registrants in ICANN working groups and task forces relating to intellectual property and other domain policy issues, and is a representative in the Registrar Constituency. Having earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, John maintains a "nerds-eye view" of issues affecting technology and media companies interested in securing and defending their rights in cyberspace. John Berryhill was a guest speaker at DomainFest in 2007.

Chris Chena
Pioneering Spanish domainer
Why He Matters: Chris Chena, a pioneering Paraguayan domainer that has acquired gems in the Spanish domain industry such as (trips), (classified), (friendship), and Chris has become a premier player in the IDN marketplace and has recently purchased 80% of the popular Paraguayan TV channel, Canal 13. Chris decided to acquire Spanish generic domain names when the rest of the world was scrambling to obtain English generic domains.

Bob Parsons
CEO, Go Daddy
Why He Matters: In 1997, Parsons founded, which quickly carved out a niche as an affordable alternative to the larger companies that monopolized the early Internet domain registration market. Ever since then, Bob Parsons and Go Daddy has become the world’s most popular domain name registrar with over 22 million domains registered. Along with controversial promotional ads and provocative television commercials, Bob Parsons is fast becoming the face of registrar domaining.

Craig Nine
Founder, IDN Forums
Why He Matters: The first domain Craig Nine registered was Since that day back in 1999, the 32-year-old SEO consultant and web developer living in Japan – first became interested in IDNs, he didn’t just register a couple of domains to test the waters, he dove in headfirst. Nine is not only the owner of one of the strongest Japanese IDN portfolios, he is also the owner and founder of, the premier IDN discussion and sales forum, and one of the top sites about Internationalized Domain Names.
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Sahar Sarid
Co-founder Recall Media Group/
Why He Matters: With only determination and his sister’s credit card, Sahar Sarid, Co-Founder of Recall Media Group, successfully began his journey into professional domaining and has become an iconic knowledgeable resource to many in the domain industry. Along with his popular blog, The Conceptualist, Sahar educates his readers with domain specific information and industry news. His current project involves a site called "Assista " which is a search engine powered by asking questions instead of using keywords.

Ron James
Founder, Director
Why He Matters: Ron James founded NamePros in February 2003 and has used his skills to create one of the fastest growing domain forum communities on the Internet. Ron and his staff have created a positive and educational resource forum for the domain industry with no signs of slowing down. Ron James registered his first domain in 1997 and has been actively buying and selling on the domain aftermarket since 1998.

Rick Latona
Founder, DigiPawn
Why He Matters: Rick Latona has been in the Internet business since the beginning. Rick’s popular Sick Site Network controls over 5 million daily unique visitors. He currently owns over 10,000 .com names and is highly respected in the industry. Rick Latona is founder of DigiPawn, the first Internet pawnshop that specializes in lending money to domain name owners that use their domains as collateral. It is pioneering endeavors like this, which are pushing the domain industry to new levels.

Future of the Domain Industry
Why You Matter: The future of domaining has fast become highly publicized due to recent world record sales and industry advertising. It seems every TV, radio and print commercial advertisement is now tagged with the website address of the company sponsoring the ad in hopes of driving traffic towards the site. Domain names are no longer a collecting hobby, but a multi-billion-dollar industry that has taken the world by storm. As a domainer, we have dedicated ourselves to searching trends, market influences, future potential interest and overall market appeal of domain names that would be highly sought for purchase or traffic monetization. We are the driving force behind the exploding media behind the domain industry and without you being a part of the frenzy, there would be no frenzy. I would like to thank everyone for your positive influences to our emerging industry and I look forward to adding some new faces to the 2008 edition of the 20 Most Influential People In The Domain Industry. Please be kind in critiquing the choices I have made. These are just one guy's opinion.

Rudy Hernandez

Brand of cigarettes manufactured by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company

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