Dec 5, 2019 - by Elisa Cooper
I’m finally getting to an age where many of my closest friends are beginning to reevaluate what is most important to them and what really makes them happy. Two of my closest friends have made major career changes. One left a successful legal career as a partner at a prestigious San Francisco firm to become a representative in the Idaho state legislature. The other left a successful medical practice to teach French to middle schoolers. Both friends left what many might consider “dream careers” to pursue their true passions.
But when I think about whether I would ever do something like that, I think, why would I ever leave this industry? I love this industry and I love domain names.
There, I said it.
I love the fact that domain names represent this unique intersection where business, technology, trademarks and policy all converge. And for the last 17 years, the domain name industry has evolved and expanded into something I don’t think I ever could have imagined.
When I first started in 2002, I loved being able to help companies gain control of their domain name portfolios. Back then, domain names were new to everyone, and there was uncertainty about what and where to register domain names, and even how to protect them. Over the next ten years, there were dozens and dozens of top-level domain name (TLD) launches and liberalizations, and helping companies to navigate those waters was gratifying. And of course, the new gTLD program in 2012 brought with it many new challenges for both applicants and registrants alike.
Over the years, the industry has seen domain name scams, security breaches and abuse. There have also been successful registry launches, innovative uses and new offerings to protect brand owners. In terms of the market itself, we’ve seen mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and new entrants, like Brandsight. Charting this course has made for an exciting journey, and one in which I hope I’ve been able to help others find their way as well.
Along the way, I’ve had some amazing experiences. I’ve worked with some of the world’s most well-known brands on their domain name policies and strategies, and helped them to apply for their own registries. I’ve engaged with corporate domain name professionals to better understand their requirements in order to build software solutions designed to reduce cost, time and complexity. And I’ve been fortunate to travel the world as part of my participation with ICANN, working alongside talented members of the ICANN community to develop domain name policy.
But what I love most about the domain industry is that every day I still learn something new. Whether it’s the launch of a new TLD, or policy development at ICANN, or the ways in which companies are using or protecting domain names - there is always something new to build, learn or share with others. Without a doubt, I’ve been fortunate to have found a career about which I am truly passionate, and am hopeful I’ll be around for another 17 years to see how it continues to evolve.
Bringing with her 20 years of marketing experience, Elisa Cooper joined the company in 2017 to lead the organization’s marketing strategy and execution. A domain name industry veteran, Elisa has worked closely with many Fortune 1000 companies in assisting with domain and brand protection policy development and has spoken and written extensively on these topics.