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Does .ICU Have Legs?

20180606_icu

I just received a press release from the backers of the new gTLD extension .ICU. I’ve received a lot of different releases from different new gTLDs and it was tempting to put this release in the circular out tray beneath the desk….but then a few things caught my eye that caused me to hesitate.

Escrow.com

Kevin KopasLars JensenFor a start, the people behind .ICU include Kevin Kopas and Lars Jensen. Both founders have massive amounts of experience in the registry and registrar space with contacts that would leave most new gTLDs incredibly envious. Combine the contacts with their unique energy and drive and you have a formidable combination destined for success.

According to the press release .ICU already has over 100 registrars selling the extension and this is growing rapidly on the back of having CentralNic providing the backend services. So it would appear that despite the inevitable ICANN delays the two founders have been very busy indeed!

And then there’s the extension itself, ICU which is an acronym of “I See you”. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was the blockbuster movie “Avatar” where the main character would say to one another, “I see you.” For those of you that have been living under a rock, director James Cameron, is currently filming the movie sequels so the term “ICU” will be well and truly in the vernacular.

Films aside, what I like about .ICU is that it’s really short. It’s mere size lends it to potential business models in the massive video streaming industry. You only have to see the statistics on the rapid increase in the number of hours being watched on services such as Twitch and Youtube to realise this is a massive opportunity. The trick will be how to link .ICU to this burgeoning behemoth of potential registrants.

The security and video surveillance industry is another potential market for .ICU. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing some .ICU domains in the wild in this market vertical. It’s a natural fit for an entrepreneurial new security company that wants to put its stamp on seeing crime and preventing it happening. There’s one thing for sure, since 9/11 there has been a huge increase in demand for security services.

Forgetting the large market potential that I’ve already mentioned, what also caught my eye in the press release was that the founders are being really innovative with a “pioneer” program. This program has been designed to encourage end users by giving them a free .ICU domain plus a 21-module media program aimed at bringing businesses closer to their customers.

This program has already gained traction by some marketing savvy heavy-weights, such as tottenhamhotspur.icu, a site supported by the English Football Club. The domain is being used to market a football camp in Italy with FA and UEFA qualified coaches for boys and girls ages 8-16.

So is .ICU going to become successful? It’s only been in General Access for a few days and over 30,000 domains have been sold so it would appear that a few people out there believe in it. In addition, there’s clearly a lot of opportunity for ICU in a number of market verticals (some of which I haven’t mentioned for obvious reasons) but more than that I’ve never seen two founders so hungry for success.

When I caught up with both Lars and Kevin at the recent GDD conference in Vancouver they struck me as two people on a mission. Like the team from .CLUB, they are both singularly focused on promoting the heck out of ICU and seeing it providing value to domain investors and end users.

Make your own decision whether you would like to take the plunge into investing in a few ICU domains but right now….I’m going to see about picking up a few as I have a number of great ideas for a domain where “I see you”.
 

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Comments

Guest - doob on 07 June 2018

reminds me of intensive care unit which is where most of these gtld's belong.

reminds me of intensive care unit which is where most of these gtld's belong.
kosap1 on 15 June 2018

@Guest - doob, It most definitely does stand for Intensive Care Unit, but also has other meanings. While I have no objection to anyone in the medical field registering some .icu's, and many have been already, we are focusing on the more social aspect of the extension's meaning "I See You".
I travel a ton for this industry and regularly have folks around me that know nothing about domains read my t-shirt or see a .icu sticker on my phone or suitcase, walk up and ask me, "Does that mean I See You?". Just a few weeks ago at the GDD event in Vancouver the Barista at Starbucks looked at me as I was buying a coffee and asked that very question.
Thanks for your feedback and know that we aren't overlooking or passing anything up when it comes to who registers one of our domains. We have a pretty well-defined market and are going after that but anyone that wants to register a name is more than welcome to join us!

@Guest - doob, It most definitely does stand for Intensive Care Unit, but also has other meanings. While I have no objection to anyone in the medical field registering some .icu's, and many have been already, we are focusing on the more social aspect of the extension's meaning "I See You". I travel a ton for this industry and regularly have folks around me that know nothing about domains read my t-shirt or see a .icu sticker on my phone or suitcase, walk up and ask me, "Does that mean I See You?". Just a few weeks ago at the GDD event in Vancouver the Barista at Starbucks looked at me as I was buying a coffee and asked that very question. Thanks for your feedback and know that we aren't overlooking or passing anything up when it comes to who registers one of our domains. We have a pretty well-defined market and are going after that but anyone that wants to register a name is more than welcome to join us!
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Sunday, 19 August 2018
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