May, 10, 2017 00:00 15:46:30 (GMT) - One years ago
by AXF Team | 4 Minutes With

4 Minutes With Stephen Winyard

Welcome to the latest of our new ‘Four Minutes With…’ features, where we sit down and speak with leading CEOs and business professionals and ask them for their top tips and insights into starting a business. This month we talk with Director & Vice President of ICM Registry, Stephen Winyard.

ICM Registry operates the top level domains for the adult sector of .XXX .Sex .Porn and .Adult . In March 2011 the ICANN board voted and approved the .xxx sTLD and this went into operation on 15 April 2011. In 2012 applications for their other sTLD were made and later approved.

Stephen is a successful and experienced Main Board Director and serial entrepreneur, who has developed and successfully founded and managed a number of UK businesses in various technology fields and the Internet, so with so much knowledge and experience it is great to be able to grab this opportunity to pick his brain.

1.    ICM spent a number of years putting their business model in place, what was the most important lesson learnt over this period?

Patience! Whilst we knew there was a place on the internet for a new domain that clearly identified the content as adult in nature, there were many voices across the world that objected to the obvious allocation of parts of the internet for porn. It took many years and ultimately preparing to sue ICANN, millions of dollars on legal costs and lastly common sense prevailed and .XXX was placed in the root in 2011. Patience really is a virtue as many people, following similar paths would simply stop. We always knew it would be a success and continued along many rocky roads until we achieved what we set out to. It's funny when you now consider that ICANN regard ICM as one the most exemplary Registries in the world and our touch and support with Governments, regulators and policy makers is a testament to our efforts and solid business ethics.

2. What is your most important advice for business people who are just starting out?

Enjoy what you are doing and focus on what you are good at…Also, make sure you have a lawyer! Many people who start out have dreams, aspirations and a passion for success. Success itself is measured in so many different ways by different people so always remain true to your reasons for starting a business. Don’t over stretch and keep a tight rein on costs and test the market first before you sink your life savings behind you.

3. Regarding crowdfunding, where do you feel it is going in the future?

Crowdfunding appeals to some people, as it is a platform to invest in a project as it develops for limited outlay although it’s generally regarded as high risk. If the project appeals enough, people will be attracted and the use of a good social media campaign and possibly the odd famous face to enhance your offering is what sets the winners apart. I do think over time, there will be several great success stories and therefore it is about identifying the best from the rest.

4. What tips would you offer to entrepreneurs think of using crowdfunding in their business model?

Research existing crowdfunding success stories, meet or talk to them, see what they did that appealed to a wide audience and try and replicate the key triggers that encouraged many investments. Ultimately, a good idea backed by good people in a market sector that would benefit from your product or service is what works. You have to ask the question- would the person investing want to use /buy/benefit from this innovation. If the answer is yes, they make solid plans and execute professionally.

5. How can your company help campaigns on

Use a .xxx domain and we will list you on our free traffic portal 

6. What is your favourite fruit?




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