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I Spoke to a .TAXI Driver

Jean Guillon

Last week I took a Cab on my way back from the Montparnasse Station in Paris. My wife had ordered a Taxi and it was waiting for us at the Taxi station. We had ordered it because we arrived late in Paris that night.

Surprisingly, the Cab was a black Limousine with no Taxi sign on its top and the driver, who wore a costume, was gentle and polite. If you ever took a Taxi in Paris, you probably know why I am adding this to this paragraph.

Discussing with a Taxi driver

We had ordered the Taxi through the SNCF (the official European distribution channel of the French railways) and I was interested in learning why my Taxi had no sign on top so the driver explained to me that the platforms he registered with had deals with the SNCF to provide a quality service. He also said that he felt insecure to park next to other cabs because Taxis "with a sign" have to pay for a $150,000 licence to have the right to work. Taxi licences are limited in Paris and, as an independent driver, he had decided to work differently. I also learnt that the "taxi" sign cannot be protected.

What about .TAXI domain names?

The driver told me his business was good: he drove a nice Limousine, worked a lot, and upgraded the Status of his company to be able to earn more (which is a good sign). He told me he planned to build his own project and I understood his idea was to create his own taxi platform so I came to asking him if a owning a website was of any interest for a Taxi driver.

To this question he said that, as an independent driver offering a quality service, he was considering this seriously but admitted that he had no clue about where to start so I gave him a few tips and focussed on the number one advantage there is to use a new domain name: a clear identity and precision. He had an idea about what a domain name is but never heard about the .TAXI new gTLD.

Are Taxis concerned?

As a Taxi — with a project in mind — I believe a driver should be concerned by .TAXI new domain names but prior to launching a website there are a few things to know:

1. There are other TLDs (Top-Level Domains or Domain names extensions) related to the Taxi business, they are:

  • the .LIMO new gTLD which is launched already and can be registered (3,178 domain name registrations worldwide);
  • and the .CAB which is already available too (3,588 registrations).

2. The .TAXI new gTLD is not launched yet and there are three applicants who will fight for it in an auction to acquire the privilege to manage domain names ending in .TAXI, they are:

  1. Pine Falls, LLC (Donuts);
  2. Taxi Pay GmbH (a company based in Germany focussing on the TAXI activity);
  3. dot Taxi Limited (Famous Four Media).

Results should be made availalble on the ICANN website (unless this changes). I don't know when the auction is but I suggest to follow my Twitter account for a follow up on this.

3. Major TAXI platforms should prepare for the launching of the .TAXI new gTLD and submit their Trademark Data into the Trademark Clearinghouse to participate in the Sunrise Period.

What would I do?

I am no taxi driver and renting a Limousine is a different service to me (as a client) so I guess I would definitely go for a .TAXI domain name instead of a .CAB. As an independent taxi driver, I would secure both domains: a .CAB domain name is $30 for one year and a .TAXI should probably cost the same when it has launched.

As soon as the .TAXI domain is registered and the website live, I would secure the .CAB domain name and direct it to the .TAXI website. If I rent Limousines, I would register a .TAXI domain name too and point it to my .LIMO website.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domains' specialist
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Jean - You could have made the Alex Tajirian  –  Jan 08, 2015 12:10 PM PDT

Jean - You could have made the analyses more meaningful by incorporating the effects of disruptive technologies, such as Uber (valued at $40 billion) and Lyft, which operate successfully in a number of international cities that face the same problems as Paris. IMHO some of these new gTLD registries have to live with the Winner’s Curse and thus, registrants must be cautious!

Just a conversation Jean Guillon  –  Jan 09, 2015 1:30 AM PDT

You know this is just a conversation I had in a taxi. If you were in this industry with a presence online: what would your reaction be?

Industry boundary is being redefined by disruptive Alex Tajirian  –  Jan 09, 2015 9:54 AM PDT

Industry boundary is being redefined by disruptive technologies. Thus, just like any other strategic industry analyses, my gTLD strategy would have to include threats from such technologies and potential new entrants.

My understanding Jean Guillon  –  Jan 09, 2015 10:00 AM PDT

So, you'd register all 3 domain names: .TAXT - .CAB and .LIMO.

Alternatives Ray Marshall  –  Jan 10, 2015 9:33 AM PDT

Personally, I would rather go with taxicab.paris.  You get both extensions linked with a City TLD, i.e., Paris.

Or just taxi.paris Jean Guillon  –  Jan 12, 2015 2:37 AM PDT

Where is the Whois for .PARIS by the way?

Hmmm Ray Marshall  –  Jan 12, 2015 10:35 PM PDT

Good luck getting taxi.paris. :)

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