Q&A with Michael Cyger on Afternic’s big move with DNAcademy

Today news broke that Afternic picked DNAcademy’s Accelerated Learning Program to be part of their broker training program. This is a huge accolade for Michael Cyger who has built DNAcademy from the ground up and is now seeing major players in the domain name world using it as part of their core training curriculum.

Before I go any further I want to mention that DNAcademy is not a sponsor of my blog so I don’t get a penny if you sign up for it. This is not a promotional post even though it might read a bit like one…instead, I’ve known Michael for years, I just surfed with him in Portugal, and I know what a great education resource he’s built.

When people ask me how to get started in the Domaining world, I send them to DNAcademy, it really is one of the best resources out there. So, enough about that – let’s get to the good stuff!

When I found out the news I sent Michael a text and asked him, “hey Mike, would you be game for a little Q&A about the Afternic deal on my blog?” And he said yes – so here it is, enjoy!

How did the Go Daddy/Afternic deal get started, was something kicked off at NamesCon Europe or did it start before that?

GoDaddy started investigating DNAcademy and the benefits we can provide to their on-boarding and broker training processes early in 2019.

I think their interest might have resulted from my Domain Investing 101 and 201 presentations at NamesCon Global in Las Vegas in January 2019.

The entire Afternic division has been a pleasure to work with so far and I’m honored they’ve chosen our educational platform.

Do you have any other companies that use DNAcademy as part of their broker education process?

Uniregistry has been using DNAcademy since early 2016. Jeff Gabriel and Dan Adamson have been fantastic partners — they are very clear in what they want training for, how it should be delivered, and what skills their brokers need to be successful. So we’ve worked very closely to deliver a customized program that couples our standard training with their company-specific educational needs, like how to use their in-house CRM and follow their specific internal processes.

Just prior to NamesCon Europe in June 2019, I delivered a live, virtual training session to the WorldHostingDays/NamesCon staff who are primarily based in Germany. It was customized to their needs, and focused on the overall industry, how the different pieces fit together, and a general overview of how investing works with domain names. The objective was to enable their staff to better understand and communicate with attendees, sponsors and partners. We plan a follow-up training session, and we created a video that they can use to onboard new employees to their team as they continue to grow. Timo Kargas and Helga Neumer have been wonderful to work with.

When Payoneer was investigating and entering the domain name industry, we provided an overview training course to their entire staff.

Many other companies have sent employees through our standard training course because they didn’t have a need for customized training.

When you structure deals like these, do they have exclusive content that is not part of the standard DNAcademy curriculum?

Yes. Customized training programs for corporations and teams include both standard and exclusive content designed to meet the specific needs of teams.

All DNAcademy courses, whether standard or customized, include:

  • Organized modules and lesson plans covering everything from A to Z in the domain name industry.
  • A printable reference guide for each module that provides a summary of important concepts and allows students to take additional notes and save for future reference. (Throughout the course, we also provide additional downloadable guides that make domain name buying and selling more efficient.)
  • A self-check quiz at the conclusion of each module that allows the student to test their knowledge and skills in a no-pressure situation (all correct answers and reasoning is shared when the quiz is completed).
  • Finally, because we are TLD agnostic and focus on the fundamentals of domain names and investing (rather than trends that change), we ask each student to complete a full valuation using our DNAcademy Valuation Worksheet for each of the six types of domain names (https://www.dnacademy.com/six-types-of-domain-names-and-what-they-sell-for). In this way, students learn which of the 23 characteristics are most important for each type of domain name, how it affects the comparable sales, and how a domain name’s valuation can increase or decrease as a result.

Those are all the standard benefits of choosing DNAcademy and our proven system for education.

But we customize every corporate training program to include only the topics, tools and functionality that the company desires. For example, we offer access to paid software tools as part of our standard student program that would not be included in the corporate training programs because they likely have standardized on another set of tools. Or we might include a whole new section of training that shows how a broker would make best use of their phone, automated dialing, email and customer relationship management systems.

In the cases where DNAcademy is brought in to document, edit, design and present processes within a customized training program, we sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure that intellectual property is protected.

Congrats to both Michael and Afternic, this definitely sounds like a big win for both of them!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton