In her own words, Christa describes herself as follow. “I love the business building roller coaster. The nervousness and excitement as you climb towards the first peak wondering if everything will stay on track, the adrenaline of the first stomach-churning descent, enjoying the jolts as the coaster twists and turns. Then climbing out of the seat and charging to the line-up to do it all over again.”
Mike: Christa, it sounds like you’re an entrepreneurial thrill seeker. When did you first discover this within yourself?
Christa: I’m not sure if I’d describe myself as a thrill seeker but I certainly enjoy the creativity of new ideas and endeavors. After working in a number of start-ups, I quickly learned the that there are two types of start-up personalities, those who get a rush from having to pivot often and quickly and those who are not comfortable and running for the exit sign.
Mike: Tell me about DotTBA. What is the market like for your services?
Christa: Since 2012, I’ve been focused on new gTLD applications, creating premium domain name lists and pricing along with launching new gTLDs. While the pool of new TLDs has been decreasing, I have used the opportunity to improve my analytical skills and am currently preparing to launch of a couple more TLDs for the spring and fall of 2018.
Mike: You have an impressive business background. You have been a consultant to a multitude of start-up ventures from oil exploration to collaboration software solution companies, managed million-dollar online e-commerce sites, protection of highly valued domain names and you were the President and CFO of Poker.com Inc. You have experience in the domain, software industry from small to large corporations and have provided strategic planning and vision to numerous Internet start-up ventures. All that said, do you feel you have faced any roadblocks being a woman in business and how did you work through those?
Christa: In my opinion, everyone faces roadblocks, it’s just a matter of personal philosophy on how one responds. Some obstacles are worth overcoming while others are not worth the energy. If it’s worth the effort then being strategic on how best to jump, climb or work around the issue is key. The rest is just execution or an adjustment to the plan as required.
Mike: Are there obstacles to growth for women in domaining that are different from other businesses?
Christa: Based on my experience, every industry is different. I think the domaining world has less obstacles primarily due to the wide diversity of backgrounds, interests and professions. Comparing it to the gaming/poker industry, the obstacles were a lot more challenging and I was pretty naïve so the learning curve was rapid and steep. Luckily, I found a group of trusted colleagues which was really beneficial and that I try to replicate in every industry I work in. I was pleasantly surprised and initially, even a little confused, by how open and helpful people were in the TLD and domaining industry. It was such a refreshing perspective to find an industry that believed it was to everyone’s best interest to work together in achieving results rather than competing against one another. I still believe there is a lot more we, as an industry, should be doing to further advance its growth, create additional synergies and capitalize on the most promising opportunities.
Mike: With all you do, including recently achieving a Master of Science in Predictive Analytics (MSPA), how do you maintain a work/life balance. Or do you?
Christa: LOL Life? Effective time management, experience to acknowledge the limits of time and workload and when sacrifices begin to leaving lasting impacts on life. Having friends in the industry who know you’ve been sitting in an office chair for far too long and initiate an unannounced and insane running challenge always helps. 😉
Mike: You have supported several TLDs in their strategic planning and operations. Do you have any particular TLDs that or stories that you are particularly fond of?
Christa: I think the funniest story was during the application process, working around the clock with the deadline two-days away and receiving a late-night call asking if I could do one more application. I initially declined but was persuaded to take it on. I literally received a copy of the financial statements in a different language, in a currency I didn’t recognize and took a large figure, punched in an exchange rate which resulted in another large number. Figuring I did a key error, repeated it only to get the same very long number and I literally had to talk my way through the place value of the numbers (ones, tens, hundreds…) to determine the amounts. A week later, I was at a restaurant where a sporting event was on and recognized the script on the team’s jerseys which was one of the company’s subsidiaries.
Mike: I have a 16-year-old daughter who will soon be off to college and then starting a career. Woman to woman, what advice can you give her?
Christa: Determine what attributes are integral to who you are as a person and don’t let anyone take them away. They will inevitably provide perspective on when action is required or when that energy can be used for something more beneficial.