I've been asked to submit an updated Bio, but rather than do that, I thought I would give you my thoughts and views regarding DotAsia, and what I've seen and observed as a Board Member over the last two years. Hopefully it'll be of use to you in how you participate, or choose to participate, as well as in selecting future board members.
I must admit that when I first arrived, I had serious doubts about the setup. I had seen how much time and resources Afilias had put into getting DotAsia approved. They flew Afilias executives all around Asia to get approval from various ccTLDs and ICT organizations; they attended years and years of ICANN meetings (and threw great dinners :-); I even recall how frustrated Che-hoo was with how interminably long this TLD approval process seemed. Surely this was a for-profit company masquerading as a not-for-profit? Is it possible that Afilias went through all this trouble of creating DotAsia without ensuring it would continue to profit from it?
I am happy to report that these fears were, to my surprise, largely unfounded. DotAsia is one of those rare companies - the employees and management are very aggressive in expanding market share, and in establishing the DotAsia brand, yet they are not motivated by shares of stock or an IPO. The ideas they generate are highly original and very well thought through. For example, I think Edmon's concept of investing in a movie that uses a dotAsia domain (breakupclub.asia) is simply brilliant. If the movie succeeds, not only does dotAsia profit from ticket sales, but also from .ASIA brand recognition, and the appreciation in value of the domain "breakupclub.asia". [Imagine for a minute what avatar.com must be worth] Other emerging TLDs will probably follow Edmon's lead in the future. And Leona has been working on some excellent promos with the Registrars - I especially the like the 8 GB USB card promo, which she got at a steal, presumably from some manufacturer in nearby China. I've yet to see a more interesting promo from a regional TLD or a ccTLD.
But at the end of the day, none of these managers or employees have any equity in the company. All income is either plowed back into the company (and into increasing market share), invested in the money market or some other instrument, or given to charitable cause. It's really an unusual animal, and Edmon has taken pains to find other means to keep his highly motivated staff interested in staying with DotAsia (other than, of course, the traditional method of giving out stock options, which would be merely symbolic in this case)
Afilias, by the way, DOES make a decent profit for providing Registry Services (I'm not at liberty to disclose exactly how much), but I think the amount is fair, given the trouble they went through in applying for the TLD . DotAsia also needs to pay back Afilias for the expenses incurred during the TLD approval process, which I have no problems with. But most interestingly, DotAsia will be free to shop around for a new Registry Service Provider once its debt is paid to Afilias, and once the current contract with ICANN expires (assuming, of course, that iCANN renews the contract). So Afilias profits from DotAsia, but that profit period is very much time-delimited.
Lastly but not least, I believe that Edmon is one of those people who truly believe in helping others and giving back to society, and that he passes on these values to the people he works with. It may sound trite, but it is one of the reasons Edmon is able to attract a good core of Senior Advisors to help him out.
My only qualm is perhaps in the way the funds are given to charity. Edmon and staff seem to be too focused on brandbuilding, that not much time and thought is spent into getting the best bang for buck for their charitable contributions. For example, i'm not too keen on the DotAsia ambassador program. I'm part of the ICANN process, but I'm not really a believer in it.
Nor do I believe in wasting time debating ICANN policy, much less encouraging kids to learn the mind-numbing intricacies of ICANN policy making. But that's my opinion - I'm sure Edmon strongly disagrees with me.
I also like the OLPC (one laptop per child) concept, but I think the laptops remind me of the IBM PC Jr. experience - they're deliberately dumbed down, and far inferior to a cheap linux laptop. Surely they will be obsolete in the near future.
So hopefully if I get re-elected, I can do something to remedy this. If not, it's been fun! And I hope the new board members will take the time to focus on the issue of using DotAsia's charitable contributions more wisely.