Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Today's Headlines | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search
Too Much A Visionary? 11 August 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

There are three kinds of managers working in the Internet marketplace:
  • The visionary
  • The visionless
  • The ultra-visionary

The visionary is the kind of person who can accurately look six months and anticipate where the market and the technology is going. They can spot opportunities and exploit them with timing that matches the growth in demand for whatever service or product they're selling. This group makes up the most successful entrepreneurs and managers amongst us.

The visionless is the kind of person who simply considers everything on a day-to-day basis. They have trouble with trends and seeing beyond the next food-break. These people are often good workers -- but they're certainly not CEO or entrepreneurial material.

The ultra-visionary is the kind of person who has the rare ability to look out beyond the six-month mark -- sometimes producing accurate predictions up to several years ahead. They are both incredibly valuable and incredibly dangerous to any business.

At an entrepreneurial level the ultra-visionary often comes up with brilliant ideas well ahead of the rest of the market. Unfortunately they are sometimes so close to the bleeding edge of the market that they become a victim of it.

When you look at the success stories in the hi-tech marketplace you often see that it's not those who are first to market with a new service or product who win -- but those who come along second or third.

At an entrepreneurial level, ultra-visionaries, enthused and excited by their ideas and the commercial potential such ideas represent often appear to mis-time their launch -- unable to walk the fine line between being too early and too late. As a result, too many launch before the market is ready and consume their capital before revenues are able to support costs -- forcing them to shut-up shop and leaving a newly created market ripe for the picking by anyone who is following close behind.

The reason I'm talking about the ultra-visionary is because I read today that XTRA has further dropped the price of their flat-rate internet access. They claim that by cutting the cost of access, they'll boost traffic to their portal site and thus gain increased revenues from advertising and e-commerce.

I also notice that the growing number of free ISPs are doing a roaring trade -- even to the point where a number of people have commented that the busy signals are becoming bothersome during the early to mid evening period.

Many of you "old" Net users will remember the name Chris Tyler -- he was the American that was recruited to rescue XTRA from the hands of the local management who knew they had to launch an ISP but seemingly didn't have the slightest clue how to do so.

For all his other faults, which have become the subject of much scandal and near-tabloid coverage in Australia, Chris Tyler has to be acknowledged as one of the very few who qualify for the title of ultra-visionary.

I remember talking with Chris shortly after XTRA launched and he was adamant that for an ISP like XTRA, internet access would eventually become nothing more than a commodity -- to be given away or bundled to sell other services. He also said that the commercial future for an ISP like XTRA was to forego access revenues for earnings from advertising and e-commerce.

Of course when Chris Tyler left XTRA, his ultra-visionary view was too radical for his replacement, the non-visionary and now departed Bob Smith, who significantly scaled back the content production so crucial to generating the high levels of traffic needed for securing those advertising and e-commerce revenues.

While Chris Tyler was unliked by many, he must be smiling quite smugly now that XTRA have apparently finally returned to his original game-plan.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
Scoop

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AFR Tech
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine
Corporate IT

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Xtra offers cheap toll calls as part of new plan
Telecom's Internet service provider, Xtra, is bundling discounted toll calls as part of a new flat-rate access plan while maintaining that it is separate from its parent company...
IDG NZ

4  Advantage accused of breaking listing rules
The Stock Exchange's market surveillance panel is expected to report today on whether Advantage Group has broken listing rules...
NZ Herald

4  Business partners scouting
Leading international IT business people will be in New Zealand next month scouting for potential business connections...
NZ Netguide

Other

4  AOL Axes MP3 Searches
The Internet access service shuts down its Winamp music search engine over concern that it directs users to pirated files. The company had previously sued MP3Board for providing a similar service...
Wired

4  Online bookie sentenced for offshore gambling site
The first person to convicted on federal charges of running an illegal offshore Internet sports gambling operation has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison...
CNet

4  Analyst Predicts Major Shakeout Among ASPs
Gartner Group thinks 60 percent of retail application service providers will vanish by the end of next year...
TechWeb

4  VC Money Pours Into IT Industry At Record Pace
As if to demonstrate that venture capitalists are long-term investors, the amount of money raised by the IT industry is on pace to set new records again this year...
TechWeb

4  Ex-Go Exec Gets Detention in Teen Cybersex Case
In a closely watched ``sex on the Internet'' case, a former Infoseek and Go Network executive has been sentenced to nine months home detention for flying to southern California to rendezvous with a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl he met in a chat room...
Yahoo

Australia

4  Business making the most of free ISP services
Corporate Australia is developing new channels for doing business by forming strategic alliances with providers of free internet services...
AFR

4  Chaos blazes the trail in copyright payments for online music files
ChaosMusic hopes to kick-start commercial music file swapping over the internet by allocating artists and record companies a proportion of the internet advertising revenues it sources from the increasingly popular pursuit...
AFR

4  ISPs see red on gambling ban
INTERNET service providers are to hold a council of war next week on the government's proposed on-line gambling ban, warning it could force up access charges...
Australian IT

4  Qantas sees $100m per year from e-commerce strategy
Qantas Airways expects to build $100 million a year in commissions and advertising revenue within three years under its e-commerce strategy...
Fairfax

Other

4  Germany Decides Online Sex Workers Have Rights Too
A German court ruled on Thursday that people paid to talk dirty in the Internet's swelling number of sex chatrooms should enjoy the same rights as other workers, regardless of whether their job is ''immoral.'' ...
Yahoo

4  AMD swings 64-bit 'SledgeHammer'
PT Software developers are encouraged to write for the chip, which will appear first in servers but also migrate to high-end PCs for consumers...
ZDNet

4  Amazon, Toysrus.com to launch toy site
PT Companies will create a co-branded toy and video game online store this fall and a baby store next year...
ZDNet

4  Ads, Marketing Drive Growing Sites
Online ads and so-called viral marketing techniques appear to be paying off for some of the Internet's fastest growing Web sites...
Yahoo/AP


Looking For More News or Information?

Try the Aardvark News Search page or look here.co.nz

Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request