With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight it becomes pretty easy to look back at 1999
and the utter stupidity that saw investors place huge values on
Internet companies started by pre-schoolers and run by "flash-Harry" types
Of course the cold, hard dawn of reality has meant that many of the industry's
highest flyers are now pushing up daisies -- leaving behind them a trail of
investors with aching wallets.
Nowhere has this been more evident than just across the ditch, where once high-flyer
LibertyOne has fallen to earth with an almighty thump.
In its heyday, LibertyOne shares were bought and sold for around $2.27 each but
today they're worth just over six cents -- a fall of over 97 percent!
What's worse -- those involved in "dot-com" operations were once treated like
royalty. The poor and "old-economy" workers would regularly worship the ground
on which a dot-commer had walked -- but now it would appear that associating
yourself with a dot-com makes you, in some circles, about as popular and
respected as someone suffering from the ebola virus.
Of course this is pendulum stuff -- we're seeing such a violent swing from one
extreme to the other that it's only natural to see significant over-reaction.
I predict that by this time next year there will be fewer dot-coms but a lot
more profitable ones whose stock-price is based on sensible metrics with the
ability to provide investors some good old fashioned returns.
My God it's hard to type with all your fingers crossed :-)
TranzRail Is Listening
I gave TranzRail a pasting in yesterday's column -- but it was very refreshing
to see that they have a new system in the pipeline (see
for their right of reply).
Don't forget the pre-launch site-survey guys!
Net No Substitute For TV
this morning in which they report that CNN is coming to NZ to do a piece on
I find it very interesting that despite the fact that there are probably several
times as many people who are "Net-connected" than those who have a subscription
to CNN, TV still seems to have a higher value.
Of course we all know that despite KiwiFlatmates claiming to have scored over
two million page-views in just three months, a spot on CNN will likely reach
a much higher number of people -- and therein lies the problem with the Net.
No matter how good your Internet website, product or service -- you're just
one of (according to DomainStats.com)
31 million other domains on the Net and a handful of the (according to
Google.com) one billion
In light of these figures, it becomes pretty obvious that one of the key secrets
to building a popular Net property (assuming you've got a decent site) is to
make sure you've put out as many road-signs and built as many paths as possible
to your own tree.
I believe that some of the most successful Internet-based ventures over the
next few years will be "path-building" companies and those who charge a small
fee for building and maintaining the signs.
New Weekly Launches Next Tuesday
The first edition of the all new Aardvark Weekly will launch next
Tuesday (Monday is Labour Day), thanks to sponsorship from the
An abridged version of the Weekly will be available online and a full version
will be published in PDF.
As always, your feedback is welcomed.