Last week's news was all about the government's e-commerce summit and the
overwhelming praise it received from almost all quarters.
This excellent initiative on the part of government has not gone unnoticed
overseas, as witnessed by
carried by TechWeb.
While I doubt that we have Ireland, Finland, the USA or Israel quaking in their
boots right now, it must be acknowledged that we have, as a country, raised our
hand and said "we are going to be a serious player."
The ball has started rolling -- but now it's up to the government and business
community to keep it rolling and, with a little effort, increase its momentum.
As I have always said in respect to doing business on the Internet: once you
have showed your hand you must move very quickly to establish high ground --
to hesitate is to invite failure.
Helen Clark says the value of ecommerce to New Zealand is not overstated but
I must say that I think it probably is in some circles. Unfortunately our
politicians seem to be playing pendulum and have moved from near total Net-fear
to the slightly misguided belief that it is a universal panacea to this country's
economic lack of performance in global markets.
Yes, ecommerce has an extremely valuable role to play in boosting our exports
and improving the overall performance of the nation's economy -- but government
also has to be prepared to recognise that it's only one small component of
building a new economy.
It's no good embracing the power of ecommerce to promote and market goods into
distant markets if we don't create a local environment that fosters the ongoing
research and development of those goods. We must remember that following the
invention of the car, no amount of marketing, promotion and direct-selling was
going to make horse-shoes a big seller again.
To fully maximise the potential that ecommerce offers, we have to be able to
create new-economy products and services -- the kind of products that can not only
be sold over the Internet but also delivered the same way.
So Helen, Jim and Co -- full marks for getting the ball rolling but now you
absolutely must deal with the crucial issue of encouraging R&D so as to
make sure we have something to sell that the rest of the world wants to buy.
The word is that if you're a Kiwi "bloke" then you're going to love the new
website fireengine.co.nz --
but is that true?
I guess I was hoping to find the kind of site that offered hints on how to
fit that 351 V8 engine into your wife's Toyota Starlet, or maybe the best
way to clean oily bootmarks off the shagpile but this site seems to be
for a different kind of "bloke."
If "dumb blonde" joke on the front page and the promised girly picture gallery
is anything to go by then I doubt this site will find much favour amongst members
of the fairer sex. Mind you, that can hardly be considered a criticism for
a "bloke" site can it?
The suggestion made on the "Fire-engine Babes" page that you keep Jane on your desktop
isn't really very blokey though is it? "Real blokes" are more likely to want
a picture of their favourite chain saw, Holden V8, or Harley.
And really -- what card-carrying member of the male sex would even consider
associating themselves with a woman who reputedly wants to meet Brad
Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio?
The site is sponsored by Lion Breweries who believe the site will have signed up
50,000 real blokes within 12 months. Who are you trying to kid mate?
Blokes' magazines have done very well overseas but here in New Zealand they have
simply never struck a chord. Perhaps that's because nobody has really worked
out exactly how to define a "Kiwi bloke" and an overseas formula can't simply
be imported with any realistic expectation of success.
What do you think -- is this the quintessential bloke site or not?
Yes, I know the first edition of the weekly has yet to appear -- but I'm
still working on it.
Hopefully (if current leads pan out) it will include a very interesting expose'
into the astoundingly bad behaviour of a group of local "new economy" company
directors (some of who are also on the board of a public company). Just how
competent and ethical are the managers of some of our hi-tech public companies?
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