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Rewriting The David Versus Goliath Story 21 March 2002 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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A long time ago there was this little guy called David who single-handedly took on a giant and knocked the stuffing out of him.

Ever since this little vignette appeared in the pages of the Bible it has been a popular story, serving as the basis for many other tales which have us rooting for the little guy in his struggle against overwhelming odds.

There was a time when the computer software and Internet industries were rich with Davids and equally filled with the corpses of giants who were too slow, too stupid, or just too big to keep up.

Those were the days when innovation and fast footwork were key ingredients for success in a rapidly evolving marketplace.

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If you're launching a new website, upgrading an existing one, or just frustrated that your web-presence isn't performing as it should then maybe you need an Aardvark Site Survey. Read more...

About 15 years ago I recall reading with some interest how there were a growing number of programmers who'd written "killer apps" for the Apple II, TRS80 and other microcomputers of the day. These guys were almost exclusively one-man-bands and some of them became incredibly rich, virtually overnight.

Meanwhile, IBM and the rest of the Goliaths were sitting around laughing at these boys with their toy computers.

Even little Billy Gates was once a David -- but my, how the excesses of success have seen a growth spurt there eh?
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    The same happened when the Net came along.

    When they began to cobble together a rather elementary online directory of websites, the guys who started Yahoo! were hardly seen as being on their way towards creating one of the most valuable (pre 2000 crash) businesses in the world.

    Unfortunately, the days when smart people can combine a great idea with lots of sweat and defeat the "big guys" have passed.

    We have now entered the era of litigation rather than innovation.

    The quality of your ideas and the dedication of your efforts are no longer much of a factor in your success. It's the depth of your pockets and the savvy of your lawyers that are far more likely to be the critical factors determining whether you will sink or swim as an Internet entrepreneur.

    Take for example the battle against spam...

    Blacklists are an effective method of forcing delinquent operators to sure-up the security of their mailservers so as to protect the innocent emailing public from excessive ads for pornography, bogus diets and work-from-home scams.

    Unfortunately, these lists tend to attract the unwanted attention of some goliaths who find it easier to simply sue the list operator rather than sort out their problems.

    Last year we saw the demise of ORBS and now it appears that ORBZ is shutting up shop due to litigation from the purveyors of Lotus Domino. (announcement email)

    A couple of years ago our universities and technical institutes were flooded students looking for a career in IT or the Net. If this story turns out to be true then I suspect that many students will once again opt for a degree in law rather than one in IT.

    Have your say.

    Aardvark's Garage Sale
    It's time to clear out the closet here at Aardvark's country residence so I'm having a bit of a garage sale. I need to spend a whole lot more time and money on my jet engine R&D activities (now that the defense industry has shown a very real interest) -- so I'm trying to scrape up some more cash.

    First up -- I'm selling my pulsejet manufacturing business. This would be perfect for either a semi-retired engineer/machinist who wants to earn some pretty good money building these things and exporting them to the world -- or an established engineering shop who want to break into a new (very export oriented) market. I can provide an ongoing stream of orders through my website and since I've run out of time to meet the demand, the sale will include a growing "waiting list" of new customers ready to place their orders.

    Second up -- I've still got 300,000 7am.com shares (representing about 30% of the company) that I'm looking to unload. I'm afraid I can't offer much information on the state of the company -- they haven't spoken with me for ages so it's a bit of a pig in a poke. However, they survived the most critical part of the dot-com crash and are now claiming to have nearly 250,000 websites in their ticker network so that's got to be worth something. Any sale would be subject to other shareholders exercising their preferential rights -- but all offers will be considered.

    Thirdly -- I have an RC model helicopter here that I have built but never flown. It's a Robbe Mosquito Basic with a JR X-3810 radio, JR piezo gyro, OS46FSH engine and a Dave Brown flight simulator. Everything was purchased brand-new a couple of years ago and is in pristine condition (having spent all that time in a box in the storeroom). Since I haven't had any time to fly it in the past two years I figure there's little chance I'll find time to fly it in the next two years, so out it goes.

    Anyone interested in any of these things should drop me a line.

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