Wednesday, 28 February, 2001
Richard Fidler�s suggestion
internet: over- and now under-hyped � it�s all hype
started off as an attorney
decided to study engineering
started first company, $50,000, 150 employees and high-profile clients
high-profile clients don�t pay on time � problems with cashflow
sold and broke even
Digital Salon � Gecko
rendering engine, very tight code
couldn�t get distribution, blocked by Microsoft
sold it to Netscape for $35m (which was less money than Microsoft offered)
browsers: problems with security
2 brothers in the basement responsible for SSL
had to reinvent Netscape in a hurry, when MS started to give away IE for free
so they came up with NetCenter
sold Netscape to AOL for $4b, of which Gecko was worth $1b
Netscape went from 2% attrition � 52% attrition, including Dotson
$50,000 seed, from pencil business plan on half-piece of paper
$250m investment, without even going public
$105/share � $28, because market overheated
the rules for creating an international brand on the internet are all different
psychological triangulation � target advertising (22-year old Wisconsin rock and roll listening young men who buy jetski)
sold advertising on the free CD, earned $2/disc, so they gave away loads at every rock and roll concert
effective technique for taking offline advertising � online world, because you have to look at the CD on a computer
issues with legality of mp3s that he didn�t want anything to do with
to get an audience of 50m homes took radio 38 years, tv 13 years, internet 4 years
even radio had a rocky start � �why would anyone move from telegraph to a broadcast model?�
voice traffic 1% of information transfer by 2001???
Scandinavia + UK have higher data transfer per capita than the US
online ads � by 70% this year alone
many automobile manufacturers failed to begin with, and so people condemned the product
Alexander G Bell tried to sell the patent for the telephone for $100k to Western Union
they were told to market the browsers to corporates, because �people would never use the Internet at home�
Napster 57m registered users
1 billion indexed documents on the web
�can�t solve a problem with the thinking that created it�
change the way the Net is perceived by Europeans, as an American product
in Spain, bullet points are off-putting � you can�t just translate language into different cultures
less than 5% of Americans have passports, and only 20% of Congressmen
American model of command + control doesn�t work here
European companies don�t sell just for money
fractured market � consider language divide as an industry divide
engineers = 21st century monks � arcane languages, well-connected subculture (communicating with the shared language of technology)
Federation of 1800 engineers in lots of countries � strategists, not consultants, find ways to use tech to transform businesses
find new revenue streams, efficiencies
web doesn�t work as a presentational medium
you have to excite people, build a community, have a reason for his site
insurance company - he thought he was in the business of collecting premiums
whereas he�s really in the business of providing things when people have a flood etc.
need more dynamic pricing catalogue
all the products (e.g. 400,000 vehicles/year) he�s providing/replacing for people, there�s money to be made there
entrepreneurs in a co-op work harder, deep pockets of knowledge that you can�t purchase
extreme ultraviolet topography � 10GHz computers, and miniaturised 1GHz computers � within a year
MEMS (microelectronic mechanical systems???) e.g. bubblejet
quantum computing � stateless logic (being developed in Oxford)
�whether you think I'm mad, or merely American��
England�s advantage lies in being a bridge to other cultures
the Net is more than just dotcoms
they don�t get it � tried to launch MSN 4 times � they don�t get that the Net is about sharing, not holding on to
he�s learnt twice never to discount Bill Gates � when they figure it out, he�s working for MS
dominated by 4 big record companies � but you buy bands, not record brands
unless you have a system that offers you all of it
industry that took 6 years to decide not to package CDs in big cardboard
they own the content
but the technology exists, even without Napster
mp3s won�t kill the record industry, any more than video killed cinema
predict no change for a little while
same way as before
look for the (often unexpected) things people have in common
e.g. Coca Cola site, bound by extreme surfing, lifestyle marketing
give them the chance to express themselves, they believe they own the company
one of the fastest-growing groups is the silver surfers � 55+
doesn�t have to look like e-commerce (as described above for the insurance company)
make use of the speed of information exchange
B�B = invented by the press, it�s still customers
how build charisma into B�B?
20b SMS messages last year, 40b this year
tremendous marketing channel
trying to understand what the users want
some people do and other really don�t have access to the Net - how does that affect online-offline business?
there�s lots of people who don�t have cars
what about wealth
fuzzy logic is the solution to the problem of �e.g. Yahoo requires you to know what you want when you look�
browsing, like you do in a bookshop, doesn�t work on the Net
mum-tested � voice recognition � from the user
fuzzy logic (different to exact matching) � delivery - technology exists, but hasn�t been employed
smart autonomous agents that communicate with each other
what�s a good GUI? � none, should be completely intuitive
France can�t stop the Net, but they can stop business on the Net
Spain = one of the most under-studied � laying more fibre-optics than any other countries � inexpensive to invest in
3G is a limitation
<15 year olds perceive the Net as a pervasive experience
the new generation have not been in the world without the Net
smart computers � OmniNet � need intelligence behind the systems
why did his latest company go bust???
where�s he from???
why was he living near Richard Fidler???
what�s his latest big idea???
how educated is he???
who�s he working for now???
how did you do the psychological triangulation??? surely that information alone is worth loads???
how do you write a business plan for such a turbulent future???
why are the 3 emerging technologies you�ve mentioned software, rather than information processing � you�ve talked about the future of the net in terms of volume
what�s the difference between the Dotson federation and a multinational technology consultancy with a lot of part-time staff???
mr dotson, I'm looking to work in America, and I'm probably going to end up with IBM like last summer � but I thought I'd approach you and offer my services, because I know I'd learn a lot, and I'm confident that I could contribute a huge amount too � and I sort of hoped that you wouldn�t take offence at my boldness