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Subject: Re: UKNM: Dot Com Fever
From: Ray Taylor
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 00:29:13 +0100

Charles Linn <charles [dot] linnattpd [dot] co [dot] uk> asks if the "online bubble" is going
to burst.

Again, this reference to the South Sea Bubble is a reference to a business
scam. No more, no less. There was never any substance to the South Sea
Bubble. It was only ever sub-tropical air. So at the risk of quoting Martha
Lane Fox for a second time, I would say that the dot-com "bubble" is not a
bubble at all, because it _does_ have substance, however much you might
think it over-inflated.

Internet business has a future for as long as business has a future and
until something comes along that improves mass communication to the extent
that it displaces the internet. At which point one imagines the best
internet businesses may well migrate.

Let's get this point absolutely straight. All business will be e-business in
a matter on years. Businesses that don't migrate to e-business soon are at
greater risk of collapse than the business that the three plonkers looking
for half a mill at First Tuesday are launching. I would rather punt a few
thousand on those guys than on, say, Tesco (Sorry, Terry, love the stores,
love the coffee shops, really admire the Club Card, but your future does
_not_ look bright until and unless you can get your online act together).

Internet stock generally will go up and down with the market and more so,
given the instability of many of the dot-com business models. But the best
internet stock will rise and rise.

Don't forget that the whole point about an IPO is to raise _capital_ - which
to the uninitiated means money you invest in, or have invested in, a
business enterprise of some sort. Good management teams will celebrate their
millionaire status briefly before moving on to invest the money raised in
providing good, solid customer service. Good management teams will run their
businesses efficiently, build sales revenues, establish their brands, and
otherwise build something solid however questionable their trading
statements are when they launch. Good management teams may well make
strategic acquisitions that will build real, solid, value for their

Look at Freeserve. They launched themselves to the investing public with
little content, hardly any sales or customers, and a somewhat questionable
business plan. The price went up, crashed down, and recovered. Why? Because
they eventually started to make good use of the money.

Members of this list should be shouting from the rooftops about how
wonderful it is to have all this City, and public, support for what they are
doing. Not only are the financial institutions and private investors
throwing bags of money at us, but they are giving us plenty of time and
space to prove ourselves, and allowing us to make mistakes and try again.
What more could a new business want? Anyone who cannot see this is either
stupid or ungrateful.

So NO, the bubble ain't gonna burst.

Stock will rise and fall, there will be lots of bloody noses, too many
millionaires who did little to earn it, good businesses going to the wall
and bad businesses enjoying unjustified success. There may well be stock
market crashes. Investors might get bored or nervous about tech stock. But
ultimately the graph goes up and up.

So if you are one of those three blokes with red faces, please call me. I
would like to offer you my support and my best wishes. You have a brilliant
future ahead of you.

Anyone still stuck on the good ship Old Economy? Say what the hell you

Ray Taylor - 020 8249 6313
See my next documentary: Licence Fee Fever - when will the Beeb Bubble

Affiliate Solutions Seminar - London, England
A one day seminar for Merchants and Affiliates which
focuses on Revenue Sharing and Affiliate Marketing
for the online industry. Being held April 26, 2000, at the
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Search Engine Strategies Seminar - London, England
Moderated by Search Engine expert, Danny Sullivan. A seminar
for Web marketers which focuses on the latest strategies for
generating traffic from search engines. April 27, 2000 at the
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