Monthly Archives: October 2000

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 10/31/00

Vicinity and Announce Location Based Services

Well, the future’s coming faster than I had imagined. This month, Vicinity, a vendor of location-based information, and, maker of the most popular WAP browser as well as other wireless applications, announced Vicinity’s BrandFinder. BrandFinder is a Web and wireless application that gives users the ability to search nearly 300 of their favorite brands and locate the retailers and service providers nearest to them. While the major wireless providers fight the future and grumble about complying with the FCC’s E911 regulation (which requires them to locate a cell phone within 30 to 50 meters by next year), these two vendors are making it real now. Imagine all the brand owners who will hustle to get on Vicinity’s list. You gotta figure existing Vicinity customers such as FedEx, Ford, GM, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Marriott, McDonald’s, NEC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Starwood Hotels, Taco Bell, Toyota, Levi Strauss & Co. and UPS will have the leg up.

Airflash Teams with Excite and Orange on Location-Based Services

Even more progress on the Personal Area Network front. This announcement doesn’t detail exactly how the network will determine proximity. I suspect the user will somehow input his or her location. Still, the future’s coming fast.


StratVantage Consulting, LLC — StratVantage News Summary 09/29/00

From Evernote:

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — StratVantage News Summary 09/29/00

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Faster, Better, Cheaper Bandwidth . . .

. . . is just around the corner. According to Upside, "By the end of this year, Nortel Networks Corp. (NT) plans to begin selling a system that will send a staggering 1.6 trillion bits per second through a single fiber. That’s equivalent to more than 20 million simultaneous phone calls." What will the world look like when bandwidth cost approaches zero? We may find out a good deal sooner than we thought.

At the Delphi Corporate Portals conference this week, Wired editor Kevin Kelly related a story of an early 20th century Sears product: the home motor. This portable but expensive device could power all manner of labor saving devices. Kelly asserted that people of that time couldn’t imagine what was to come: motors disappeared into the fabric of the home support systems. It’s certainly true. Rather than a single, expensive, valuable resource that needs to be conserved and maximized, domestic motors today are in everything and we never think about them. Try taking an inventory of all the motors in your house. Did you remember to count any mechanical clocks?

Kelly’s point is that computing will disappear into the background just as so many other technologies have. I believe communications bandwidth will go the same way. Remember when you hesitated to make a long distance call because it was so expensive? (If you don’t, you were probably born later than the 70s.) Now you can call for free on your wireless phone or over the Internet. Kelly described the cost curve that modern technology has created: one that approaches zero. A correlary to his thinking is my assertion that, "On the Internet, everything devolves to free." (See my presentation from the conference for more on that subject, here. Email me if you want the PowerPoint file.

So, what will you do with unlimited bandwidth?


Briefly Noted

  • Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: StratVantage has launched a new service, CTOMentor™, designed to allow Chief Technology Officers and other technical leaders to get rid of the Guilt Stack, that pile of magazines you’ll get around to reading someday.

    CTOMentor is a subscription advisory service tailored to customers’ industry and personal information needs. Four times a year CTOMentor provides a four-hour briefing for subscribers and their staffs on the most important emerging technology trends that could affect their businesses. As part of the service, subscribers also get a weekly email newsletter, Just the Right Stuff™, containing links to the Top 10 Must Read articles needed to stay current. These and other CTOMentor services will let you Burn Your Inbox™.

    As part of its launch, CTOMentor is offering a two-part white paper on peer-to-peer technology: Peer-to-Peer Computing and Business Networks: More Than Meets the Ear. Part 1, What is P2P?, is available for free on the CTOMentor Web site . Part 2, How Are Businesses Using P2P?, is available for $50.

  • "Won’t You Sign In Stranger?": The US digital signature law goes into effect this weekend. Have you got your digital sig yet? The idea sounds great, but it could be costly to implement. Perhaps you’d like to combine it with the smart card in your mouse pad .
  • Stupid Name Alert From time to time, I come upon really stupid names like WooDoggie or Google (c’mon, I know they’re popular, but Google?) I guess these folks want to out Yahoo Yahoo. And maybe they have. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) As a public service, I’ll pass stupid names along in this space. Today’s candidate for Stupid Internet-Related Name of the Year is: B2B-Hive, an Internet incubator apparently for bees to bees. Perhaps an apiary lonely hearts club? OK, it’s maybe not as stupid as WooDoggie, but wait — try going to . Guess what? That’s not them! It’s a cybersquatter. You need to go to Now don’t you think it’s a lot stupider?

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Gain the Strategic Advantage for Your Business!

From Evernote:

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — 10/25/00

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The News — 10/25/00

eBusiness Growing Pains Spell Opportunity for Innovative Services Firms

from IDC
IDC predicts that the current $115 Billion eSolutions Business Will Skyrocket to $430 Billion by 2004. The company predicts that companies will turn from their current, essentially reactive mode, to a more strategically focused mode that identifies new opportunities for revenue. Thus, they will need more outsourcing services. However, IT services companies who do not evolve their offerings are in for trouble. “IT service organizations must recognize that the services they offer today will face increased margin pressures as a growing number of service organizations offer the same services. . . Today, more than ever, businesses buy from service providers that can provide answers to the fundamental question of ‘What IT investments do I need to make to maximize business value?’” IDC identified CRM and Logistics as two business services that will be much in demand.


Cisco Integrates Web-Based Product Ordering Tool With Ariba Buyer Application

Will somebody please tell me what’s up with Cisco? Here’s a hardcore network hardware provider who has a small business applications center, CRM, chat, and other software holdings, and who’s buying more like they’re going out of style. Now they’ve got a Web purchasing front end and an alliance with Ariba. I realize all this stuff drives demand for more networking, but what’s their strategy. I haven’t figured is out yet. If you have, email .

BTW, just try to find the press release on Cisco’s site. I dare you.


B2B Roofing Network Selects Clarus

OK, I admit it. I asked myself, “B2B roofing? What’s next? B2B Hammer and Nail Exchange?” But I really love their motto: “Consolidating the industry under one roof.” That’s certainly better than, “Who let the dogs out? Roof, roof, roof roof.”

Anyway, Clarus is a B2B enabler that doesn’t get the press of the Ariba’s and Commerce One’s of the world, but who has some nice solutions and some decent clients.

B2B Roofing Network

Return to Mike’s Take

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 10/19/00

From Evernote:

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 10/19/00

Clipped from:

The News — 10/19/00

Websites Need to Cut the Content

from eMarketer
According to Byte Level Research, the average website is too large. After studying 150 websites, Byte Level found that the average number of kilobytes of data on a homepage was 89KB. Yahoo’s homepage has 37KB and Lycos, 30KB. Byte Level reports that the optimum median weight (number of KBs per homepage) is 60KB. Online trading sites boast the lightest pages with a 54KB average, while search engines follow with a 57KB average. Graphics-heavy sites scored the lowest ranking — has a 451KB average, a 216KB average and a 173KB average.


New Domain Suffixes Coming Next Month

Bored with .com and .net? Next month you may be able to choose from a new crop of Internet domain name suffixes – from .church to .sex. I predict a scramble for high value trademark owners to snap up real estate in .biz, .info. .web and others. Can you imagine someone else owning, for example? ICANN, the governing body for names, has received and is reviewing 47 applications for new TLDs (Top Level Domains, like the current .com and .net for example). They range from the sublime (.mad) to the ridiculous (.soup). The move to add new TLDs is widely seen as improving on the current .com dominated name space. I think there will be even more confusion with the addition of new names, especially for businesses that register under multiple TLDs. How do you know which address to go to when Nike’s got,, nike.air,,, nike.commerce,, and on and on?

Sure, the addresses could all point to the same site, but think of the confusion and the dilution of the brand. The bottom line is, every business will have to have a .com come as the only consistent destination. And this sure doesn’t solve the current problems with the .com monopoly. This week, Madonna got control of from a cybersquatter. In the future, will she have to fight for,, and as well? (BTW, I don’t really think it was a good decision to give her the domain name. She’s not the original Madonna, after all.)

Stay tuned to the name drama. It promises to be interesting.

New Scientist

ICANN listing of received TLD applications

Are eMarketplaces a Threat to SMEs?

In article on, much is made of the problems of eMarketplaces for suppliers who are small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Stephen Alambritis of the UK’s Federation of Small Businesses says (FSB) internet-based marketplaces are a threat to small businesses. "The main threat is that the list of suppliers is massively increased, so you could find yourself suddenly competing against people from Italy, Greece – anywhere. We would advise SMEs to first concentrate on selling their own personal service, their own particular benefits, but in the long term to prepare to be part of these marketplaces," he said.

Jaap Stavier, senior analyst at Forrester Research, agrees. He said: ‘Any benefit to suppliers from access to greater markets will be offset by a greater ability for buyers to change supplier and lower prices. The lowering of margins will also have a knock-on effect in the offline world."

Granted, this is a European take on the subject ( is out of the UK), but it’s a concern many SME suppliers, and even their larger brethren share. If eMarketplaces are to truly revolutionize business, they must provide a win/win solution, and not just become a place for buyers to hammer on suppliers to get the best prices. Much has been said about the upside opportunity for SME businesses ‐ greater access to markets, ability to land larger accounts ‐ but there is a real danger that SMEs will get crowded out by newly-nimble large enterprises.