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April 19, 2014

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12/18/00 Youíre In Good Company
Itís amazing how much has changed between our most recent Radio Ink Internet Conference and the one six months earlier. Things are still changing at lightning speed. What was true six months ago is no longer true. Since April, more than 400 Internet companies have gone away. The rules have changed. One of our readers, Jason McCabe, of The Silicon Alley Reporter, calls it the Internet 2.0 Manifesto.

The old rules said: Get Big Fast, and grab market share at any cost.
New Rules: Get profitable fast, and monetize whatever market share youíve attracted.

Old Rules: Talent is scarce, so hire anyone solid at any price.
New Rules: Talent is expensive, so hire the best people you can find, but donít get into bidding wars or over-pay or over-staff.

Old Rules: Be a pure dot-com play, or the market will punish you.
New Rules: Donít be a pure dot-com play, or the market will punish you.

Old Rules: First mover wins, so spend whatever it takes to gain brainshare.
New Rules: Sustainability wins the race, so set a realistic pace, and be in it for the long haul.

Old Rules: Old companies donít get it.
New Rules: Making existing companies more efficient and profitable is the true strength of the Internet.

Old Rules: Focus on business models that the stock market is rewarding.
New Rules: Focus on business models that generate revenues and inspire the market that really matters: your customers. Duh.
So, how do we take advantage of the NEW Internet environment?
The dance floor is less crowded. Many competitors will go away because they have run out of money. Many concepts and markets are still viable. Lower customer acquisition costs, and increase customer loyalty. Fewer competitors mean an easier battle for customers and at a lower cost. Radio has a big hammer (listeners). Use it.
The Net is about efficiency and lowering costs. The price of services is coming down, and many valuable services are free on the Net. Look for services that will save you operational costs.
The Net is growing. People are embracing it more. As people get broadband, they spend more time online and have a better experience, and they never give up their broadband connections. One-third of American homes will have broadband connections by 2004. This makes the potential of the Internet stronger than ever. Promote broadband in conjunction with local advertisers.
The rules have changed, and the opportunities have only gotten better ó
especially for Radio! Keep the faith, study the rule changes, and create a revolution based on evolution.
ó B. Eric Rhoads

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