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Username: RayF
Date/Time: Mon, February 4, 2002 at 6:25 AM GMT
Browser: AOL Browser V6.0 using Windows 98
Subject: show me the money


                The financial model supporting the .info registry does not allow for any type of global marketing campaign.  This was true in November 2000 and remains true today.  The only real shot this had was the 10% confidence level projections.  Now, in actual operation, not even the 90% confidence level projections appear likely for year 1.  This will have an affect on the year 2 marketing budget.  Applications, in addition to .info, that proposed material losses at the 90% confidence were chosen.  Since this time, general economic conditions have weakened further.  Financial models proposing to lose money today for market share later is no longer in style (though I question whether it was in November 2000).  The important point is that management decisions today will not allow for it.  The .info registry is stuck with a poor financial model without much room for marketing.  The math is pretty simple both today and then. On the positive side, it took NSI far longer to achieve 700,000 units.  But, second mover advantages are not going to include the type of windfall a monopoly can enjoy.  It has to be accomplished by other means and, to me, starts with a sound financial model.  Until this happens, market competition in the TLD spectrum will not exist.  The Afilias registry will be lucky to recognize $4M in revenue in its first year (50%+ is deferred).  Heavy marketing expenditures now will result in a very poor working capital position.  And it is reasonable to say that the "second" 1M units will be harder to obtain than the "first" 1M units.  Given the parameters they are stuck with, it is more likely Afilias will accept operating for the next few years where cash flows can remain positive ranging somewhere between 1 to 3 million unit registrations.  I do not see too many investment groups today eager to pour $15M to $20M into a shotgun Internet branding campaign.  It never did make sense.  Somehow, this point missed the proof-of-concept.



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