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Username: TheWebster
Date/Time: Sat, October 14, 2000 at 7:07 AM GMT
Browser: AOL Browser V5.0 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Can Afilias Really Execute???


Afilias believes that because it has 19 registrars from around the world, it stands to roll out domain names faster and more efficiently than anyone else.  In addition, Afilias maintains a posture that its customer service will out shine all other competitors, again because it has 19 registrars from around the world.  Sounds impressive on paper, but dig below the surface and you begin to see the potential pitfalls.

All too often, companies like Afilias have grandiose business plans that crash and burn because they failed to consider the qualitative aspects of conducting business across international borders, i.e. culture risk, political risk, currency risk, etc.  Obviously, when you branch out into the international business arena, you are going to encounter additional risks.  This goes without saying.  Again, having 19 registrars may sound impressive, but consider the real challenges of trying to coordinate so many companies that operate in culturally diverse countries that are run by different governments in various time zones.  Aside from cultural and language barriers, Afilias will also have to deal with internal power struggles and squabling.

Perhaps we should make a comparison between Afilias and OPEC.  Sure, OPEC seems to be running more effectively now, after several decades of trials and errors.  Can we afford to give Afilias several decades to overcome the aforementioned risks?

I'm not willing to be that generous given the fact that we don't need to go down that road.  Neither are others in the internet community.  If you are not convinced that Afilias will take many years, then consider the siimple fact that NSI is still trying to solve its own internal problems after all these years.  Imagine if NSI had taken on 18 other registrars when it began.  Just think where we'd be today.  Creating grandiose ideas on paper is simple.  Implementing such ideas, however, is another matter entirely.  We've seen just how well NSI has executed its business model on a smaller scale?  Are we seriously willing to let the same company apply its management style on a grander stage?  I'm not.

Vote - No on further consideration of Afilias.
       Yes on further consideration of other applicants.


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