Thrilled at the discovery, I quickly shot off an email to my dear
friend explaining the Yahoo! secret of success. My pleasure in
knowing that I had not gone loony was shortlived at the acid reply,
which left somewhat of an acrid taste in my mouth.
She knew that Yahoo! had made because of its care-giving ways.
But what she wanted to know was how they sustained the traffic.
After all, she said, it was now 2000, not 1994. She did not have the
six-year lead time that Yahoo! Enjoyed. In fact, she revealed that
she was secretly hoping Yahoo! would fumble and the real truth be
"It is the virtual world after all. Everything in the virtual
world will collapse faster than in the real world because the folks
ruling are under age 30, and without the benefit of experience in
the real world. What is worse is that they are conning folks with
money to invest in them with only a promise of an IPO. Have you seen
the burn rate among dotcoms? More like dotcons ruling the world,"
The insults she hurled took the wind off my wings. I desperately
needed a Guinness to raise my spirits back to life. My two
kids--raised a la dotcom--did not need such bitter and almost
malevolently jealous views to mar their blissful childhood of
straddling real life and the Web.
Two pints later, I saw wisdom in her words. The Malaysian Web
sites that have sprouted in recent months are shadows of the ones
created elsewhere. While the design work is dazzling, the content
was severely lacking in imagination. The owners do not look beyond
the faηade in their rush to create a portal. They think that
quantity rules. They think: "Let's just plug the site with lots of
stuff." Relevance is immaterial. The priority is to build traffic
and crow about that later.