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Posted to the Gilder forum - February 15, 2001

Enabling Software

The GTR is dedicated to the Telecosmic infrastructure, to the pipes and the pumps that make the data flow. Somebody has to pay to have the pipes and the pumps put into place and to keep them running smoothly. Individual users want everything for free as the Napster movement clearly shows so companies will only be able to charge for what the individual does not feel safe about ripping off. This means that the Telecosm will have to be paid for by the companies that use it to deliver BILLABLE products and services to their customers.

The early Internet investors fell in love with the dot-coms thinking that they had discovered the new El Dorado. Using the Internet properly does give businesses an advantage over their brick and mortar cousins but the Internet does not overturn the three basic foundations of business: earnings, earnings and earnings. All Internet based businesses will continue to operate under the same laws of competition as their bricks and mortar cousins. Moving to the Internet might give you a leg up on the bricks and mortar competitors but not on your Internet competitors. Everybody just moves to a higher plane of competition.

Between the dot-coms and the Telecosmic infrastructure there is an interesting investment opportunity in the enabling software providers. These companies help the dot.coms to sell and deliver their products and services in an efficient manner. What follows is a list of companies that I'm interested in, long in some and just keeping up to date on others. At the bottom of the "business description" for each company you will find who competes with them:

Billing and customer care:

Amdocs Limited - Business description - Link expired

Portal Software, Inc. - Business description - Link expired

Help to reuse old applications:

BEA Systems, Inc. - Business description - Link expired

Internet security:

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. - Business description - Link expired

Supply chain logistics:

Manhattan Associates, Inc. - Business description - Link expired

Map based data and services:

MapInfo Corporation - Business description - Link expired

Network operation efficiency:

Micromuse, Inc. - Business description - Link expired

Happy investing!

"Demand creates queues. Supply gets rid of them."

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