The first article surprised me because I had no idea that WOW had quarterly revenue of $US 1.3 billion and in the tough times of the last year continued to grow so strongly and the second article surprised me even more. I have known for 20 years that computer games makers did very well but to generate monthly revenue in
excess of $US400 million is amazing. Similarly I had no idea that on line advertising was generating the sorts of revenues reported in the second article. Just goes to show how insulated you can become when your focus is as narrow as mine has obviously become.
We had a pleasant lunch yesterday courtesy of one of our major suppliers to thank us for re-signing with them on a long term contract - something we have refused to do with any supplier for the whole our brief existence - for all of the obvious reasons. Our invariable practice has to be to resign contracts annually and, with one exception in the start up phase of Exetel, we have never signed more than a one year contract for any major service. Even this new three year contract has annual price adjustment clauses in it but it also does have a three year term. We did this for several reasons which, obviously, included the value of the long term commitment
One of our other major suppliers visited our office to present our corporate sales team with a nice glass 'plaque' in recognition of their great success in selling a very large number of mid range Ethernet services over the past 6 months - it was very courteous of the CEO of company to present the award in person and stay for a short while to chat with the corporate sales team over a 'celebratory sandwich'. I wasn't able to be present for reasons unconnected with having lunch with another supplier but the event was reported to have been very useful in a number of ways. Although we set out to achieve the sort of results we are now achieving in corporate sales it is still a little surprising, at least to me, that we have managed to execute the quite difficult aspects of that 'plan' so well with so little 'problem' (ignoring the efforts required in time and education). The 'ceremony' yesterday put those efforts in to perspective in terms of just how well we have done since deciding we should move the emphasis of the company from residential to corporate services to 'ride out' the coming storm we foresaw back in December 2008.
Perhaps its a self fulfilling prophecy but over the last 3 months we have seen a small drop in our residential ADSL revenue each month but that has been replaced on a 3:1 basis by an increase in Ethernet corporate revenue which also has the advantage of having a profit margin ten times greater than the residential revenue and still allows Exetel to provide those services at much lower prices than any of our competitors....which is important to Exetel as it was the only reason that we created the company and there is no point in our existence if we don't do that. So, self fulfilling prophecy or not, it's really nice some times in commercial life to actually plan for something in the future that is a major problem and then execute the plan well enough to avert the foreseen 'disaster'. Or it's dumb luck - either way it has worked out as well as we could have hoped.
So it was a very pleasant day in almost every respect and a nice break from gazing at figures on a screen.
On the contrary, you probably need to get out LESS in order to be aware of the popularity of the gaming industry, and WoW in particular
Not that gaming is entirely a waste of time - there is a TED talk where they discuss how people in games can be used to solve real-world problems since in the game environment people behave differently. - http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html
I'd imagine while the revenue in ADSL is dropping, the profit percent would be increasing.
I also remember a while back you commented that your bank manager (after you changed banks?) had a meeting with you about changing the business. Going from mostly residential ADSL, that at the time was going great in their opinion, to moving to pursuing a new stream of income from corporate connections. They thought it was a silly idea.. or risky.. But I imagine that you saw the end of ADSL coming for a few years now