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Germans find rule for making money on the Net

IF {population_with_Net_access >= 20%} THEN {web_sites = $++}

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Don't expect to make money from the Internet before 2000 at the earliest. That's the grim warning from German ISP, CVSI. It reckons that success for the majority of Internet-based operations is directly pegged to the percentage of the population that has access to the Net. An obvious equation, you'd have thought, but CVSI has figured out just how many people must have ISP accounts before the Net becomes a commercial success for the maximum number of players: 20 per cent. Trouble is, no one has got there yet, at least according to CVSI's figures. It reckons the US will get there at the turn of the century; Europe will follow it a few years later. Until then "companies should see the Internet as a new business branch that needs to be strategically developed", said CVSI managing director Karl-Ekkehard Klingner. "It is in no way a goldmine." Companies will make big losses before the start making money, he said, which is certainly the experience of the big players, like portals and e-commerce sites. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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