Dotcom All Over Again?

This time domain names = IP addresses and dotcom = cloud

The idea of cloud is not new – think mainfraimes, ADP for payroll and the ASP market of over a decade ago. This time though the investors are behind the move and it seems potentially for good. I say “potentially” because I launched a magazine to educate the market on the cloud revolution called Communications ASP in 2001 and it was a mega-success for a few issues until almost all our advertisers told us at once that their investors no longer allowed them to use the term ASP.

Poof. And just like that the market disappeared – bankrupting the majority of these players except for a few like who scraped by.

This weekend the news broke that cloud-based SuccessFactors was purchased at a 50% premium to their Friday closing price by SAP and Oracle was rumored to have been in the bidding as well.

We have a slow economy – a record 46 million Americans on stamps, Europe in major trouble and a boom in the values of cloud companies. It is incredible actually. Irrational exuberance? I’m not sure – could be but it does seem that every company needs some sort of cloud play and purchasing is faster than building. Anyone remember the term “Internet time?” Should we rename it “cloud time?” Perhaps.

Another thing that set off my déjà vu meter was a report which Tom Keating sent over to me via email… IP addresses are now being sold for a record $12 a pop. The reason is the move to IPV6 and the lack of IPV4 addresses. Still, this isn’t much of a premium over the $11.25 paid in March of this year by Microsoft per 666,624 address they purchased but any dollar amount is more than you would have paid a year or so ago so that’s real appreciation.

Back in the day – 1999 when everyone in your tech company – including the people in the cafeteria and janitorial were paper millionaires we expected anything in the Internet space to have insane valuations and domain names were selling for many millions apiece.  Well it seems those days may be returning. In fact, remember last June when I wrote that domain name values were increasing in price again? It seems in some ways the glory days are back but let’s hope this time for the sake of investors, employees and customers that we put more of a focus on earnings, profit and long-term business sustainability.

Speaking of the good old days – TMC will be debuting Cloud Computing Magazine next year. Here are the details and a subscription form. Let’s just hope investors will still be OK with the term “cloud” after issue # 3. smiley-wink

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