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Opportunism and strategy

Certain countries which are traditionally opportunist have perfectly understood the advantage of Internet. The Tonga archipelago, for example, is known for its original economic projects that King Taufa' Ahau Tupou IV plans for his 100,000 subjects : he has already tried to trade locally produced sugar for uranium, to create a uranium reserve on his territory, to accept all the used tyres from the surrounding countries, or to develop red-mullet farming. Naturally, he was happy to grant a licence to Netnames - http://www.netnames.com for the widest possible distribution of the domain names of Tonga's islands, thus creating digital wealth without any substantial investment. The domain name determines a business's Website address. Thus, if Air France takes its domain name as airfrance.fr, its Website address will be http://www.airfrance.fr. The suffix .fr shows that the site is run by a French company. The same goes for the majority of European businesses. But other suffixes, such as .com (initially given to commercial enterprises), .org (non profit-making organisations) and .net (structures linked to running Internet) are attributed without any restriction except the modest sum of 70 US dollars. As the automatic reaction of the average Internet user is to type www.microsoft.com or www.wellsfargo.com if he doesn't know the exact address of a site, many businesses took the gamble of reserving quantities of intuitive domain names (love.com, car.com, fertiliser.com) in the hope of reselling them one day to businesses who want to acquire this domain name. In this way, television.com was resold for a million dollars, Altavista.com for over three million dollars. As .com is becoming a rare commodity, the Tonga islands decided to allow any company (even situated outside the archipelago) to buy its domain name (for 49 dollars a year). The advantage for the company is that the islands' domain name ends with .to. The mnemonic advantage that this represents for an English-speaking company to have a Website address that starts www.come.to is obvious : it could continue www.come.to/mystore, www.travel.to/europe, www.sell.to, etc. This story is just one example, which proves that in the information economy, the fastest and cleverest countries have the advantage. No need for a weighty physical infrastructure to create virtual value.

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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

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