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Americanisation : the law of the most powerful

As we have already seen, on Internet it's a case of first come, first served. The success and development of Yahoo ! is no accident : it was the first Website directory of any consequence, and thanks to a well-conceived strategy it managed to retain its advantage, to become the most-used research tool and the daily meeting place of several hundred thousand Internet users. No other directory has experienced the same success. Netscape was the first commercial browser to be distributed on a world-wide scale, and it took even a multinational of the size of Microsoft tens of millions of dollars and nearly two years to catch up. Generally speaking, because new, high-quality services become quickly very popular on Internet, it's difficult to be in second place : enormous amounts of time and money are necessary to catch up (and in any case, far greater efforts than those needed for the leader to stay ahead).

The problem is that the innovative ideas are nearly always (if not invariably) launched by American companies. The logical commercial development of a service that works well is on an international level, which means that subsidiaries are soon created in the most advanced overseas markets (Japan, Britain, Germany and France for the moment), partly stifling local initiative which can only rely on an immature market. The cultural consequences of this economic domination are obviously not inconsiderable. Conceived primarily for an Anglo-Saxon market, these services are nearly always only available in English at first. But the consequence of this linguistic aspect, a sensitive point, is also the American culture which imposes itself into the economy, legislation, technological choices and sociological approach.

This phenomenon is reinforced as...

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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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Raphael Richard, founder

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