Looking at the GMNews Market

I just wanted to say thanks for the positive feedback on our previous announcement.

At this point we would like to evaluate the demand for Scorptek Internet and Phone services both domestically (in North America) and abroad.

If you are interested in signing up with our Broadband Internet or Phone services in the future, please indicate which services you plan on using and where you are located (State/Province, Country).

Thanks for your support.

A reminder to our readers that we are looking for applications for those who want to become writers for gmnews (e-mail me personally at pythonpoole/at/gmail/com/).

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45 Responses

  1. With all due respect, plugging your other business ventures here kinda lowers your reputation as an unbiased source of news. Well, for me, anyway.

    That said, based on your previous comments about Australia, I’m disappointed you’re not extending your services out here.

  2. @Ben, we appreciate your concern. At the moment, we really don’t have time to spend researching for GM news stories. That is why we are looking for volunteer writers to fill-in in the meantime.

    As for Australia, there seems to be more demand than we anticipated and we are actually in talks with an Aussie provider as we speak to see if we can make a deal to use their network infrastructure to sell Internet & Broadband phone services. I’ll warn you from now though, they have very strict bandwidth limits, and I imagine caps will have to reflect that.

  3. To judge / create demand, you need to give details about pricing, speed, and areas available.

    “Possible savings for GM users”, “broadband”, and “North America” just doesn’t cut it.

  4. @Nailog, I was a little more specific in the comments of the last article. Basically, pricing will be for the most part competitive with the big name providers and GM users will get a 5% discount (10% if bundled).

    We also offer these benefits:
    – No long term contracts or commitments
    – No system access or hidden fees
    – No added sales tax
    – We support net neutrality
    – You know the company’s owner personally
    – More benefits to come

    Note that International plans may differ. We are simply looking for people who are interested and where they are located so we can get an idea of which markets we should enter into.

  5. I am interested, (not sure about my parents)

    and I am just outside Raleigh NC.

  6. I think I’d be interested, but I don’t know about my dad… he hates change. We’re in Boise ID… I’m not sure if your services cover that area…. anywho, like I said, I don’t think my dad would like it.

    –Conman124

  7. You are analysing market demand by seeking input from a target audience that primarily consists of kids, who have absolutely no authority in their household’s Internet and telephone service.

  8. My thoughts exactly. Whether or not you convince the kids to switch to you as an ISP, parents won’t. Certainly not an ISP that comes from a background such as this.

    This idea (or at least getting GM users to use it), will fail.

  9. Dear pythonpoole,

    You may remember an old internet community from back in the day (almost three years ago) called Sub OS Dev 2. You know, a place were GM developers (as well as others with different skill sets) discussed and shared the Sub OS’s we were working on with others. We discussed things such as user interfaces, internal application programing languages, among other things.

    You see, a few months before its timely death (which I must share credit for), a new member joined the forum called Cooleo (his MSN is mike.miner@hotmail.co.uk, he is currently giving away beta keys for Windows 7) joined the forums. But, you see, Cooleo wasn’t like the other developers. He wanted to try and create the greatest OS and internet service of all! He had plans not only to create a real Operating System (a feat not even expert developers in the community had even achieved), but also to create a network of phone and internet. With this service, he planned to also develop a SMS network, and an application to order pizza and have it sent to your door! But, you see, Cooleo failed. Know why? People like us, yes, you even called it a failure.

    So, my question to you is this. How on earth do you plan on doing this? Do you honestly have any idea how ignorant, and I mean no offense, but it really is, this sounds? No, I won’t be signing up for your service. I currently have an amazing connection for 24.99 a month. But really, remember the story I told you, and you may recall what happened and why this seems so silly.

    With Regards,

    Dr. Watz0n
    Phoenix
    sh1fty
    Hazmat

  10. @Dr. Watzon, this is a bit different. My dad is very successful businessman. He was the CEO of a multi-million dollar company for two years and now on the senior management team for an even larger more successful corporation in Canada,

    He has a lot of business experience especially in the areas of marketing and logistics. We are working very closely with him to develop a viable business plan and bring the same success to Scorptek.

    He is also helping to provide financial support along with other investors.

    In total we have spent about 18 months researching, planning and developing our business plan. We have negotiated several contracts with business partners to provide our services across the continent at affordable prices and with some nice features/frills you wouldn’t normally expect. And we have also spent quite a bit of time researching tax laws and other applicable regulations that we have to follow to keep everything by the book.

    So as you can see we have a real business plan here and the only reason we are asking the GM community about our services is because it is the only place where we already have a strong presence in the market and thus are likely to receive feedback without paying people to fill out surveys.

    Also, GMNews is really meant for a target audience of people 16-24 (people who actually have some say in household matters). We try to write high quality articles that include a deep background on the subject and reference related information to adequately cover the story. In fact we have several pages worth of quality standards and “Copy Content Policies” which stipulate exactly how to write for GMNews, what spellings to use (American or British), how to reference sources, what topics can be covered, what diction to use, etc. (If you don’t believe us, just ask our ‘new’ writers that signed up a few months ago and disappeared after their first article because they simply couldn’t keep up with the high standard requirements and expectations.

    We spend more time improving the quality of our articles as opposed to some competitors who often get straight to the point (sometimes only 1 sentence articles) and spend more time working on the visual aspect – thus appealing to a much younger market. So if most of the people here do fit in around the age group above, we are hoping some of them will be able to provide us with fair and valuable feedback.

  11. But on several levels this is not very different, if at all, from the story I retold. The Scorptek website has been ‘coming soon’ for over a year now (I have been checking over that time), and now you jump out and say you’re going to be offering some massive service to people with no sort of company backing.

    No offense, but I really do not care that your father was this or that. You see, you are doing EXACTLY the same thing Cooleo did back in the day: Starting off/jumping in with a massive plan that is bound to fail. 18 months of planning and researching means nothing, unless you have a truly viable plan. You say you do! But you have still failed to look at the demographic you are targeting.

    You said it yourself: “Also, GMNews is really meant for a target audience of people 16-24 (people who actually have some say in household matters).” You also said: “…and the only reason we are asking the GM community about our services is because it is the only place where we already have a strong presence in the market…” If you consider people in the age range of 16-24 years, then you really have a failed business plan. The fact of the matter is this: While they may have some say in household matters, they aren’t the final decider. To top it off, if you take into account people in that age who are attending school (in a dorm), you have even less of a presence with independent people in that age range.

    To be perfectly honest, I’d place money on this not working out. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but the backing exists for me to make that call.

  12. Ok fair enough, that is your opinion.

    Would you like to place bets?

    I owe you $200 if we do not succeed in offering Internet and Phone services to (at the very least) the U.S. market for at least 6 months (starting within the next 12 months).

    You owe me $200 if we succeed for a minimum of 6 months.

    In other words (months of success):
    0-3 Months: I give you $200
    3-6 Months: Draw (no gain, no loss)
    6+ Months: You give me $200

    Time starts from the day the Scorptek website opens and is offering Internet and Phone services.

    Are you in?

  13. That sounds like quite a fair bet. I’m even willing to open up the choice of two markets: the US or Canada. That being said, we do need to decide how many customers makes it a service. Obviously providing it to yourself shouldn’t count.

  14. Note, I modified the bet a bit since I realized afterward if it was 3-6 months, we would both pay each other $100 and there would be no change.

    Well we can measure in customers or we can measure in profits, which do you prefer and what would you consider an acceptable number?

  15. […] would like to point your attention to a news article posted on the Game Maker News blog, run and managed by Pythonpoole (Benjamin Poole) and his […]

  16. Hmm… while time is a good factor for success, if you tie people down with contracts then it pretty much guarantees a specific amount of time. Personally, I would prefer to go with number of customers (as well as keeping the service alive for a specific amount of time, at the least).

  17. Ok well here is the deal, there are no long term contracts so customers are not tied down and can get out if they want to.

    Now we estimate that with only 4-5 customers we can break even, and with 5-6 customers we can turn in a small profit.

    So would you consider 5-6 customers (at least to start out with) a definition of being successful as a start-up company? (Noting the fact that it brings in net profit)

    (still keeping the 6 month mark as part of the agreement)

  18. Sure, in order to be successful, you need to break even. So 5-6 customers over a period of 6 months (customers can come and go, as long as you have had at least 5 every month (excluding the first month, for fairness). Then, we will go according to the setup you had before:

    0-3 Months: $200 for Me
    3-6 Months: Draw
    6+ Months: $200 for You

  19. I almost forgot: if you do not launch the service within the next 12 months (A year is a large amount of time), I win.

  20. Ok, sounds like a deal.

  21. Oh, and just to be nice… If you lose your bet, you can put your $200 towards our DSL and Phone services 🙂 so you really can’t lose.

  22. Will you supply modems?

  23. Yes, however you may have to purchase them from us (not too expensive). You can also use your own modem if you already have one (this option isn’t available for some states though).

  24. I don’t have the money to bet or I would, I really hope you succeed, good luck.

    I assume you mean DSL modens, not Cablemodems.

    another thing, My dad originally wanted to get DSL, but we are too far away from the exchange. does this mean we will not be able to use your DSL too?

  25. @Caniac, I’ll have to look into your case a bit more, if you want, send an email with your phone # and I’ll see if you qualify. Since you last checked, it’s possible there is a closer exchange or they may have installed new equipment (e.g. Repeaters) to extend the range.

    Generally however, if you are within 4.0 km +/- 1 of the exchange, you should get a fairly good quality connection.

  26. Repeaters aren’t an effective solution to extending dsl length.

    A repeater would need to be placed somewhere between the subscriber and the telco exchange. Assume the distance is 6K, You would want your repeater at about the 3K point. Residential neighborhoods aren’t set up for that.

    Line conditioning helps, but that only buys you 10% or so.

    If there was an easy, cheap solution don’t you think it would be implemented?

  27. “very strict bandwidth limits” Not really…

    And, “GM users will get a 5% discount (10% if bundled).

    We also offer these benefits:
    – No long term contracts or commitments
    – No system access or hidden fees
    – No added sales tax
    – We support net neutrality
    – You know the company’s owner personally
    – More benefits to come”
    And that is being taken off what exactly?

    ‘. My dad is very successful businessman”
    Doesn’t mean you are though.

    I agree with Dr. Watz0n compleatly, you need to think it though a bit more, and, go(!) with the bet, too! haha

  28. @Matt, when I said there are strict bandwidth restrictions for Australia, I was reffering to being a provider, not specifically a customer. I also mean to say monthly data allowance/caps since bandwidth (although widely used) is not technically the right term in this case.

    Either way, the data caps for Australia are very strict in comparison to those in North America. Australia generally limits monthly data by 1-30 GB for customers depending on the plan whereas in Canada and the U.S.there are providers that offer truely unlimited data and others that cap use to around 200-300 GB which is hardly ever reached.

    Since my Dad is working closely with us, he will bring his knowledge and experience to the table and help us become successful even if I were unable to be succesful on my own.

  29. “Australia generally limits monthly data by 1-30 GB for customers depending on the plan” No, not anymore, It’s been 40-60-140GB’s being the highest is what I’ve seen advertised.

    Maybe you just left before it changed! 😛

  30. That’s generally for ADSL2+ which is not available in most places. ADSL is still capped at those limits he’s talking about.

  31. @Matt, yes I was talking about ‘ADSL 1’ plans as James said since most of the country does not have ‘ADSL 2+’ yet. I just checked some of the major ISPs in the land of OZ… For the purposes of simplification, I ignored off-peak data since most people rarely use the net off peak (except for p2p). Note: Only ‘ADSL 1’ plans shown, prices do not include bundling discounts (if any).

    Optus:
    Standard Plan: 5 GB for $49.99/month
    Highest Data Plan: 30 GB for $109/month

    http://personal.optus.com.au/web/ocaportal.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=personal_broadband_producttypeALLDSL_marketSegmentres&productpath=/personal/internet&FP=/personal/internet/broadband&site=personal

    TPG:
    Standard Plan: 10 GB for $49.95
    Highest Data Plan: 50 GB for $99/month

    http://tpg.com.au/products_services/adsl_pricing.php#adsl

    Telstra:
    Standard Plan: 12 GB for $69.95/month
    Highest Data Plan: 25 GB for $79.95/month
    http://my.bigpond.com/internetplans/broadband/adsl/plansandoffers/default.jsp

    iiNet:
    Standard Plan: 2 GB for $49.95/month
    Highest Data Plan: 25 GB for $129.95/month
    http://www.iinet.net.au/broadband/plans.html

    Compare this to North America where unlimited or data caps of 100-500 GB are standard, I would say Australia definitely imposes strict limits. Half of the time when I talk to my Australian friends they complain that their traffic is being shaped cause they’ve gone over the monthly limit. Others complain they were charged over $1000 in overages for exceeding the limit (just one month!)

  32. I blame Telstra. They own all the damn infrastructure.

  33. umm…But that’s because they where the first Telecom in Australia…

  34. Oh, and James, are you from Australia?

  35. Oh, okay. I didn’t know that there was a large amount of Aussies, let alone to run into another 😛

  36. A large amount on GM-based sites I was suposed to say, 😀

  37. In reference to Telstra, they are the reason Australia has ****[Removed by Scorptek] internet. They set all the base prices for everyone else (since everyone else has to “Rent” the lines).

  38. Oops.. Uh.. Didn’t mean to swear in that last comment… >_<

  39. Can I keep my existing phone number?
    I hope you succeed! Also, why this bickering? If you don’t support it, you don’t have to use it! Your loss.

    @Caniac
    Me too! 🙂 Always nice to meet someone who lives nearby! 😛

  40. In most cases you will be able to ‘port’ your number over to our service. This typically takes 5 days to 3 weeks (out of our control).

    If you live in the suburbs or in the country, it might not be possible to port your number. However once your number is ported with us, you can then move to any location remote or not and keep your number and service with us (so long as you have a broadband Internet connection).

  41. I use offpeak data, my off peak data is midnight to mid day. It’s a pretty big assumption you’ve made there.

    I’m surprised by all the Aussies too.

  42. The assumption is more a case of some providers don’t offer off-peak data separately… thus for the sake of simplifying the comparison, I generalized to say that most people probably do not use the net much at home in the middle of the night or early mornings. This must be the case otherwise it wouldn’t be off-peak now would it, at that time I would say the significant majority is either in bed or at work/school.

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