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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Lynn responds to new sTLD comments | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 38 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Get With The Program
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Sunday December 15 2002, @12:51PM (#10561)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    It's not very good for the long-term viability of the market for any commodity if the largest part of the constituency to purchase it consists of speculators.

    I'm a comic book collector, so I got to experience this phenomenon first-hand; about ten years ago, there was a brief mania for speculation in newly-published comics. Publishers fueled this by printing multiple variant versions of some issues, with cover variations and gimmicks like holograms, and sometimes achieved sales in the millions of copies for a single issue. But only a tiny fraction of this was to people actually intending to read the comics; the rest went to speculators who hoped they would become valuable, encouraged by past comics that did indeed achieve great value (but ignoring the fact that many of those were genuinely rare, while the new ones were anything but).

    Inevitably, with millions of mint-condition copies of these issues sitting in speculator hoards, while few new comic readers came along due to the publishers paying relatively little attention to creating good, readable stories rather than piling on marketing gimmicks to please speculators, there never did develop a significant value to those overly hyped issues (some can be found below cover price even a decade later), so the speculators gave up and the market collapsed so badly that it's still feeling the ill effects now.

    This was in contrast to the comics of the 1940s, which sold millions of copies legitimately to people who read them, passed them on to friends who also read them, and their moms eventually threw them out, or if they survived they were in well-worn condition, so hence they now have true value to collectors if found in top condition.

    The moral is that stuff that's heavily hyped to the speculator market probably won't turn out to be profitable to speculate in (and might distort the market so badly it collapses even for those who actually want to use the things), while things that are done on a more modest scale, aiming at end users rather than speculators, will sustain an industry in the long haul, and, ironically, may even produce profit opportunities to those few speculators who went where others had no interest (e.g., the handful of people who bought comics off the newsstands in the 1930s to 1960s, while others thought of them as disposable kid stuff, and saved them in mint condition for future collectors).
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