Peter,

No need to respond to most of your post, as your points were fair and made sense to me. However a couple comments.

if you have ever tried to hire sales people you know that it is challenging

I have, and failed miserably. I recognize its not easy. However, my weakness shouldn't effect others from succeeding at it, that are better trained in those skill sets. Someone in the sales business needs to be good at it.

Is it just me or are many of your posts written in outrage or disbelief?

Depends how you are directing that comment. On average I feel my on-list comments are fair, objective, and realistic. However, recently, I realize that I may have been a little easy to offend, and a little quick to respond in outrage. Recently, I've been under tremendous pressure, and have had little patience because of it, and possibly taken my daily frustrations out on those around me.
For that, I appologize, and ask for understanding.

However, if I stop for a second and analyze myself, and where the outrage comes from... Its not that I'm an unreasonable person nor that the people I'm conversing with are unreasonable. I think it comes from the constant reminder of several point of views.... that every one seems to think that everyone should get paid except for me. That nobody should have to foot the bill upfront, except me. That they shouldn't have to take risk in their business venture, but I should to be a part of it. That their part of the partnership has more value than mine. And that by being a small provider I am in some way inadequate or less desirable to do business with than the next guy. And that as a Small guy I am a liabilty, not an asset. It doesn't matter what side of the fense I sit. If I'm the customer, the provider doesn't want to take the risk, If I'm the provider, the customer doesn't want to take the risk. Its always me that bends to make it all work. I'm tired of bending, because I have recognized my worth, and no longer should have to. If I have primarilly download data, they want to sell me transit. If I primarilly have upload data they want to turn me into a peer and charge me to send them traffic. Either way they want to get paid. I just get tired of hearing the message. I need to establish business ventures that guarantee that I get paid. Nobody has directly said these things to me, but its inferred by their daily actions. And when I say "I", I don't only mean "me", I mean small WISP. There is so much potential in the small WISP market, if it was only recognized. The same arguement applies to bankers and financers to. They are looking for the sure thing. Well business isn't a sure thing. Think about it for a second. Even our own government shares this view. If there is any organization in the country that should be investing and partnering in Wireless companies, its the federal governement, or local governements for economic development. Even they are getting on the bandwagon crying "No Tax Dollars Used", make the WISPs come up with the cash to provide the FREE network to consumers. What do you do when your own governement says" Come Earthlink, Come AOL, Come Verizon, you are our only hope, we need your money?" Its not jeolousy, envy, or hatred of the big guys, Its jsut the small guy get overlooked to easilly. I'm just tired of hearing it. Small business is an intricate part of American economy, and we have an aweful lot to offer the world in value. Small Business is NOT a bad word. Small businesses should be helping small businesses succeed. I simply believe that it is my job to stand up for what we WISPs have to offer. And prove our value. I've taken the first step by investing everything I own in being a small WISP, because I see the value. I think the rest of the world should also recognize the value. I don't want to appologize for WISPs because most are still small. I want to demand that they are recognized for full value. You bring the arguement up, "its hard to hire sales people", well I have the same problem, I have to find a way to do it to succeed. Does that mean I turn away $50 residential subs when I'm searching for the big $800 a month subs? I think WISPS need to start setting the presidence of their value. They need to start demanding what should be comming to them, "opportunity to participate". There are two types of players in this business. There are the big guys that control the market and bully everyone else around. And then there is everyone else that is fighting to survive and keep in the game. Unfortuntately, I'm not one of the big players, so I stick up for the little guy. I think the samll guy deserves to play ball jsut like the next guy. Part of the problem I have is I fall trap to stereotypes, and I tend to look at everyone as the big guy or the little guy, and that is really not the case. Sometimes the vendors pitching to the WISPs, are also little guys, and have little guy needs also. I forget that, when I start rambling on. So my rants are not directed at specific entities, all though my frustrations may have surfaced while discussing with certain vendors. Maybe its subconciously fear, watching the consolidations start happening, watching the support for monopolies grow, and follow point of views that go against everything the Telecom Act of 1996 stood for. I guess my beef is with trends that I see developing in the market place. Thats all.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc


You have the right to discuss how the model should work for WISPs, but I think that you need to understand that the model needs to work 2 ways - for the vendor and the WISP - whether VOIP or advertising.

The problem is that a vendor designs the system from their view and then changes it later to attract more partners. In the process, the original plan is so manipulated that the plan fails and no one wins. (Bandwidth resellers and VOIP providers to name but a few).

In the case of Adzilla, the cost of the boxes is one fixed cost but the cost of selling local advertising is a very real additional cost. And if you have ever tried to hire salespeople you know that it is challenging. Media advertising is just as demanding. And as you add partners, a company has to scale. Scale takes money and time and people. Many start-ups want to maximize the business plan (and VC capital infusions) by capturing white elephants.

I understand your frustration. Little guys need help and it seems that many vendors don't treat them as partners. There are a few reasons for this, but chief among them is that it takes huge time to sell to many smaller players. Pareto Principle.

Regards,

Peter

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