Investor Overview

"E-commerce is less about supporting traditional commercial delivery systems, and more about storming the gates with a new paradigm for doing business."
Forbes J. Rutherford 1997

Site Profile and Background

REmatrix.com evolved from NARER.com, which is an acronym for "North American Real Estate Review." The Review was developed in 1994 as a moderated on-line real estate conference. At the time, the Canadian commercial real estate industry was undergoing a severe market cycle correction. There was a need for information dealing with financial workouts and the micro management of real estate assets within an economic recession. The traditional sources of industry information were undergoing their own revenue shrinkage, and were unable to provide qualitative advice.

At the behest of Forbes J. Rutherford, President of the real estate executive search firm Rutherford & Company, and with the support of The Royal Bank of Canada and Steelcase North America - sixty of Canada's senior real estate executives and a number of USA based real estate think tanks, agreed to participate as panelists and guests in NARER.com's original discussion group. Conference attendees were asked to participate in debates on issues, which directly influence the development, financing, ownership, management and end use of real property throughout North America. As revenues justified, we would salt the discussion site with commissioned articles, some with a provocative twist, in order to stimulate an ongoing dialogue. By tapping into the collective wisdom of community members, it was our hope, real estate development and investment professionals would become more knowledgeable on the issues that were affecting them.

Concept

The Internet has continued to expand at an astonishing rate. Its capacity has doubled every year since 1988, and today more than 90 million people are connected to it. Most of the building blocks & high bandwidth networks, data interchange standards, groupware, electronic currency, venture capital micro-markets are either in place or under development. What is lagging behind technology is our imagination." Thomas Malone, Dawn of the E-Lance Economy, 1998.

The Internet is quickly becoming an important new channel for commerce, much faster than anyone would have predicted. It is estimated that 360 million people are connected to the Net, quadruple the number as predicted in 1998 by Thomas Malone, Dawn of the E-Lance Economy. The NARER virtual community forum was re-launched as part of REmatrix.com's "Business to Business" vertical marketplace of services. Web enabled technology has caught up with our virtual community concept, enabling us to take advantage of current and anticipated technological improvements such as knowledge warehousing, contextual search engines and transaction facilities.  REmatrix's role as a broad vertical trade market moves the original concept behind the North American Real Estate Review to another level.

The NARER concept evolved with the Internet, initially as a portal for general and specific commercial real estate information, to its current metamorphosis, as "metamediary B2B portal" called REmatrix.com. Where NARER was limited to a North American market, REmatrix.com's portal strategy is to streamline major global real estate markets onto a single page. This strategy, coupled with our plan to broaden the NARER (ECN) "Electronic Communications Network" or "Virtual Community," will position REmatrix.com as a central "aggregator" of information and transactional hub within the industry's value creation chain.

Objectives

In real estate and "throughout the financial services industry, companies worth billions of dollars are resting on business models that grow less credible by the hour." Don Tapscot "Growing Up Digital"

According to Don Tapscott, there are four distinct types of business opportunities offered by the Internet.

  • First, it links companies directly to customers, suppliers, and other interested parties. 
  • Second, it lets companies bypass other players in an industry's value chain. 
  • Third, it is a tool for developing and delivering new products and services to new customers. 
  • Fourth, it will enable certain companies to dominate the electronic channel of an entire industry or segment, control access to customers, and set new standards.

Tapscot's prognostications are as true today, as they were a year and half ago. It would be folly to assume the meltdown of the Dot com's have somehow diminished the impact of the sea change, which will befall traditional business models. A well-documented example, is the impact of on-line trading on the investment brokerage community. The role of the traditional stock and mutual fund houses in the capital market value chain has changed considerably. In just a few short years, day traders and ordinary on-line retail customers are able to exert more influence on stock market trends than institutional investors. Erudite and comfortable with their existence for years, these houses have been brought down to earth where the air is thick and sweaty. Much of this has been achieved, through deft application of ECN's (Electronic Communication Networks), which aggregate and deliver information on stocks and companies to their registered network members. Many ECN's are becoming private exchanges. 

The Industrial Revolution didn't happen within a single decade - what merit is there in judging the validity of the Internet Revolution over a few short years. The Dot com meltdown should be viewed, not as a repudiation of the Internet business model, but more of a reprieve for traditional business paradigms. For each one hundred dot com's that have failed, there is one innovator, who understands the business model and is targeting an industry's value chain.

"Good ideas - like cream always float to the top, but then again - so does scum."

Simply put - the meltdown eradicated a large percentage of hucksters and stock promoters - most with a kernel of an idea and a good domain name. Short of mania and herd based analysis, quantitative analysts had little understanding as to how some Internet stocks enjoyed stratospheric market capitalization, while others did not. I remember fondly being told by a Raleigh, N.C. venture capitalist, having presented a plan requiring three million dollars, that "even though the business had a projected EBIT of 33 percent in eighteen months, I shouldn't be concerned about making money so quickly." I should come back ..."when the plan required ten million." Numbed by the experience, it reminded me of the story of Jack Kennedy, scion of the Kennedy clan, who 'cashed out' of the stock market when his taxi driver started giving him tips. The meltdown was predictable.

"Ask a business student how to value Internet stocks and if they give you an answer at all flunk them." Ascribed to Warren Buffett.

The REmatrix Portal is running on more than the fumes of an oily rag. Our core objective is to establish REmatrix's virtual community as the de facto knowledge management portal for the commercial real estate community. Our ancillary objective is to take advantage of REmatrix's position within the industry value chain by incubating a number of proprietary business units. The expressed intent of these strategic business units is to create "stand alone" e-commerce entities or profit centers capable of leveraging their own financial wherewithal, and thereby access the capital markets through a series of separate private and/or public offerings.

Individuals or companies with serious investment interest in REmatrix or one of it's proprietary SBU's should contact Forbes J. Rutherford, President and CEO of Rutherford International and Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc.



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