AMIX Introduction

Date: 22 Jan 92 06:35:08 EST From: "Russell E. Whitaker" <> To: Extropians <>, Alcor <>, Libernet <>, Hans Moravec <>, Tim Berners-Lee <>, Technomads <>, "Steven B. Harris" <> Subject: Re: Nanotechnology forum 22 Jan 1992/372 The following is what I received in response to an inquiry to the American Information Exchange. I'm sending in my check now! This is being forwarded to libernet also; libernet subscribers please note that comments directed to me should be sent private email, or you can join the arch-libertarian extropians list at Volume considerations keep me from reading libernet. Here's to the beginning of a new era in markets! Russell E. Whitaker Communications Editor EXTROPY: The Journal of Transhumanist Thought -------- Forwarded Message -------- FROM: >, > TO: Russell E. Whitaker, 71750,2413 DATE: 22-Jan-92 at 2:03:04 SUBJECT: Re: Nanotechnology forum Sender: Received: from relay2.UU.NET by (5.65/5.910516) id AA09087; Tue, 21 Jan 92 20:51:25 -0500 Received: from (via LOCALHOST.UU.NET) by relay2.UU.NET with SMTP (5.61/UUNET-internet-primary) id AA17546; Tue, 21 Jan 92 20:52:53 -0500 Received: from xanadu.UUCP by with UUCP/RMAIL (queueing-rmail) id 205114.10171; Tue, 21 Jan 1992 20:51:14 EST Received: by xanadu (4.1/SMI-4.0.2) id AA06627; Tue, 21 Jan 92 17:35:17 PST Date: Tue, 21 Jan 92 17:35:17 PST From: (Janet Salvio) Message-Id: <9201220135.AA06627@xanadu > To: 71750.2413@CompuServe.COM Subject: Re: Nanotechnology forum Here you go! Summary: On a new online Information Exchange -- AMIX -- anyone can both buy and _sell_ documents, software, or anything that can be stored digitally. Those who buy or sell customized information can carry out "mini-consulting" contracts; AMIX handles all the funds transfer automatically. This Information Marketplace has just entered the market-building phase, in which information providers "stock the shelves" in preparation for the opening of the market in early summer. Charter customers opening their accounts in January will have their $50 set-up fee applied to later connect costs. For a charter account enabling early market participation, contact AMIX by email at or by phone 415-856-1234, ext. 207. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- What follows is an overview of AMIX: its concepts, structure, and function; the market-building phase; and advantages of early entry into the market. INTRODUCING AMIX: THE WORLD'S FIRST ONLINE INFORMATION MARKET The American Information Exchange (AMIX) introduces something completely new: an Information Marketplace. AMIX, a subsidiary of Autodesk, Inc., is the world's first online marketplace for the buying and selling of information and consulting services. Buyers and sellers interact with AMIX using a frontend program, AMIX Access, which runs on an IBM PC or compatible computer (286, 12 MHz or better) and connects to the AMIX host via modem. (See "System Requirements" below. A Mac version is planned for later this year.) Every AMIX customer can be a buyer or seller -- or both -- of online documents, files, software, and specialized consulting services. The AMIX host provides an electronic meeting place -- the Information Market -- where people come to buy and sell information. WHAT'S AN INFORMATION MARKET? The AMIX Information Market is variously an information department store, a farmer's market for information, and an information shopping mall. Before buying through AMIX, buyers can browse and evaluate goods and services in the same way that a shopper in a department store can compare many brands and styles. Sellers can offer both prepackaged information and services for sale. Sellers compete for buyers' business in an environment that allows for easy comparison shopping. Like a farmer's market, anyone can buy and anyone can sell. And, in the same way that people gather together at a shopping mall, AMIX offers a place for buyers and sellers of information and expertise to gather and transact business. INFORMATION FOR SALE What kinds of information and services do people offer for sale on AMIX? AMIX has a variety of markets now abuilding, with more to come. Right now the information to be offered is primarily technical or business-related: information on products, technologies, companies and industries, and market research reports. There are also markets for software and software components. Services offered include consulting, editing, writing, and information brokering, including business research using online databases. In the future, in response to customer demand, AMIX will create markets for affordable expertise on a variety of topics from law to small business management; from tax advice to design templates. AMIX has been designed to help diverse buyers with a wide variety of information needs to connect with diverse sellers with a wide variety of information available, and let them exchange their knowledge and expertise quickly and easily. AMIX has the potential for dramatically increasing the amount of high-quality, timely, relevant information available to those who need it. Unlike a publisher, AMIX does not appoint a small pool of official "experts" on any particular topic. Instead, AMIX makes it possible for anyone with relevant expertise or data to offer it for sale in a competitive arena. Unlike other online services, AMIX enables real business transactions between individuals, by enabling money to flow from buyers to sellers. On AMIX, information entrepreneurs, competition, and market forces work together to benefit the information consumer. HOW AMIX WORKS Any AMIX customer can be a buyer, a seller, or both. To become sellers, customers send their information to the AMIX host computers from their PCs. They list it for sale in one or more subject areas on the AMIX Service, and set the price at any level from $1 to $500. The information on the AMIX service is organized by topic. Within each topic area are levels of increasing specialization leading to markets on particular subjects. Each market contains a listing of documents for sale on the subject and a listing of consultants offering their expertise on it. Documents can contain any sort of pre-packaged information: reports, articles, pieces of source code, executable software, clip art, spreadsheet templates, fonts, and so on -- anything that can be turned into bits can be published on AMIX as a document. The seller of the document -- the publisher -- sets the price and terms of sale. In addition to document publication, AMIX also supports a process called "miniconsulting". Anyone with expertise on a particular subject area can list themselves as a consultant in the relevant market(s). People looking for answers to questions can send requests to relevant markets and engage the services of the consultants listed there. AMIX supports a structured form of electronic mail that leads buyers and sellers through the consulting process, from initial request or proposal, through negotiations, discussion and final delivery of the results. Miniconsulting contracts can be made for amounts up to $2000. The AMIX system handles the record keeping and funds transfer for you automatically. It also provides a dispute resolution service to deal with those rare but real circumstances when things don't work out between buyer and seller. AMIX enables market researchers and industry analysts to unbundle the information they are already producing, enabling them to provide smaller, less expensive, more specialized reports in a way that previously was not cost effective. This would allow them to reach a much larger potential market than they currently enjoy. Similarly, AMIX lets programmers and shareware vendors overcome one of the principal obstacles to realizing income from their work -- users simply not sending in their money, often despite the best of intentions -- while simultaneously offering an outlet for support and customization services. Nearly anyone who produces a product or service that consists mainly of information can benefit from using AMIX, either as an adjunct to an existing business or as an entirely new online career. THE MARKET-BUILDING PHASE: ADVANTAGES IN ENTERING THE MARKET NOW AMIX has entered its market-building phase, in which information providers are admitted as charter customers to upload their information and services for sale. By becoming initial sellers in the Information Marketplace, these early participants: * establish a favorable market position, * obtain the best account name for marketing purposes, * get a head start in collecting comments on their wares -- a major indicator of quality to buyers, and * receive coaching from AMIX staff on how to market using the service. For charter customers: * the AMIX monthly service fee will be waived for all use in 1992. In addition, for customers opening accounts in January: * the $50 set-up fee will be applied to later connect charges. WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING "AMIX represents a bold new experiment in online services which brings together buyers and sellers of information packages and small-scale custom consulting services in an electronic marketplace. AMIX will stimulate the emergence of the new class of entrepreneurs -- information entrepreneurs. You just have to check this out for yourself." Mitch Kapor -- founder of Lotus Development "I like AMIX three ways: as a user, to find the information I need; as a vendor, to find a broader market for the information I produce; and as an observer, to watch the creation of the Information Marketplace of the next decade." Esther Dyson -- Release 1.0 "AMIX's possibilities are tremendous." Judith Feder -- Electronic Services Update (LINK Resources) "AMIX is an innovative opportunity to serve a new business segment in an entirely new way." Portia Isaacson "Where do I sign up?" Leslie Fiering -- Gartner Group "I was wondering when someone would do this." Wendy Woods -- Newsbytes CURRENT MARKETS AMIX is currently establishing markets in the following subject areas: Computer Business PC Industry Trends Computer Products and Technical Information Novell Desktop Publishing and Multimedia Microsoft Windows MS-DOS Software/Other Products For Sale Software for Sale or Evaluation ("cashware") Software Components Smalltalk C and C++ Microsoft Windows Code Science, Politics and Art Politics and Economics Recommendations and Reviews Art, Fiction and Entertainment Services Information Brokers Writers and Editors PRICING SUMMARY Account setup charge -- Cost to obtain an AMIX account: $50. Customers who sign up in January will have this amount applied to cover connect charges incurred. The setup charge includes your AMIX Access software, AMIX demo, Customer Guide, and account name and initial password. Monthly fee -- Charter customers will have their monthly fee waived for 1992. Afterward, the monthly fee is $5/month for credit card billing, $10/month for invoice billing. Connect and Input/output charges -- Beginning January 1, 1992, the fee for connecting to AMIX's host computers by any connect method is $3/hour plus $1 per 100KB transferred. This $3/hour introductory rate applies to all connect methods. After March 1, rates will vary from $3 to $8 depending on connect method: direct dial, local packet-switching, or long-distance packet-switching. Purchase of document or consulting -- Price is set by seller, or by buyer and seller during negotiation. Buyer's account is charged and seller's account is credited according to payment terms (On Agreement, On Delivery, On Acceptance or On Evaluation). Minimum price for document: $1. Maximum price for document: $500. Maximum price for a single consulting contract: $2,000. Transaction fees -- These are charged to sellers of documents or consulting contracts, and are a function of the price. The following amounts are charged per document or consulting transaction: 40% of first $50, plus 25% of second $50, plus 15% of next $400, plus 10% of any amount over $500. Separate consulting payments made On Agreement, On Delivery, or On Acceptance are treated as separate transactions. System Requirements: 12 MHz 286 IBM-PC or compatible with hard disk and 320K or larger disk cache; 2400 baud modem. A faster machine and larger disk cache are recommended. TELL ME MORE For additional product or company information; or to set up an AMIX charter account, contact: Attn: Customer Support American Information Exchange Corporation 2345 Yale Street Palo Alto, CA 94306 Telephone: (415) 856-1234 ext. 207 (800) 395-AMIX (orders only) FAX: (415) 856-4123 EMAIL: ...!{uunet|sun|xanadu}!markets!amixinfo & Distribution: Extropians > Alcor > Libernet > Hans Moravec > Tim Berners-Lee > Technomads > Steven B. Harris [71450,1773]