"Content is first - without content, you can't sell, you can't grow."
"We don't call ourselves a dot-com," says Weingard. "We see ourselves as a new media company."
There's a difference between doing e-commerce, and content publishing, points Weingard. "We don't do e-commerce,
we are a content publisher."
"If we're called a dot-com, everyone will think that we're trying to sell something," he says. "We're
a media company. We don't just produce for the Internet, but for things like inflight entertainment programs, or
PCs in hotel rooms."
"And anyway, there's just too much hype out there, too many wannabes." he said, referring to the up-and-down
popularity of dot-coms.
Worldmine has a staff of 61, of which a third are reviewers. Fully half the team concentrates on content production.
"Content is first," says Weingard. "Without content, you can't sell, you can't grow."
"The minute it comes out in print,
a travel guide is obsolete,"
The last few months saw a rapid increase in the number of people employed for content production, because "this
is a development year". The focus right now, as a media company, is the content. Says Weingard: "We don't
want to sell fresh air."
Weingard used to work as a banker/trader, and was the sole investor of Worldmine up until February 2000. He
would spend much of his time all over Asia travelling. His personal habit was to spend three to four hours visiting
and looking at hotels. It was through this process that he realized that there wasn't up-to-date information in
existing travel guides.
"The minute it comes out in print, a travel guide is obsolete," he says. "Books can't be changed,
and information is not static, it's dynamic and fluid."
Weingard also pointed out that the travel guides online tend to be superficial in depth, not frequently updated,
and too generalized.
"[Online travel guides] aren't using the advantages of the Web," he says. "And people spend a
lot of money on travel."