The 300,000 countdown


In case you have not been paying attention, yesterday, on the 15th of October 2008, the number of registered users on bidorbuy wavered for a while around the 295,000 mark: reached it, recoiled a step or two (what?! more black listings!), then confidently went on to surpass it.

A month ago, bidorbuy had 289,000 registered users, give or take a few. A quick consultation with a crystal ball and with a spreadsheet revealed that the historic 300,000th bidorbuy user will register in exactly 24 days, 16 hours and 57 minutes (this time may extend with new black listings).

In other words, keep your eyes glued to the indicator in the upper right-hand corner of the bidorbuy home page during the first half of November 2008 and you may be the first to spot the numbers reaching the nice, round figure of 300,000.

Those who like to observe things and ponder over them say that people start feeling comfortable with the more challenging aspects of the Internet (like shopping) only after having spent about six years testing the waters of the online universe. That phenomenon is called the Experience Curve. The coming of age of Internet users in South Africa has certainly contributed to the expansion of bidorbuy. Another breakthrough in Internet usage and online shopping is expected to occur at the end of 2009, when one set of undersea fibre-optics cables will go live and increase the available broadband by forty times. And in 2012, this already magnified amount of broadband will become three times as big, with the completion of another set of undersea cables.

By that time, the number of registered users on bidorbuy will stand at… Oops, the crystal ball just exploded, and the spreadsheet ran out of space before managing to work out the formula. In any case, we can confidently forecast that weekends on bidorbuy are set to become much busier once broadband-starved South African Internet users finally get their hands on all that affordable Internet connectivity and start browsing and buying from home.