Crystal ball

From: Dave Clark <>
Date: Thu 25 Jan 2001 13:57:52 -0500

Hi all,

Just thought the following might provide an interesting
discussion for a day or three.

Almost daily, someone, somewhere is touting the
projected rise in the influence of the internet on
business. Usually, it seems to me, it's someone who
makes their money on the net or talking about the net.
Witness the following:

    "according to the latest IDC report. Small
     business e-commerce revenue is expected to
     grow dramatically, from $12 billion in 1999
     to $110 billion in 2003. This translates to
     an annual increase of roughly 75 percent."

In the first place, no one can sustain 75% growth rate.
In the second place, almost all such estimates seem to
end up being revised--downward! Witness the following:

    "layoffs in cyberspace continues to reach
     new heights, with the latest round coming
     from The online drugstore,
     whose shares are down 96 percent from its
     all-time high, says it will cut 125 jobs,
     or 23 percent"

While small business revenue might very well increase
on the net (and on Main St.) over time, those with
greater resources will continue to dominate. Shake-outs
and consolidations will allow the strong to survive.
Witness the following:

    "Online delivery service company Webvan
     Group and have signed an
     agreement that will give the online pet
     store a major presence on"

We worry about whether banners are dead or whether we
should be using rich media. Good marketing (not just
advertising, but marketing) is what we should worry
about. Some companies will fail. Hopefully, among the
strong we'll see some whose products and services
deserve to do well.

Dave Clark

Received on Thu Jan 25 2001 - 12:57:52 CST


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