The E-volution of E-commerce Part VII:
The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Granted, lately the market has proven a wild roller-coaster ride for many investors, especially those with heavy technology portfolios. Volatility is partly due to media-hyperbole abetting fears that the new digital economy is a bubble liable to burst at any second. With dot-coms beginning to lay-off, and many more seemingly on the brink of going bankrupt it is no wonder that there is a panic.

Yet, jobs at these new companies remain some of the most coveted positions for many of the computer-skilled in highest demand. What a lot of insiders do not realize is that Internet technology is here to stay, it is no longer a trend of any sort or any kind, its impact is certain. The Internet without a doubt has changed life like never before and will continue to do so.

For example, Jupiter Communications’ May study of Web usage estimates that consumers in the US will spend $632 billion offline as a direct result of research conducted via the Web and will continue to use the Internet as a comparison shopping tool for a lifetime.

CIO Magazine and its sister company, IDC Research, recently jointly stated that the next five years will turn the e-commerce revolution upside down. “Increasing online competition, and the sheer growth in the volume of online business will lead investors to have higher expectations for revenues and profit.” Perhaps one of the most important conclusions made from IDC’s survey of more than 600 internet strategists at both dot-coms and brick-and-mortar companies, is the perception that profitability for web-based ventures will be required for success from here on in.

Claiming quarterly losses on the Nasdaq used to be the hip, although illogical, way of raising stock value— it meant you were vying for marketshare. However, the tables have turned and the flood of entrants into the electronic world are requiring CEOs to return to basic market principles. IDC found that there apparently is a light at the end of the tunnel because executives are rethinking their priorities. In fact, 27% of surveyed Internet executives claimed their ventures were profitable in 1999, and that 59% are striving to be so by 2001.

Part VIII: Privacy Protection Next
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