3 January 2001
A happy and prosperous new year to you. Speaking of prosperous, a lot of e-commerce companies have been going bankrupt and NASDAQ, the American market for start-ups, has been falling faster than the Euro ever has. As a result, some doom-sayers are already saying that e-commerce was just a trend, it won't work, it is impossible to make a profitable e-commerce company, etc. etc. etc. What do you think?
Frankly, I think they're wrong. Otherwise, I'd change my name to Dr. OldfashionedCommerce. The market went crazy in '98 and '99 and it's just getting back to normal now. A lot of daft ideas got funded and became companies. Now that they are expected to act like companies and earn a profit in the forseeable future, they don't look so hot. It's better that they go bankrupt. Let the good ideas work, find funding, succeed and give e-commerce back it's good name.
A well known fact that a lot of business analysts seem to have forgotten is that a lot of people also forget that most new companies go bankrupt in their first two years of business. This has been true for a long, long, long time. Hence, it's no surprise that many dot-coms are also going out of business.
In the meantime, e-commerce is everywhere. Many traditional companies have incorporated e-commerce into their businesses and this trend will continue. And the pure-plays (ie. companies which only do e-commerce) will sort themselves out, leaving about 20% of the start ups surviving and starting to look pretty.
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2000 Dr. Ecommerce
the European Commission's E-commerce Unit (Information Society Directorate General)