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Luddites Strike Back

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Attention, citizens of the World Wide Web: the backlash has begun. In a business climate in which URLs are as commonplace as phone numbers, the latest competitive advantage may be the anti-wired boast. Recently spotted above the doorway of a pottery showroom in Martinsville, Maine, was a sign proclaiming the new Luddite mantra: "www.nowedonthaveawebsite.com."

"Our customers love it," says Noble Clay co-owner Trish Inman. The small company generates 80% of its $100,000 in annual revenues by mail order, a feat Inman calls "a remarkable thing, given that we are doing all of that without the benefit of the Web." The anti-Web signage has been in place for three years now, and it doesn't look as if it will be coming down any time soon. Fiercely protective of her anti-wired status, Inman is equally adamant about the diminutive size of her top line. "We have plans for no growth and are very, very purposeful," she says.

In an increasingly high-tech, wireless, and global business environment, Noble Clay's rationale for turning its back on the Web appears refreshing, low-tech, and literally hands-on. Explains Inman, "We cannot be bigger, because it is so important to us that every piece of pottery goes through our own hands."




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