Gephardt Defeats Edwards!

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Those of you living in the New York City area may have felt a little Dewey-Defeats-Truman redux this morning after seeing the front page of the New York Post, which boasted an "EXCLUSIVE" story about how John Kerry had already selected Dick Gephardt as his running mate. Kerry, of course, set the record straight a few hours later -- after the Post hit newsstands -- rendering hundreds of thousands of copies laughably inaccurate.

We've had other headline goofs since the 1948 presidential election, when the Chicago Daily Tribune made its famous proclamation, but they still, well, make headlines. Today's embarrassing flub, however, is a little different. Just minutes after Kerry announced John Edwards would round out the Democratic presidential ticket -- and not Gephardt -- copies of the now-dubious Post started appearing for sale on eBay.

This tells me two things. One, for those doubters out there, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well. If there's a buck to be made, someone will make it. And I kind of like that pluck.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I think this speaks to how quickly –- relatively speaking -– the Internet has become the universal site of commerce. After spotting copies of the 25-cent Post selling for as much as $26 (and counting), I mentioned my discovery to a colleague here at Inc., who blithely countered with something like, "Of course."

More noteworthy than the sale itself was her response -- that this was easily accepted, no big deal. Sure, it's unlikely that any of these newspaper hawkers will find themselves on the Inc. 500 list anytime soon, and they're certainly not the first to peddle bizarre collectibles on eBay's online bazaar. But I can't help thinking this is yet another example, albeit small, of how the Web still holds virtually limitless potential for all things business.

You've heard lore about the millionaire entrepreneur who started a thriving business in his garage. These days, it seems, you don't even need the garage. A computer and a phone line will do.

Last updated: Jul 6, 2004




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