The irony of Internet buzz is that so much of it comes to us on paper. Truth and fantasy are mixed freely in the books and magazine articles that CEOs turn to for help in starting and growing their businesses. The following is just a sample:

"Maurice Saatchi, a prominent figure in the advertising industry, forecast that in 40 years, electronic retailing will eliminate the need for physical stores. Andersen Consulting predicted that in the next decade, 20 % of supermarket shopping will be conducted through non-store electronic channels. Negroponte argued that, as a consequence of electronic distribution, 'videocassette-rental stores will go out of business in less than ten years.' And Jupiter Communications, a New York market research firm, estimated that interactive home shopping would expand to $82.35 billion by the year 2003."
--Raymond R. Burke, in "Do You See What I See? The Future of Virtual Shopping," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, fall 1997

"The Internet and its impact are currently being underhyped. The Internet ... will rewrite the rules of entire industries. Those firms that become masters of electronic commerce will have vast new opportunities made available to them. Those that do not will quickly become irrelevant, because competing in the new millennium without electronic commerce capabilities will be similar to trying to compete today without a sales force or a telephone."
--Malcolm Frank, in "The Realities of Web-Based Electronic Commerce," Strategy & Leadership, May 15, 1997

"'The Internet will drive half of today's retailers out of business.' (research by International Business Development Corp.)"
--Quoted by author Michael de Kare-Silver, in E-shock (Amacom, 1999)

"Your job as a manager, as an entrepreneur, as a consumer, and as an individual is to master the BLUR, to keep the acceleration going, to keep your world changing and off balance. Stop trying to slow it down. ... Your imperative is to create a community of like-minded players, wherever they are physically. ... Where does your intended community go today? Link to all those places. Show up in front of all those people like Coke -- six virtual feet away."
--Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer, in Blur (Addison-Wesley, 1998)

"By 2000, online sales hit US $10 billion, still small by overall retail standards. Around 2005, 20% of Americans teleshop for groceries."
--Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden, in "The Long Boom: A History of the Future," Wired, July 1997

"The only sure loser is the 'fast follower.' Fast followers are always too late. It is better to be too early five times than be too late once."
--Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster, in Blown to Bits (Harvard Business School Press, 2000)

"If you want to direct traffic to your site, you don't do it on the site. Better to turn your answering machine off and advertise in the newspaper. ... Listen to Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Novell. In a 1997 speech, he alluded to the urgency of getting seen before you get rich. Be everywhere first, he said, then think about profit. 'You have to get the revenue later; ubiquity first, revenue later. That's what URL stands for."
--Thomas M. Siebel and Pat House, in Cyber Rules (Currency/Doubleday, 1999)

Published on: Feb 1, 2000