Magazine article Marketing

Net Adolescence: Why We'll Get over Dotcom Dropouts

Magazine article Marketing

Net Adolescence: Why We'll Get over Dotcom Dropouts

Article excerpt

The web is just galloping through an awkward adolescence to an otherwise assured future

Isn't it amazing how much attention is paid to the waning fortunes -- or even demise -- of some of last year's dotcom start-ups?

Amazing, given the infinitesimal sales volumes they achieved and the infinitesimal economic impact of their failure. And amazing given how unindicative of new economy vitality their difficulties are. Let's face it, we all know web pundits who point to the shakiness of dotcom start-ups as evidence that their early smug and cynical stance may have been on-the-money.

But they're wrong. The web world is merely galloping through an aberrant period -- an awkward adolescence -- toward an otherwise very assured future.

In the beginning, very little of mainstream, non-academic interest happened on the internet, so nobody made much noise about it. For the past three or four years, however, wholly disproportionate noise levels were generated about ...not very much more. I think it's the disproportionate bit that caused most of the trouble.

See, there's a reason that it takes a while for businesses to grow, especially if we're talking about both size and integrity, and that's because it takes a while to get things right. And never more so than when unproven technologies and combinations of technologies are involved -- as is often the case for transactional dotcoms.

But the flaky business doctrine of 'first-mover advantage' has tended to undermine the notion of building it right. For many, getting there first was both the beginning and the end of their strategic vision.

At Circus, we experienced this at first hand: our business message of inside-out, integrity-led brand-building fell on very deaf ears among the large numbers of prospects who seemed prepared to buy and say almost anything, as long as they could say it the f following week. …

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