by Michael Drapkin, John Lowy, and Daniel Marovitz
John Wiley & Sons, 238 pages
In the midst of the e-business meltdown that has crushed the
stock market valuations of dot coms, Three Clicks Away
asserts that, with the right strategy, an e-business can succeed.
Michael Drapkin, a consultant to big corporations, together with
Deutsche Bank webmeisters John Lowy and Daniel Marovitz, says that
when one combines the right architecture, human resources and
procedures with the right maestro running the whole show, it should
all come together.
This is up from the bottom advice to those who would like to be
the next eBay; and, obviously, there are going to be a lot of failed
hopes along the way. Top on the list of roads to failure, the
authors say, are e-business rationales such as "your idea came to
you in the shower. You discussed it with your pals at bowling. They
like it." and "You want to sell music or books on the web, or to any
other already crowded market."
The authors list sources of capital from friends and family to
investment banks. They discuss the initial public offering, a
long-forgotten (in e-time) practice of getting cash from investors
who would believe that an idea with no cash flow can pay profits
someday. But IPOs will return, the authors assure, because, in spite
of the flops of many pioneering efforts, you just can't keep a good
idea down forever. But beware of the sin of hubris. "Just because
you obtained money or funding doesn't mean you will succeed," they
Three Clicks Away is the first of many books that will
say that e-business can rise again from the ashes of dot com rubble.
Create firms that make sense as businesses, embed every website in a
strategy that makes solid sense, and wait for the eventual return,
urge the authors. For entrepreneurs who want to avoid the errors of
the first dot com boom, Three Clicks Away is an entree to the
second, if it happens.