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This book begins by trumpeting the MP3 online music site as the quintessential example of an information age "business web." "MP3's success is the product of an Internet-based alliance -- a business web -- of consumers, businesses ... and content providers. It exemplifies how business webs have risen to challenge the industrial-age corporation as the basis for competitive strategy." Consequently, the authors conclude that the traditional music-distribution channel once dominated by such firms as RCA and CBS "is in tatters." While that characterization soft-pedals the furious legal counterattack that traditional music distributors launched against MP3, the authors nonetheless make a compelling case for their basic premise: "B-webs are the mechanism for the accumulation of digital capital, the knowledge- and relationship-based currency of the new economy. To succeed in the digital economy, every employee, entrepreneur and manager must embrace a new b-web strategy." This instructive book provides portraits of companies that have already taken that step, and offers readers a detailed blueprint for following their examples.
Coauthors Don Tapscott, David Ticoll and Alex Lowy previously collaborated on Blueprint to the Digital Economy: Creating Wealth in the Era of E-Business and Tapscott wrote The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence. Business-to-business exchanges are one type of business web often used in commodity-based industries. For adetailed look at how to set up a successful business-to-business exchange, see B2B Exchanges: The Killer Application in the Business-to-Business Internet Revolution. Business-web pioneers profiled by Ticoll, Lowy and Tapscott include Cisco Systems and Dell Computer. Cisco's history is recounted in Making the Cisco Connection: The Story Behind the Real Internet Superpower while Michael Dell details his business vision in Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry.
Reviewed by MH - May 15, 2000