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Chapter 2

Butterflies springing from nowhere
Shifting the balance of power on Internet

What about ordinary companies ?

Your scientific mind, anxious to understand the variety of different species which make up Internet, has certainly noticed that amongst the subjects studied in the context of this introduction, there is not a single mention of a famous brand name from the real world, although these latter are also well represented on Internet by classic sites or stores.

Is this negligence on my part ? Or perhaps a lack of time ? Or simply a lack of knowledge ?

In order to understand, we must look back to the original perspective of this study : the aim of this observation was to throw up some typical examples of the newly emerging economy. Thus, the number of big companies which succeed on Internet is fairly limited, and it is very difficult to separate the part of that success linked to the company's established activity (its reputation and financial solidity) and the part due to the relevance of its Internet strategy.

But above all, very few big companies succeed in playing their cards right on Internet. There are a few exceptions, but as a general rule the big companies are hardly visible. In any case, not visible enough, bearing in mind the sums they have invested.

Is this simply a question of delay, the fact that the big companies have only slowly understood the commercial potential of Internet ? Is it because at least here in France, their Internet budgets represent the cost of just a few company cars ? Is it because they consider Internet to be not sufficiently mature for the mass market they seek ? These are the simple explanations offered by established but out-of-date consultants, who don't understand the current challenge.

Unfortunately, the question is a little tougher : it calls into question the economic models on which these businesses are built. Nearly all Internet's success stories are virtual companies, born out of the digital economy. They have the qualities to succeed : an understanding of added value in a virtual context, reactivity, agility. One word sums it up : agiligence.

next: The "classicals" failure

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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

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Raphael Richard, founder

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