Web Presence
Table of contents

Web Presence

Book 3 of the e-business strategy trilogy

Author: Peter Small

Written in five parts (see links on left), this is the draft copy of the book, as it was presented to the reviewers in the virtual cafe during 2000/2001

This book took the theoretical considerations of the previous two books to a practical conclusion (laying the groundwork for stigmergic systems). It was written at a time when ninety-five percent of dotCom businesses were failing. Starting with a list of the inherent difficulties of creating an original business on the Internet, it develops cognitive models upon which to overcome them.

It is not a book for the executives or the technologists who are employed to run established businesses. It was written for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers who are looking for fundamental techniques to explore and develop new ideas.

Below are the cover blurbs written by the publisher:

Back cover

Conventional business dogma will begin with the premise that for success it is essential to have a sound business idea, a carefully worked out business plan and a strong, experienced management team.

The ninety-five percent failure rate of the early dotcoms blew a hole in this philosophy. In the highly volatile and intensely competitive world of e-business , ideas are quickly outdated, plans soon become obsolete and managers couldn't cope with the complexities of change and unavoidable knowledge gaps.

This has resulted in huge amounts of investment capital being totally wasted in online businesses that obtained funding on the basis of non-realisable profit forecasts .

This book presents a new strategy for developing an ebusiness - side-stepping the focus on acquiring funding and long-term business planning, it argues that the primary initial focus should be on creating self-organising systems that are grown rather than planned.

Starting from the fundamentals of investment decision making, it explains by means of practical example why conventional databases are redundant in a world of perpetual change. Taking their place will be techniques borrowed from swarming insects, who create complex systems without any central organisation or control.

This is a book that turns all conventional business thinking on its head.

Inside front cover cover

In this book, Peter Small provides a realistic, practical alternative strategy to the current boom and bust e-business models of acquiring venture capital, following a traditional business plan and then failing to make a profit.

He addresses the really timely issue of the co-creation of wealth in e-businesses - for investors, creators and customers - where profitability rather than technology must lead the way. This has to be the key focus for building any sustainable and successful e-business model.

The difference is that his approach deals directly with the realities of the Internet environment where continuous change and unpredictable competitor initiatives can render business plans obsolete overnight.

Too many e-businesses get sucked into situations of rapidly increasing complexity where costs spiral out of control. This book shows how to avoid this trap by creating highly flexible, low cost systems that are adaptive, self-organising and self regulating.

It turns every conventional business idea on its head except for one: profitability is the main objective.

The edited version of these drafts for Web Presence was published in 2001 by Pearson Education (FT.COM imprint)
ISBN: 0 273 65415 2