The Real New Economy
E-business really does deliver value and profit.As journalists, were card-carrying skeptics. so when theres a new bit of conventional wisdom in the land, we instinctively want to investigate. Right now, the lemmings are legion when it comes to e-business. The new economy was an illusion, were told; there is no worthwhile business involving the Internet; and promises of profits from IT investments are not to be believed. Its too bad that the splatter caused by the explosion of the dot-com bubble has blinded so many to reality. In this light, some facts seem particularly interesting. eBay, once scorned by some as little more than a Web-ified yard sale, continues to return a healthy profit and earlier this month spent some of its earnings to buy PayPal. With the addition of PayPal, eBay will be able to give its customers a more satisfying experience and could even vault itself into the position of "tollbooth" of the information superhighwaya role that many erstwhile dot-com juggernauts dreamed about in vain.
Then theres Yahoo, whose stock price is down from speculative highs but which has broken into the black. And lets not forget the privately held Google, whose name is becoming identified with "search" in the way that Kleenex describes "tissue" and Coke describes "cola."