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Digital Darwinism: 7 Breakthrough Business Strategies for Surviving in the Cutthroat Web Economy [Format Kindle]

Evan I. Schwartz
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit


Over the last few years, the big bang of the World Wide Web has shaken the realm of commerce. Today on the Internet, you can get everything from phone numbers and dancing babies to golf clubs and custom-built computers. Some of these Web sites are businesses that found their genesis in the advent of the Web itself, while others are longstanding companies trying to adapt to the reality of this new digital marketplace. Who will survive and who will be rendered extinct? That's what Evan I. Schwartz tries to answer by dipping into the Internet's "primordial soup" to discover the characteristics of the winners that will eventually emerge.

In Digital Darwinism, Schwartz identifies seven strategies that will separate the winners from the losers. These include building a brand that stands for solving something, elastic pricing, affiliate partnerships, and integrating digital commerce with every aspect of business. Schwartz buttresses his arguments with analysis of dozens of companies already competing on the Internet, including Yahoo!, Peapod, Priceline, E*Trade, Dell Computer, and Recreational Equipment, Inc. Schwartz views these early years of the Web as largely "irrational," but anticipates a general rationalization. He writes, "As each successive generation of Web commerce passes, there will be more rational companies and fewer irrational ones, more fit business models and fewer unfit ones. In the future, there may be no such thing as an Internet company. The Internet is becoming so important that all companies will eventually become Internet companies."

Like his previous book, Webonomics, Digital Darwinism is succinct and easy to read. His analysis of the current state of Internet startups, their stock prices, and their probable fate is provocative, especially when viewed from a Darwinian perspective. For managers, investors, and anyone interested in Internet commerce. Recommended. --Harry C. Edwards

Industry Standard

Anton Chekhov suggested that when writers finish a story, they should tear off the first and last pages. Readers, he believed, shouldn't have to slog through the gimmicks the writer used to get into and out of the story. Had Evan Schwartz followed Chekhov's advice, he might have spared his readers a misinterpretation of Darwin that makes his otherwise sound book feel like a gimmick.

In the opening paragraph of Digital Darwinism, Schwartz erroneously attributes to Darwin the ideas that organisms must "learn with whom to cooperate and with whom to compete" and must "develop new skills and traits or perish." The problem with the first assertion is that the traits on which Darwin focused are inherited, not learned.

As for the second, sharks have developed no new skills in 400 million years. Nor have they needed any. They evolved a good way to eat, and since then have had the field pretty much to themselves. No other fish has tried to copy the shark in order to put out a more efficient version.

In the business world, of course, copying others can be essential. One could argue that Bill Gates has made it his life's work.

Fortunately for the reader, Schwartz confines his Darwinian musings almost entirely to the introduction and epilogue. It's also fortunate that he knows much more about the Internet than he does about natural selection.

He illustrates an examination of dynamic pricing, for example, with well-chosen anecdotes about Band-X, a market for data-network capacity; Priceline.com, which offers customers a way to pick up leftover airline seats; and eBay, the now-legendary auction site that began as a way to help the owner's girlfriend trade Pez dispensers.

Schwartz has spoken with the right people, and his clear prose navigates well the complex conditions of the Web. As he details the concepts to which the Web has given new life – affiliate marketing, bundling, customization – Schwartz shows what's necessary to take a business to the top.

He also shows how hard it will be to keep it there. More than any other quality, he emphasizes constant vigilance. Baseball great Satchell Paige told those who sought to duplicate his longevity, "Don't look back – someone might be gaining on you." Schwartz' message is colder: On the Web, someone is always gaining on you. Watch them, or die.


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Adetailed, if disjointed, series of code-breaking escapades, ranging from the work of such famous cryptographers as Julius Caesar, Thomas Jefferson and Edgar Allen Poe to the modern era of computer- mediated encryption.

Smart Business: How Knowledge Communities Can Revolutionize Your Company by Dr. Jim Botkin (Free Press, $26)
If knowledge is power, knowledge withheld is power, too. Smart Business explores the source of a company's knowledge base, and finds it at every level in the chain of command.

Civic Space/Cyberspace: The American Public Library in the Information Age by Redmond Kathleen Molz and Phyllis Dain (MIT Press, $30)
American libraries get more than a billion "hits" a year from a public that, as this book explains, increasingly needs "organizers and navigators, consultants and guides to the new information age."

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mordant, Pertinent, Rapide, Clair 15 octobre 2000
Prenant pour appui des cas comme Priceline, Yahoo! et Disney, Evan I. Schwartz met en avant des problèmes plus que piquants : - la construction d'une marque sur le net - l'utilisation de prix dynamiques - la possibilité de prendre une commande PUIS de fabriquer le bien demandé - l'apparition de nouveaux intermédiaires - l'utilisation des programmes d'affiliation
L'auteur a de l'humour mais n'hésite pas à sortir ses griffes lorsqu'il évoque des business models bancals ou irréalistes (et il donne des noms !). Le livre n'est pas long à lire et est une bonne mise en perspective.
Notamment, il est amusant de voir que l'auteur prévoyait les déboires de certaines start-ups, tout en insistant bien sur le rôle d'aiguillon qu'elles ont pu jouer pour de grands groupes. Voilà le Darwinisme à l'oeuvre.
Par exemple, Schwartz s'étonne des dépenses engendrées par les programmes d'affiliation, dont celui d'eToys, qu'il trouve trop dispendieux. Trois mois après la parution de ce livre, eToys changeait totalement la politique de son programme. Pré-science ?
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  39 commentaires
63 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Just a General Guideline 1 décembre 1999
Par Eric Chuang - Publié sur Amazon.com
I consider this book to be a general guideline for new comers to the networked industry. This book does not provide thorough examinations drawn from successful and/or unsuccessful examples, nor does it give the reader critical analyses to back up the writer¡s own point of view. What we get from this book is a set of rules, reminders, and assumptions which is not practical enough in my opinion, and perhaps only good enough for those who first come to the newly developed internet industry.
The idea to link biological Darwinism with industrial Darwinism to explain how the fittest survives in highly competitive business environment is not a new thing. People who have had a certain degree of understanding about it will be disappointed as the writer goes all the way to explain what they have already known. People who have been close enough to the development of the internet industry will find this book uncreative. People who have already been in this business for some time will not be inspired by this book, but most likely be bored by its dragging explanation of how ¡§the fittest survives¡¡Xa concept these people probably have already known.
Although this book only provides a set of generalized ideas, ¡§7 Breakthrough Business Strategies for Surviving in the Cutthroat Web Economy¡ as its subtitle describes, it can be seen as quite a handy book. At the end of every chapter is a brief reminder of how certain problems can be solved. This may be a streak of help when the manager is buried by overloaded work and forgets where he stands. This book is helpful, too, for those who newly come into contact with the industrial side of the internet.
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 e-commerce, shme-commerce 17 août 1999
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
The catchy title is just a title, and it drew me in to a fun and fantastic read. A bright spot is the examples of entrepreneurs (the real E in e-commerce) finding the Web as an ally in contrast to examples of subsided businesses that relied solely on the Web and Web hype (those with a hammer always seeking a nail; those with a computer seeing business as data). Includes keen admonishments toward certain companies that tout the Web yet deny Web-users access to their products or services (initials are B&N, CompUSA). The lesson delivered is not in the list that frothed to the top but the personalities behind the steps, along with some vernacular mixed in with good narrative. (Dell newbies attentive to low badge numbers; Seven Cycle chapter alone could inspire someone to just start a business; REI chapter makes me want to try out their store.) Nowadays companies with Web sites scream customer-service-this, customer-service-that.... The brightest spot in this book is the back-to-the-future (back to the past?) notion of customers driving business, people service, craft, artisan and manufacturing jobs instead of automation--people can do this kind of thing since the Web allows efficiency (customized products) so companies aren't concerned so much about stocking warehouses as entrepreneurship. Nowadays companies with Web sites tout "customer- service-this, customer-service-that." This book will show why that phrase appears on some companies as a glossy add-on, and why on others it stands for delivering to the customer.
21 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 What was the point? 3 mars 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
With a title like Digital Darwinism: etc. etc. one is set with the expectation that this book is a kind of silver bullet. But the question is for whom? Throughout the book I had a constant feeling of a big so what? Who is the audience here? Certainly not me and I am not a player in the web economy. Yet. I certainly neither absorbed nor abstracted anything more that I have from the examples that proliferate through reading profiles in quality business journals or talking to business colleagues. Perhaps maybe an artsie-but non-techno-literate-I-wanna-know person would find it appealing?
Aside from this, the book is written in a style that is supposed to engage through permitting the reader to abstract it's key messages from storylines. I felt that it uses a set the scene, stream of consciouness, I am going to tell you a story style that makes Europeans sometimes nauseous and feeling "just get to the point please, the book is small enough!".
Go for a book that's not hyped-up from the start and delivers a simple structure for your mind to frame concepts, remember points for further reference and doesn't state the obvious.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Good review of examples, but few original ideas 3 novembre 2000
Par Dave Keller - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
If you follow the web and the industry closely, this book is NOT for you. Does a good job of reporting on existing industry players (as of 1999) but presents few original ideas, and in 2000, looks a bit dated (perhaps another testimonial of how fast this industry is moving?) If you have NOT been following the developments and strategies on the web, this might provide a good primer, but clearly should be a beginnning of your research, not the end.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A good beginners's book on webonomics 27 mars 2001
Par Prashanti Lakamsani - Publié sur Amazon.com
I picked up Digital Darwnism from a library to get an understanding of what the e-strategies are and how some internet businesses successfully implemented them. This was one of the books recommended by my professor at MBA school to read as part of an eCommerce class.
This is really a great book on e-strategies whether one is a novice with respect to internet businesses or an avid entrepreneur who's waiting to strike it big. The seven strategies - solution branding, dynamic pricing, affiliate marketing, value bundling, selling custom-made products online first before manufacturing them, cybermediation and integration of digital eCommerce with absolutely everything- that Schwartz presented are very interesting and truly practical.
He has a narrative approach throughout the book. He compares and contrasts many companies, for e.g., AOL, Priceline, Yahoo, eBay etc who have or have not implemented the seven strategies and expands upon the success stories. It's like reading a story book. He also presents opinions of some of the highly successful entrepreneurs like Tim Koogle, Mark Andressen, Jim Barksdale etc which can give a good insight to the reader on the past, present and the future state of eCommerce.
The main drawback that I found in the book is it's a little outdated when it comes to the implementation details of some of the companies. This is because the book was written couple of years back and there have been humungus changes in the internet infrastructure, software, hardware and a variety of paraphernalia which may prove costly factors if one wants to follow what has been presented in the book. It can be a good reference book for early stage internet business strategies. I haven't read too many books of such kind but I do like reading stuff off the internet as it's more up to date and current compared to Digital Darwinism.
The concepts in the book can give a head start to any new internet business. But ultimately what matters for the business to be successful is great business model, state of the art implementation and highly regarded customer service
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