by Edited by Carol Zarrow

Book Review — Customers Rule: Why the E-Commerce Honeymoon Is Over & Where Winning Businesses Go from Here

Jul 15, 20013 mins
BPM Systems

The More Things Change

Customers Rule! Why the E-Commerce Honeymoon Is Over & Where Winning Businesses Go from Here

By Roger Blackwell and Kristina Stephan

Crown Publishing Group, 2001, $27.50

Dotcoms may be dying, but the monarch they crowned?the customer?still reigns. If retailers keep this belief central to their e-commerce strategies, they’ll be successful. So say Roger Blackwell and Kristina Stephan in Customers Rule!

The authors examine what Internet pure-plays, and did wrong, and what brick-and-mortar stores such as L.L. Bean, Sherwin-Williams and Nord-strom did right. They enumerate nine strategies that retailers and e-tailers should follow to achieve sustainable, profitable e-commerce ventures: Have both an online and offline presence. Adopt technology for the sake of improving customers’ experiences. Be the final victor, not the first mover. Maintain a consistent brand. Charge fees for the service you provide. Include human interactions. Do business globally. Develop strategic alli-ances. Market through many channels. These principles are obvious, and indeed, the authors argue that they are simply what worked in the old economy. This book is good to skim if you’re looking for reasons to convince your CEO to continue to invest in B2C e-commerce.

-Meridith Levinson


The VC Way: Investment Secrets from the Wizards of Venture Capital

By Jeffrey Zygmont

Perseus Publishing, 2001, $26

If not for venture capital, entrepreneurs would have little chance to challenge entrenched companies or the established order. Venture capital is subversive, writes Jeffrey Zygmont in The VC Way, adding that “subversion?changing the guard?is the founding principle of the United States.” From this lofty beginning, he analyzes the world of big-bucks venture capital. Zygmont checks in with noted VCs and concludes that “Their personal assets may be the real secrets of venture capital.” He paints the breed with sometimes overly rosy tones, but acknowledges that they are capable of mistakes.

-Susannah Patton

CIO Best-Seller List

5. Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity

by David Whyte

Riverhead Books, 2001

4. Fuzzy Math: The Essential Guide to the Bush Tax Plan

by Paul Krugman

W.W. Norton & Co., 2001

3. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

by Spencer Johnson

The Putnam Publishing Group, 1998

2. The Art of Possibility

by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

Harvard Business School Press, 2000

1. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell

Little, Brown & Co., 2000

Source: MAY 2001 data, compiled by wordsworth books, cambridge, mass.

What They’re Reading

Michael Gorrell, CIO, EBSCO Publishing, Ipswich, Mass. Kent Beck, Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (Addison-Wesley, 1999); Frederick P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering (Addison-Wesley, 1995); Tom Gilb, Principles of Software Engineering Management (Addison-Wesley, 1988) “All three have offered good insights into the software development life cycle.”