In the past year, the pendulum of popular opinion has swung from over-exuberance about the importance of all things Web to a real reluctance to be associated with anything that has a .com at the end of its name?and there aren’t that many of those left. One data point for how things have changed: The last time we held the Web Business awards, in July 2000, we had more than 600 entries. This year we had about half that. Now the business and trade press tentatively search for the few survivors and try to find something good to say.
Throughout the Internet boom, CIO held the position that 1) the Internet was a transforming technology, and 2) the same business principles that applied in the past would apply in the future. The Internet did not, as some claimed, change everything. But it did change some very important things. The challenge for all organizations would be to figure out which few critical things about their business those would be.
In this special issue of CIO, we bring you not one, not three, but 50 examples of companies that have figured that out and have staying power.
What’s their secret? They test everything they do against sound business principles. They stay true to their own missions. They focus on their customers’ wants and needs. They choose the right partnerships and work them well.
This issue is brimful of smart examples and ideas for success on the Web. In fact, there were so many good ideas that we’ve pulled them out into boxes that run in each article labeled Ideas You Can Steal. Because it’s not enough to see what others are doing well; you need to know how you can apply those practices to your own business now.
Despite the smaller number of applicants this year, judging the Web Business 50 is still a rigorous process. Thanks to everyone from the editorial team who weighed in with their thoughts and opinions.
Thanks to Tim Horgan, CXO Media’s own Web guru, for sharing his deep practitioner’s expertise, as well as his contacts. These include Lisa Sulgit (Lisa@Sulgit.com), an e-business consultant in New York City , and Dan Kalikow (Kalikow Consultancy), an Internet expert and trend watcher in Natick, Mass., who helped us with the nominations.
You’d never know this was Senior Writer Susannah Patton’s first crack at editing a special issue?she did a great job focusing the content and shaping the whole package. Executive Editor Michael Goldberg provided focus and, as always, unfailing enthusiasm for the project from start to finish. Senior Graphic Designer George Lee created this issue’s clean and compelling presentation. Special projects whiz Cristina Sousa made sure the judging?and everything else associated with the awards?went smoothly. And many talented people contributed to the writing, editing and design.