The Dot.Bomb Survival Guide: Surviving (and Thriving) in the Dot.Com Implosion

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9780071377799: The Dot.Bomb Survival Guide: Surviving (and Thriving) in the Dot.Com Implosion

Dot.Bomb: Surviving (and Thriving) In the Dotcom Implosion reveals the mistakes that failed dotcoms made, as well as the attributes of the successful ones. By dissecting what worked and what went wrong, today's ebusinesses can successfully navigate the thin line between big bucks and bust. Over the past few years, the New Economy has launched some spectacular fortunes...and some equally spectacular catastrophes. April of 2000 marked the beginning of a shake out of dotcoms and ebusiness enterprises, and put the risk back in to IPOs. We're watching more dotcoms go bust every day, and many more charge toward their financial cliffs. Why have some companies soared to multi-billion dollar valuations while others have bitten the dust? Just as a postmortem can reveal details that led to medical insights that save lives, taking a look at the lifeless corpses of dead online companies can teach valuable lessons for today's ebusinesses that want to say alive and thrive in the New Economy. Dot.Bomb takes a look at a number of prominent dotcom successes and failures to discover what worked, what went wrong and what business lessons can be learned from the mistakes - By comparatively illustrating the right way to do it. Each chapter will concentrate on a specific element that led to failure: flawed business plans, not knowing the customer, constructing the wrong business team, neglecting to ever complete a working product, high risk/short term thinking, over-hyping the product, bad funding deals, and misguided mergers and acquisitions. It will then feature a company that excelled in that area to reach success. In some cases, the most cursory marketing analysis would have shown that the issue for many dotcoms was not awareness, but preference and purchase building, which requires a different approach than appearing on the Super Bowl. Digging through the smoking wreckage, we'll look at how the crash could have been avoided and how the mistakes of the dead can lead to successful strategies for the living. Using sober analysis, Dot.Bomb will skim the dotcom death pool and the winner's circles for strategies to help the reader's ebusiness survive. Included will be interviews with doomed workers who saw the bust coming, a review of some of the nuttier cultures and hiring practices, a burn-rate-o-meter, ideas that (thankfully) never made it, post-mortems from VC's and analysts as well as handy "autopsy chart" summaries. This book marks the end of the dotcom hype. Author and industry guru, Sean Carton, sits courtside and examines the right and wrong moves in the dotcom game. Managers and executives will be wary to miss this opportunity to glean tips and advice on how to ensure their dotcom survival and which uses real-life examples to illustrate it. More than anecdotes and trend research, Dot.Bomb provides substantial evidence to guide dotcom pioneers onward and upward.

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Review:

Recess is long over, and it's back to school for failed entrepreneurs. The Dot.Bomb Survival Guide: Surviving (And Thriving) in the Dot.Com Implosion, by branding genius Sean Carton, dissects the '90s to show what worked--and what didn't.

Poring ruthlessly over the remains of AllAdvantage, BigWords, and other dot-comedies of errors, he shines light on the mistaken assumptions and dodgy strategies that dragged them down to the landfill of history. But knowing what not to do can't guarantee success, so Carton also examines plenty of healthy companies, including several he was involved with professionally.

What do investors want to see? When is new tech good tech? Has the Internet really changed anything, and how? These questions should be on the minds of every serious start-up developer, and The Dot.Bomb Survival Guide lays out the answers for all those ready to learn from the past. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover:

"After a 6-year run of wild ideas, wild business plans built on those ideas, wild-eyed entrepreneurs, and even wilder spending by those looking to cash in on the forces ripping the economy wide open, we're now entering the painful period when the bugs are being corrected, the interfaces fully overhauled, and the first release getting ready for prime time."
­­Sean Carton

Was the New Economy just a figment of our collective imaginations, and, if not, why have so many dot.coms failed so miserably?

What was it about some ebusinesses that made them the darlings of Wall Street while so many others lost money their first day out?

Why did some dot.coms become household names seemingly overnight through massive buzz, while others died silent deaths despite extravagant marketing expenditures?

What, exactly, went wrong with the losers, and what lessons can their examples teach us about emulating the winners?

In a book that is destined to become the bible of the next generation of Internet entrepreneurs, acclaimed Web entrepreneur and ebusiness journalist Sean Carton provides answers to these and other critical questions on every businessperson's and investor's mind about what it will take to succeed in the (new) New Economy.

In a lively, no-holds-barred narrative, Carton takes a close look at the Internet industry as a whole, separating the hype from the business realities. With the help of candid commentaries by former dot.com staff members, venture capitalists, and industry analysts, he performs detailed post-mortems on Priceline, Living.com, Pets.com, Go.com, and other notable dot.com debacles of the past 2 years. He identifies the dot.pathologies that led to their demise and offers expert advice on how to immunize virtually any online business against them. And throughout Dot.Bomb Carton further enlivens his coverage with dozens of too-good-to-be-true tales of nutty company cultures, bizarre hiring practices, and loony ideas that, thankfully, never made it out of the gate.

Each chapter of Dot.Bomb focuses on a different problem, or set of related problems, such as bad business models, a failure to identify customers, poor product development, wrong-headed marketing concepts, and overcapitalization. For each problem identified, Carton compares the experiences of dot.com failures with those of several prominent dot.com successes who excel in that area. And, in each case, he extracts powerful lessons on what managers can do to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and to emulate the examples set by the dot.com victors.

If Dot.Bomb can be said to contain one overriding message, it is that yes, ebusiness is here to stay, but if it is to survive, the next generation of dot.coms must be built on a rock-solid foundation of business fundamentals, concentrating on the needs of their customers, not grand, pie-in-the-sky promises, get-rich-quick schemes, and unworkable business models.

While the Internet industry went on a 5-year bender, regular folks had their own lives to lead, their own priorities, their own friends to talk to. People didn't love the Net because it let them shop in their underwear. They loved the Net because it let them talk to other people, gave them a voice, and let them do their own thing in a public space that had never before existed. The Internet attracted people not because they got horny from the technology but because they could connect. Why did so many [dot.coms] fail? How could so many have missed the obvious? How could so many (seemingly) smart people be so wrong? Were we all just insanely stupid? Was the New Economy simply the biggest scam in history?. . . The book you're holding in your hands just might have the answers to these questions.
­­from the foreword by Chris Locke, author of The Cluetrain Manifesto

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