Sunday, March 12, 2000

Internet Industry Trends: Is Anyone Making Money?

While questions of making money on the 'Net will always exist, the panelists for the above titled session spoke on challenges and techniques they've employed to keep users on their sites. Dani Ashe, from Danni's Hard Drive, learned simple rules about how to get people to the subscription page and overcome her challenges in dealing with MasterCard and Visa for her site. Kara Swisher said the WSJ will serve up their publication however the users want it -- wireless, web, salami, etc. (Do you want fries with that?) Patrick Spain of Hoovers told us a story of his experience with wireless technology in Europe. As soon as his plane landed his cell phone rang and told him which restaurant and gallery to go to. He supposed someone somehow signed him up for this and that he's paying for it. This is one trend that's starting to generate a revenue stream.

A representative from Yahoo! spoke out from the audience on his concern that companies like JCPenny and Sears employ 300,000 people and only trade at $16, compared with his company, and how no one seems to be concerned with this. Interestingly, Yahoo! just signed a deal with Kmart, which will create a trend for the other stores to follow, most likely. Patrick commented that if the Internet industry is a race that doesn't end, and we're in the beginning, we'll see these moribund companies deal with Internet firms in a way to offer consumers choices. Kara brought up the point that if traditional companies from the music industry had been online from the beginning, they'd be much in a stronger position compared to what they're dealing with from MP3.