"Commercial use of the Internet was never about making more money. It was about spending less of it. The Internet is a really cheap way of communicating, and businesses can use it to interact with their customers internationally, around the clock, and in a completely automated way. This doesn't inherently cause customers to give up floods of cash, but it can dramatically lower costs, allowing even moderate sales to yield much higher margins....For a couple hundred dollars a year you can have your own domain name and server space to put up anything you want. You can pay for it with a paper route, let alone a full-time job. Using the Internet is REALLY, REALLY CHEAP."
Just to pick up on a point in the article: by encouraging our customers to join our email list rather than receiving printed catalogues we've saved around £3K a month on printing costs over the last year.
You mean spending billions of dollars every year when your revenues are only in the millions is a BAD way to run a business? No way! There goes my big dotcom IPO plan... damn.
I've wondered about that sort of thing all along... you've got an inherently cheap way to run (or augment) a business (online)... so rather than pinching pennies and building up your revenue until you're profitable, you spend millions of dollars of other people's money on advertising and unneccesary employees and stand around scratching your head when everything goes wrong.