eferg - 7:06 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
Prior to building my e-commerce site, I worked for a Fortune 500 company. Before entering a new market or approving a new product development, the project manager had to make a strong case why this product would be in the top 3 for market share. If not, don't enter the business. Find something else you can succeed with.
Same goes for web based businesses, although the on-line marketplace is so large, you can probably relax that rule to say you should be in the top 8 or get out.
Whether Goggle remains #1 or not, the web is here to stay and someone will always be selling advertising (I think of Google as an ad company, not a search company). If you are in the pack of the top 8, you can afford to advertise. If not, consider doing something else that you can be successful at.
This game, as others here have pointed out, has been going on way before the www. It's just that the cost to establish an on-line business is so low in comparison to a B&M store, that we have many more players. As a result we have to expect a lot of failures.
It is sad though to see large companies drive small businesses out. My business provides custom-made products not available in large stores. There is no way I would try to compete with a commodity type product.