Don Tapscott / David Ticoll / Alex Lowy, «Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs» Harvard Business School Press
| ISBN 1578511933 | May 2000 | PDF | 2 Mb | 320 pages
God forbid that doing business and making money on the Internet should bear any resemblance whatsoever to the past millennium of bricks-and-mortar capitalism--that would be too easy. Nope, it's a whole different ball game now, and the new rule is: adapt or die. At least that's the message behind Digital Capital. From the three principal cyberconsultants at the Alliance for Converging Technologies (one of whom, Don Tapscott, authored the bestsellers The Digital Economy and Growing Up Digital), comes a paradigm for global takeover: the business web, or "b-web" for short. In their words, b-webs are "strategically aligned, multi-enterprise partner networks of producers, suppliers, service providers, infrastructure companies, and customers that conduct business communication and transactions via digital channels." Some examples are eBay, Cisco, Dell, MP3.com... in short, any enterprise that a) knows how to form lateral partnerships with other goods-or-service providers, and b) eliminates the role of planes, trains, and automobiles--not to mention lots of time, money, and human energy--by doing almost everything over the Internet. Not only do the authors provide a wealth of b-web case studies (including Charles Schwab, Priceline.com, Webvan, AT&T Solutions, and OptiMark in addition to those mentioned above), they outline a step by-step process for weaving a b-web of one's own.
Too often, Digital Capital's sound ideas come marinated in think-tank jargon so alienated from plain English as to be nearly impenetrable. Consider: "Disaggregation leads to 'disintermediation' and 'reintermediation'," which, believe it or not, isn't a line that French film theorists use in pick-up bars, but the simple statement that business webs manage to cut out a lot of the traditional steps between producers and customers. Now why couldn't they just have said that? No matter. After you nibble through the self-important MBA-speak, you'll find a smart look at how online shops are rewiring early 21st-century capitalism. --Timothy Murphy
The industrial-age corporation is crumbling. The new form of wealth creation is the business web,and the new basis of wealth is digital capital.
Schwab, eBay, Cisco, MP3, Linux, and dozens of other companies have transformed the rules of competition in their industries, seemingly overnight. They hijacked long-entrenched industry leaders with revolutionary offerings that surprised and delighted customers. These transformers could not and did not act alone: partners enabled them to move with stealth, speed, agility, and force. Such teams of innovators pioneered the business web, or "b-web"--the new platform for competition in the twenty-first century. B-webs--partner networks of producers, service providers, suppliers, infrastructure companies, and customers linked via digital channels--are destroying the firm as we have known it and generating wealth in entirely new ways.
In Digital Capital, information-age visionaries Don Tapscott, David Ticoll, and Alex Lowy describe and explain the b-web phenomenon and the forces behind its emergence. Drawing on three years of multimillion-dollar research into hundreds of b-webs as diverse as the Microsoft alliance and the automotive industry, the authors illuminate the five distinct types of b-web now in play: Agoras, Aggregations, Value Chains, Alliances, and Distributive Networks. Punctuating their analysis with a rich set of case studies, they provide the definitive guide to business model innovation in the digital economy.
The book includes:
* The untold real story behind the story on successes like eBay, Cisco, Linux, Schwab, and Priceline
* Positioning and analysis of emergent e-businesses like Webvan, OptiMark, AT&T Solutions, and Enron
* A step-by-step process for b-web strategy design
* A new approach to maximizing organizational effectiveness in a multi-enterprise environment
* The "ABCDE's" of marketing--heir to the "four P's" of the industrial age
* Guidelines for deciding whether to hire, buy, or partner a needed capability
* A new set of lenses for viewing the stock market
The authors warn that participation in b-webs is not optional. To encounter and satisfy the digital customer, firms must lead or partner in one or more of these new business networks. While no single path leads to b-web success, businesses will adopt effective b-web strategies-or they will simply fade away.
Sustaining advantage in the digital economy demands more than superficial actions like attracting "eyeballs," launching a hot IPO, following "new rules," building a cool Web site, or even just focusing on customers. In Digital Capital we finally have a book that gets beyond whiz-bang clichs to today's central issues of competitive strategy.
Business webs, or "b-webs"--partner networks of producers, service providers, suppliers, infrastructure companies, and customers, all linked via digital channels--are generating wealth in entirely new ways. In Digital Capital, information-age visionaries Don Tapscott, David Ticoll, and Alex Lowy describe and explain the b-web phenomenon and the forces behind its emergence. Drawing on three years of research into hundreds of b-webs, the authors illuminate the five distinct types of b-webs now in play. The book includes the story behind the story on successes like eBay, Cisco, Linux, Schwab, and Priceline; provides an analysis of emergent e-businesses such as Webvan, OptiMark, AT&T Solutions, and Enron; and gives the reader a step-by-step process for b-web strategy design. Punctuating their analysis with a rich set of case studies, the authors provide the definitive guide to business model innovation in the digital economy. Sustaining advantage in the digital economy demands more than superficial actions like attracting eyeballs, launching a hot IPO, following "new rules," building a cool Web site, or even just focusing on customers. Digital Capital moves beyond whiz-bang clichs to today's central issues of competitive strategy.