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The Internet Economy

What do the industry’s leading commentators have to say about the IT economy in 2000?

December 25, 2000

What do the industry's leading commentators have to say about the IT economy in 2000?

In the past year, the formerly untouchable world of the Internet economy gave way to a topsy-turvy shakiness where start-ups’ bubbles have been bursting faster than you can say “dot-com.” What do the industry’s leading commentators have to say about it?

Where are we, in terms of the Net and in integration into the overall economy?

“We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”

(Scott Cook, chairman of Intuit)

How does one Internet billionaire balance philanthropy with life’s pleasures?

“I have a policy that I get to spend as much on myself as I give away.”

(Netscape founder Jim Clark)

Does the Internet improve the prospects of a rebirth of communism?

“Eighteen-year olds may be the last people on earth to still believe in communism. But unlike every previous generation of dreamers, these kids have figured out the technology to make it possible.”

(New York Times Sunday magazine)

How bad is the current pessimism over Net stocks?

“When you discount 20 years of good news, even slightly bad news today can have a significant effect on the present value of those stocks.”

(Merrill Lynch analyst, on Internet stocks)

How have venture capital firms shifted their attitude towards Internet start-ups?

“Before, all the venture capital firms wanted to know about was eyeballs. Now they have so many other questions. They ask about the business model and revenues.”

(Ricky Tam, research director at Hong Kong’s Pacific Challenge Securities)

Is the Internet yet a forum where one can make a successful business?

“Capitalism is many things, but charity it isn’t. It’s about profits, not philanthropy. Here lies the puzzling contradiction of the Internet.”

(Newsweek columnist Bob Samuelson)

In what way does the Internet help communicating on a global level?

“The entire Internet is a world divided by a common language.”

(Rich Jaroslovsky, Managing Editor, Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition)

Does the Internet have political power?

“In 1989, I was in Tiananmen Square. We failed then. The Internet won’t fail.”

(Chinese dissident, on the Internet as a tool for democratic reform)

Is it a propaganda machine?

“If the U.S. government had tried to come up with a scheme to spread its brand of capitalism and its emphasis on political liberalism around the world, it couldn’t have invented a better model than the Internet.”

(Don Heath, president of the Internet Society)

Isn’t there more to the Internet?

“Reasonable people understand the Internet is a technology platform — not some form of American imperialism.”

(Gerhard Schulmeyer, head of Siemens’ U.S. operations, on U.S. dominance of the Internet)

What underpins the success of this whole Internet explosion?

“The UPS delivery folks are the foot soldiers of the revolution.”


Why would a Japanese worker use online trading?

“I want to diversify my portfolio to mitigate risks… Earthquakes may hit Japan.”

(Retired Japanese construction executive, on why he turned to online stock trading)

What is the downside to’s tremendous popularity on the web?

“We were hoping to build a small, profitable company. And of course, what we’ve done is build a large, unprofitable company.”

( founder Jeff Bezos)

updated August 14, 2001