cover image Hyperwars: 11 Strategies for Survival and Profit in the Era of Online Business

Hyperwars: 11 Strategies for Survival and Profit in the Era of Online Business

Kate Kelly, Bruce Judson. Scribner Book Company, $25 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-684-85564-6

The Web is changing the business landscape in fundamental ways. Judson (Netmarketing) has seen much of the turmoil at close range, having been a cofounder of Time Warner's Pathfinder, one of the first major corporate Web sites. His report from the front lines adds detail and anecdotes to the general knowledge that most of his readers should already have: that the Web is a virtual marketplace where comparison shopping is almost effortless, geographic boundaries are irrelevant and the pace of activity is faster than anyone could have imagined even five years ago. If the first phase of the commercialization of the Web saw the birth of new types of businesses (like and Yahoo), Judson predicts the second phase will be all about the impact of new online approaches on traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Supplementing his own experience at Pathfinder with hundreds of interviews, Judson boils down his knowledge to some pithy words of advice presented as 11 ""survival strategies."" Although such phrases as ""Speed Is Everything"" and ""Market Relentlessly"" are generic business strategies, Judson goes beyond them. For example, he points out how Internet technology enables businesses to offer consumers value-laden incentives but also alerts neophytes not to give away the farm. Judson also includes a ""Battle Plan"" at the end of the discussion of each of his 11 strategies, which should be most useful to those contemplating Web launches. Thoughtful, provocative and honoring common sense, Judson's book may, in fact, end up helping the people it initially scares the most. (Jan.)