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Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs Hardcover – May, 2000
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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
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Like Blown to Bits, Digital Capital looks squarely at the economic impact of the Internet on existing business models. But Digital Capital goes further in laying out the necessary steps to build on five business models that have been working that involve creating business networks that are Internet enabled (b-webs in the parlance of this book).
You will instantly recognize the five business model types, because the authors provide lots of examples (at least some of which will be familiar to you) and lists of characteristics of each type.
You will also know how to go from where you are to reaching one of these archetypes by the strategy directions the authors provide. The only drawback of this section is that the language gets a little b-schoolish (and full of very long words).
The conceptual basis of the work is sound. The only two points that were not discussed were (1) how these models might evolve into more powerful models in the future, and (2) how they might merge with each other.
Where the book is at its best is in helping you think through how to add other companies into a related web of interests to get more done -- thinking that goes well beyond the well-known outsourcing mindset.
Good luck with improving your Internet-based business model! Keep in mind that technology will evolve rapidly and enable some new business models that can only be dreamed about today in just 3-5 years. So be sure to look at the irresistible forces of technology development in thinking ahead.
* What are the driving forces of the digital economy?
* How can my organization manage those forces to its maximum advantage?
* What are the new models of wealth creation? Which is most appropriate for my organization? Why?
* What are the most effective strategies for establishing and then developing value chains, alliances, and distributive networks?
* What are the most important human and relationship elements of digital capital?
* What are the various steps to "weaving" a Business Web?
* What are the best strategies for "harvesting" digital capital?
Given the importance of harnessing the power of Business Webs, if you and others in your organization are struggling to answer questions such as these or if you and they don't even know which questions to ask, I strongly recommend this book. To derive greatest value from it, make it required reading for all key people and then go off-site for 3-5 days and discuss it. Stay wherever you are until you have a game plan...then come back and make it work!
The well-written, referenced, and structured chapters span in 4 parts:
++ 1- Introduction- value introduction through business webs.
++ 2- New Models of Wealth Creation- agoras, aggregations, value chains, alliances, and distributive networks.
++ 3- The Human and Relationship Elements of Digital Capital- people, and marketing.
++ 4- Strategies for Business Webs- how to weave a b-web, and harvesting digital capital.
Strengths include: the balanced dry (?unemotional) writing style; the excellent use of tables (perhaps best examples seen this year) and figures; the relative depth of the b-web framework and content (b-web strategy design, marketing, staffing etc..).
Unfortunately, about 25% pagecount reduction is possible for the content; and there are several technical errors (e.g. EDI not started in 90s, and Fraunhofer Institute is not just an industrial electronics research company, to name two). Also, perhaps links with formal micro-economic modeling would further strengthen the b-web framework (to this reviewer, it felt a bit MBA-made-up speak, at times (!)).
Overall, a useful mature look at the dynamic economics of b-webs in the global marketplace.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book along with author's "Digital Economy" and "Blueprint to the Digital Economy" rode the dot com wave. Read morePublished on February 13, 2010 by R. Pokkyarath
I received this book in perfect condition and in short time, sent by airmail to Europe.Published on May 15, 2009 by S. Koepp
A good overview about how all the digital platforms out there support business models and how companies make money in a new smart way. Read morePublished on January 6, 2008 by William D. Tompkins
Interesting book... all of the authors are officers of the Alliance for Converging Technologies. This book was released in 2000, so it might be considered outdated among the... Read morePublished on June 19, 2006 by Roger Peter Marec
Like his other books, this 'Digital Capital' will bring us to a new level of thinking about how Net-Economy will work and shape the world we've already known. Read morePublished on December 30, 2001 by Edy M. Prawono
Digital Capital articulates the characteristics of web based business models and illustrates how the application of these business models can rapidly change the status quo. Read morePublished on November 16, 2001 by B. Ostrowiecki
If the University Texas is correct, the Internet economy is "increasingly being driven by traditional companies adapting Internet technologies. Read morePublished on July 30, 2001 by Greg Thornberg
very good introduction to value-webs. there are some terms used which may be misleading; value-chain can not be a "business model", it is a generic business term. Mr. Read morePublished on June 8, 2001
I selected this book from the reading list of my e-commerce class in BUS 240 at California State University, San Jose. Read morePublished on April 16, 2001 by Christopher Ware