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Strikingitrich.com (Striking It Rich.com) : Profiles of 23 Incredibly Successful Websites You've Probably Never Heard Of Hardcover – October 15, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Even as Net traffic soars, a general feeling persists that nobody--save computer and sex sites and a few other big-time exceptions--is really making money online. Hogwash, proclaims Los Angeles Times columnist Jaclyn Easton. She began tracking successful smaller Web enterprises back in 1995, and in her new book does an excellent job of putting this profit-myth to rest by revealing exactly how nearly two dozen mom-and-pop cyberventures are racking up "significant revenues" right now.

StrikingItRich.Com: Profiles of 23 Incredibly Successful Websites That You've Probably Never Heard Of offers the best in-depth examination yet available of what makes such winners tick. Following a foreword by Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Easton presents highly detailed portraits of a diverse collection of sites with little in common except for one crucial ingredient in her bottom-line recipe for online prosperity: "Be the first, be the best, or be different." Exactly how sites like iPrint, Horsenet, The Knot and Ask the Builder achieve this, of course, is as different as the cyberproducts they're peddling. Precise information on site creation, content development, revenue streams, promotional programs, and other operational aspects make this an extremely practical and motivational read. --Howard Rothman

Review

"... Jacylyn Easton, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, offers intriguing insight into the emerging world of online commerce in Striking It Rich.com: Profiles of 23 Incredibly Successful Websites You've Probably Never Heard Of. Easton knows the territory, and these short case studies are highly recommended for anyone contemplating making the plunge to the Web." -- Book Page

...StrikingItRich.com's most valuable service is in showing the overlap that exists among most small Web companies.... To her credit, Easton's withering interrogation methods and her experience as a business reporter elicit some precious nuggets of inside information--for example, how to get rid of a bad Internet service provider and what to do when somebody sends you a fraudulent credit card number. Few of her interviewees have a problem spilling their guts, and most seem willing to offer solid advice for future entrepreneurs. -- Upside, Sam Williams

Jaclyn Easton's StrikingItRich.com is not about defusing hype, but rather about substantiating it. Easton, a columnist and feature writer for the Los Angeles Times, has profiled 23 small web-based businesses that have done well. Her choices range from "The Knot", a one-stop shop for modern weddings, to home improvement sites like "Ask The Builder," and community-oriented sites such as "KoreaLink."

Each profile is full of hard information: costs, revenues, success (and failure) rates for different kinds of web-based advertising, and so on. Violating one stereotype, the average age of the entrepreneurs Easton interviewed is 40. Violating another, their sites tend to make little or no use of Java, frames, and other high-tech eye candy. Instead, the only universal rule seems to be that customer service matters even more on-line than it does in the real world. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, says in the book's introduction, "If you make one customer unhappy, he won't tell five friends--he'll tell 5,000 on newsgroups." Read more --Gregory V. Wilson, Dr. Dobb's Journal -- Dr. Dobb's Journal

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 251 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies; 1st edition (October 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007018724X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070187245
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is so much incredible information in this book that I have read it three times, using a highlighter pen of a different color each time. If only all other Internet books were as good as "StrikingItRich.com"!
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Format: Hardcover
While most people who reviewed this book gave it 5-stars there are couple who rate it less. I can tell you as someone who has read "StrikingItRich.com" 3 times and bought 7 more copies for business associates that these "bad reviewers" could not have read this book.
Citing some of these sites as not successful? Nuts! Easton gives us all the revenue numbers. These are not "home spun efforts" as one of these commentors below wrote, but bona fide business with anywhere from 1-100 employees.
If you're not serious about making money online don't read this book. If you are, "StrikingItRich.com" will become your bible. Better yet it will insure your success and inspire you as you read these stories of folks just like you and I making it big.
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Format: Hardcover
This book exceeded my expectations. While the primary title is distracting and somewhat misleading, the subtitle gets it right.

What struck me about many of the profiles were the incredibly useful details disclosed by some of the vendors. Sure, a few vendors are basically boasting and (I suspect) exaggerating their returns, and some are conspicuous in failing to share information that some others disclosed (such as net advertising revenues).

I actually think this book should be on the "required reading" list for anyone starting a web-based business, simply because it highlights some of the key issues and reasons why some of these businesses are successful (and by implication, this should give some clever people good insight or warning as to why some other business ideas are lacking).

My only hesitation about the book is that since it only profiles successful businesses, including some that are in very narrow niches, it may lead some new web-based business owners to be overly optimistic about their new projects. For example, the first "niche" site profiled in the book reports earning $330 CPM for its advertising (and the book explains why this is).

A little "reading between the lines" does help (start by simply noticing what information is included in some profiles but not others, and imagine why one vendor didn't share their information). Also note that some of the "successes" seemed (to me, at least) to be more likely than not to be short-lived.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a product of the Internet boom / bubble and not all of these seb businesses have survived. However, a surprising number have. Some were sold while others evolved one way or the other. It is quite an interesting to read about how these businesses viewed their markets at the height of the boom and then look at how things are today.
I think the book has a couple of good points to make. These sites were not funded by huge amounts of venture capital. They are all small sites that have done well for people who had a specific expertise, who thought small in a tightly focused way, and who used the web to broaden their reach to a proven client base.
There are thousands of successful sites just like these and this type of thing can be done thousands of more times by intelligent business people. My advice, however, is that unless you really KNOW what your plan and goals are, don't spend your hard earned cash until you are certain you have minimized your uncertainties. Of course, to be an entrepreneur is to have more risk than regular folks are willing to take on. But spend more time getting ready and learning your business rather than recklessly diving in head first to see how deep the pond is. If you don't you could end up spending a lot of money on a website that will be nothing but a drain on your precious cash and time.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most important books on "virtualpreneuring" since it focuses on case studies of successful Web-commerce sites. It was exhilirating to read about companies that are actually driving revenue and earnings on the Web. This book is must reading!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought StrikingItRich.com with the hope that I might pick up a few pointers for a site I am building. Within the first 10 pages I had my "few," and by the time I was done reading it my I had written down 6 pages of notes. I really appreciate that these are not theories but actually experiences of cyber entrepreneurs.
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Format: Hardcover
Poorly written, not well organized (alphabetically by Web site URL???), and not all that informative, unless you're interested in learning about a bunch of quirky Web sites. There were no summaries of "Lessons Learned" or "Best Practices", so it was hard to follow what the important lessons were in the success of these sites. (And I have to question the author's definition of "success", as many of these sites apppeared to have only limited audiences with not all that much potential for future profitability.)
If the reader really wants to learn something about "best in class" use of the Web for business, go buy Patricia Seybold's "Customers.com", a much clearer and better written treatise on eCommerce.
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