It seems so simple. Buy a $100 Web-authoring program, pay a few more bucks for a domain name and space to put up your site, then watch out--you are on the fast track to a cool billion dollars . . . or at least a couple million. It happened at Amazon.com, eToys, Autobytel, and more e-businesses than you could click a mouse at. Except it's not that easy. "I'd say 75 percent of Web sites are inadequate; they won't succeed," says Janet Asteroff, director of e-business services with The Concours Group, a Kingwood, Texas-based e-business consulting company.
Too pessimistic? Not according to some experts. "At least 70 percent of Web sites are just up there and don't do much at all," says Wally Bock, a Wilmington, North Carolina, e-commerce consultant.
Keep talking to experts, and the general guesstimate is that at minimum, two in three e-businesses are doomed. And that's because it's just not as simple as it seems to erect a smoothly functioning Web site that makes money, too.
Robert McGarvey is Entrepreneur magazine's monthly "Web" columnist