Dot Dot Dot

Start a . . . twiddle your thumbs . . . the money rolls in--there's a hell of a lot left out of that story.

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, 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

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This article was originally published in the April 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Dot Dot Dot.

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