Get a Grip

Sometimes You Have to Be Lucky

e-Tail Racks Up Big Gains
THERE'S STILL PLENTY OF SALES revenue for surviving dotcoms to tussle over. Retail e-commerce sales in the last quarter of 2000 were up by more than two-thirds the level of the year before. For the first time, e-tail amounted to more than 1 percent of total retail sales.

SOURCE: Census Bureau

"I don't mean to be flippant," says Tolia, "but good fortune is always a part of it." Serendipity is often more valuable than strategy, and a large part of any successful venture is chance. "At the end of the day," he points out, "it's incredibly difficult to build a successful company. A lot of things need to go right at the same time."

Few people would disagree that surviving dotcoms need to be lucky. But how lucky must these companies be? Jonathan Avedikian, vice president of design at Portaris Inc., an end-to-end online business solution in Austin, Texas, says being in the right place at the right time is definitely important, and there are more right places than you probably think-even right now, which seems like the wrong time. "We always say it's all been done before," muses Avedikian. "But then something new comes out, maybe a new twist on an old idea. There are new markets out there-niches that haven't been tapped yet-and there are current markets that haven't been exploited fully."

Survivors Prosper

Tomorrow's survivors will likely exhibit other traits-tireless passion for their businesses, skills for building online customer communities, and the ability to effectively merge online and offline promotions. But when the good times come back around, those still making it work will look back fondly on the traits that got them through the dotcom equivalent of mass extinction-and allowed their businesses to survive.

Austin, Texas writer Mark Henricks has covered business and technology for leading publications since 1981.

Contact Sources

ActivMedia Research LLC
(800) 639-9481, ext. 125

AHA! Interactive Inc.

eCommerce Strategies Inc.

Epinions Inc.


Portaris Inc.

Sanchez Capital Partners

Wallace Resources
(480) 948-0029

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This article was originally published in the June 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Get a Grip.

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