Tech Futures

Need a map for where business goes from here?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the January 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Manuel Castells, dubbed "the first significant philosopher of cyberspace" by no less than The Economist, says the Net's influence on commerce has only just begun. The Internet will, he says in his book The Internet Galaxy (Oxford University Press, $25), allow organizations to be both as tightly focused as traditional hierarchies and as adabtable as networks. The payoff: Faster growth, easier change and tighter interaction with customers and suppliers.

The essential commercial entity of this world will be what Castells calls the networked enterprise. From the outside, a networked enterprise looks much like any e-commerce company that conducts the majority of its sales through a well-designed e-commerce Web site where customers specify products, place orders and arrange shipping. But, behind the scenes, a truly networked enterprise feeds that information into manufacturing. There it's used to engineer products that better meet customers' needs. It also winds up in the databases of a global system of suppliers, who can use it to improve the systems and services incorporated into the end product. Such networked structures, he says, can help companies of any size shine brightly in the new Internet galaxy.

Filling Seats

You can't count on a soft labor market to make it easy to find, hire and keep the best people, say McKinsey & Co. consultants Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones and Beth Axelrod. In their book, The War for Talent (Harvard Business School Publishing, $27.50), the authors say the battles will continue for years, and they map out five imperatives that can help you win them. Perhaps the most useful tool is Employee Value Propositions. EVPs recognize there's more to getting paid than a dollar sign. For instance, a holistic approach might take into account such things as desires to change jobs and learn new skills. Can offering a transfer beat out a raise as a means of retaining workers? All's fair in the war for talent, and the possibilities they raise are tempting.


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

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.