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Back 2 B2B

Did our B2B utopia die in the dotcom disaster, or can we still do it all better online?

This story appears in the November 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's easy to look back and debunk most of the dotcom hype. But some ideas are too tantalizing to let go. B2B exchanges were going to change the way we do business. Buyers and suppliers were going to save time and money in online marketplaces. Now, if you can name one B2B exchange, you're in the minority. What happened? Can anything be salvaged?

Of course, exchanges haven't completely disappeared. The auto industry's Covisint (www.covisint. com) is the poster child for B2B survivors. But independent public exchanges-mostly entrepreneurial-went down the tubes at an alarming rate. Where did they go wrong?

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