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e-Biz Revisited The Internet is responsible for some of the most spectacular failures in business history. What will make you different?

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ah, those were the days: IPOs, "e" and "i" everything, Superbowl ads,, eager VCs and aeron chairs. But enough reminiscing. It wasn't that great anyway. Now that most of us have caught our breath after the dotcom free fall, it's time to get ourselves together and figure out how to move forward and make e-business work.

Rob Powell is a one-man band. The founder, owner and manager of steered his engineering equipment site through the storm, all the while maintaining a full-time engineering job. E-tailing has been one of the most maligned victims of anti-dotcom sentiment, but Powell, 31, shows it can be done smartly and profitably.

Powell's first good move was registering the domain name in 1999 in Christiansburg, Virginia. He had heard and read about the online boom and was excited to secure a site of his own. Six months later, the site was launched as a purely informational resource that became popular with engineers. As Powell got up to speed on the vagaries of e-commerce over the next two years, he slowly weaned the site off information and built a retail outlet in its place.

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