Even Good Things Can Go Squirrely

Written by Sam Knight

Well, it was only a matter of time, wasn't it?

As more and more people scramble torepparttar Internet to seek their fortune, it's an easy step to allowrepparttar 118986 Net to interfere withrepparttar 118987 affairs ofrepparttar 118988 heart and home.

Lately, I have heard several variations ofrepparttar 118989 same theme from more than a few people. Initially, I pooh-poohedrepparttar 118990 "criticisms" thinking "Aw, come on; lighten up a little" thinking maybe some were making a bigger deal out of an innocent preoccupation.

Asrepparttar 118991 "rumblings" became more frequent, further examination of this new, somewhat fractious phenomena seemed called for. There was some validity torepparttar 118992 "arguments" because guess what's happening?

We've stumbled onto a whole new way of being in repparttar 118993 middle of a love affair without ever leaving home or writing a "Dear John" letter!

Computers and The Net are wily masters at wedging themselves between people in terms of talking to and spending time with one another.

These rendevous are just as compelling andrepparttar 118994 results can be just as tricky. Sneakily, they bloom and createrepparttar 118995 same breakdowns in household communication as any other clandestine involvement.

The truth is, it IS possible to get a little carried away by our noble cyber efforts. Many times, we don't even recognize what's going on.

Allow me to present this hypothetic end-of-day scenario and ask if any of it sounds vaguely familiar. Spouse arrives home after a long day atrepparttar 118996 office only to find Mate once again totally absorbed in front ofrepparttar 118997 computer. Spouse goes to greet Mate with a hug.

Momentarily startled, Mate looks up. "Hi, Honey. I'm so glad you're home, but I can't talk right now."

"Oh, don't look like that. I know, I know. You think I spend too much time onrepparttar 118998 computer. But I don't. You're just feeling a little neglected, like when we boughtrepparttar 118999 baby home."

"Remember? You thought all my energies were spent onrepparttar 119000 baby? You silly goose. I was only trying to get her to be able to feed herself at four months."

"Hey, didn'trepparttar 119001 pediatrician say her development seemed accelerated? I was only trying to encourage repparttar 119002 process. It had nothing to do with cutting into my computer time. Honest."

"What'd ya say? Where's your dinner? Remember how you said you needed to lose a little weight? Early this afternoon I wondered what I could fix to help you out."

The New Frontier of Profits

Written by Rob Spiegel

I recently participated as a judge for Inc. magazine's Web site competition. I expectedrepparttar experience to demonstrate just how sophisticated Web sites have become amongrepparttar 118985 small businesses that make up Inc.'s readership. I didn't seerepparttar 118986 level of quality I expected, but I was even more encouraged by what I actually found, a wide-ranging display of sites that were selling everything from exotic soaps to electronic parts. And they were doing it profitably. Raw entrepreneurial energy oozed through these sites as they experimented with serving new customers.

The segment ofrepparttar 118987 overall contest I was assigned to was ROI,repparttar 118988 new lexicon for return on investment. ROI has become rallying cry of ecommerce as it tries to get offrepparttar 118989 defensive and back up on its feet. Not surprisingly, it's a new category this year. Up untilrepparttar 118990 cyber-crash of 2000, Internet companies were blissfully free ofrepparttar 118991 dirty need to produce a return on cash invested. The small business audience of Inc. magazine never had this peculiar luxury.

The dot com boom was a high-flying gamble by high-moneyed players. Venture capitalists and large enterprises put uprepparttar 118992 stake, andrepparttar 118993 young dot commers were either new to business or young upstarts flooding in fromrepparttar 118994 investment and technology communities, both of which are nestled inrepparttar 118995 padded nest of major corporations. ROI wasrepparttar 118996 least of their concerns. The dream was very big, and when you dream really, really big, mundane thoughts of profits are typically left forrepparttar 118997 next generation of managers

The chronically under-funded small business community was late torepparttar 118998 Internet world. The owners of small companies live on a razor thin edge, and ifrepparttar 118999 blade slips, it cuts into personal income. One small blunder can cut very deep, settingrepparttar 119000 owner back years. For small company owners, attention is just as dear a commodity as capital. Take your eye offrepparttar 119001 ball for just a moment and your customers start scattering in all directions.

Small business owners were late torepparttar 119002 Internet game for two clear reasons. The customer wasn't demanding an Internet presence andrepparttar 119003 ROI was difficult to see. No matter how far-thinkingrepparttar 119004 owner may be, how can he or she justify venturing into an area where customers are not waiting? Inrepparttar 119005 Internet world, executives usedrepparttar 119006 imagery of hockey great Wayne Gretzky who clamed he didn't skate torepparttar 119007 puck, he skated to whererepparttar 119008 puck was going to be.

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