Just as the Silk Road was once the world’s greatest trade route, the e-Road is poised to become the trading highway of the 21st Century.
The Electronic B@zaar, by European information-technology analyst Robin Bloor, offers a knowledgeable global perspective on the way businesses are being impacted today by the Internet--and how they might use it in the future for true competitive advantage. The "Silk Road" of the subtitle was once the world's main commercial thoroughfare, dotted from Damascus to China with popular trading posts where goods were exchanged for redistribution throughout Asia and North Africa. The Internet is now "destined to become the primary trading route for the whole population of the planet," writes Bloor. He then offers his take on the transformation, complete with four fundamental mechanisms he says will help one gain the most from it. These include a new model of market growth he dubs "the hockey stick curve"; various communication channels, "by which electronic interaction occurs in the electronic economy"; the "force of automation," which fashions innovative opportunities from new technologies; and the overall change in business behavior driven by the worldwide adoption of the Internet as the trading bazaar of the 21st century. Mixing practical observations on these core principles with informed speculation on the entire evolving process, the book should prove of interest to e-business entrepreneurs seeking an additional electronic edge. --Howard Rothman