A Guide To
An introduction to the Internet
The Internet has become the greatest market place ever established by man.
Businesses must decide the form of access they will have to the Internet and also the form of presence. Most companies have email facilities and many have an Internet presence using access providers but could successfully use other features and forms of access of this global market.
Businesses using the Internet will make mistakes, misjudge the market or project the wrong products and services as has been seen with the 'Dot Com' collapse of 1999 - 2000. Typical reasons for this are given by Allis [Allis 2001][i] as:
· Their business plans, while often 'inspiring' or 'revolutionary', they were never profitable;
· They spent other people's money unchecked in an effort to gain market share as soon as possible;
· They had inexperienced teams whose only goal was the fastest possible growth of their company, not long term success;
· Their company may have made it in the end, but because of the failure of so many others their investor capital was pulled.
These risks are no different to any other business start-up risks, but were made in the public scrutiny of the Internet business boom of the late 1990's.
The change from the original lockup shop selling wares to the public who must enter the shop has dramatically changed to an 'open all hours' virtual shop that anyone in the world can enter with access to the Internet. It is also possible, given the Internet and email, to extend the reach of selling into the home and office of anyone connected to the Internet [Sherwood 1997][ii]. This will further increase as the Internet becomes available through the television.
Forrester [Forrester 1998][iii] estimated that worldwide Internet commerce would reach as high as $3.2 Trillion in 2003. InfoTech Trends [InfoTech Trends 2000][iv] produced a new estimate that the worldwide Internet commerce market will exceed $1.2 trillion. Other research organisations have produced different figures, but all of them are estimates and are subject to rapid change after events such as the 'Dot Com' crash.
Whilst there have been long-term Internet survivors, such as lastminute.com, one of the first to turn a profit (May 2002) as reported in the press newmediazero [newmediazero 2002][v], there have been many high profile failures.
There are two different economies represented on the Internet, much the same as the real life 'economy'. One that pays tax and is law abiding, and the 'black economy' that seeks to avoid tax and is typically illegal either in trade or in tax evasion.
 Whilst there were a number of estimates available 5 years ago, these are difficult to obtain today, hence the older estimates in this text.
[i] Allis 2001 - Ryan P Allis, Zero to One Million
[ii] Sherwood 1997 - 'Security Architectures for Ecommerce', Lecture notes, Baltimore Training Course, May 1997
[iv] InfoTech Trends 2000 - http://www.infotechtrends.com/prInternetcommerce.htm
[v] Newmediazero 2002
An Introduction to Computer Crime