A few years back visionnaries told us about the way the web would influence business in all of its dimensions from customer facing functions to the farthest reaches of its back-end operations.
Limited penetration of the high-bandwidth connections, poor understanding of the Internet, lack of user education and lack of readiness of technologies enabling true interactivity contributed a lot to the demise of a large number of companies of the first wave of the web. In the process we all learned a lot; that was the first time R&D
was being carried out at such a scale in the open waters of the
Internet. Now the drive for having economically viable
applications is strong despite the tendency of a number of players to
support questionable positions like "features are more important than
the business model"...
Notice this: while a few years ago the first articles on "Journal du Net" in France would deal with some technical topic, today 3 articles out of 3 featured on its front page actually deal with marketing issues, from the web seen as a media platform to projects of well-known brands like Perrier to include new forms of marketing in their plans... which is excellent news for a couple of my customers like for example BuzzParadise and Jamendo.