Using The Internet For Business

© Brian Zisk 1998. Not to be reproduced or used in any form without his written permission.


Themes: Business Solution, strategic planning book. Holistic view of business. Online counterpart to the MBA Portable Book.

Include: Case studies and notes on how to find more related topic information. Put in margins.

Introduction: What will be covered in the book


a) Making a sound decision
b1)Why the net is good for business
c1) The better access provided by the web helps people make more informed informational and purchasing decisions. Since people (and companies) are using the web to decide whom to buy from, if youre not there, you lose out.

c2) In the information age, better information is better decisionmaking, and better business.

c3) Better purchasing can happen on the net empirically proven.

c4) More efficient customer service

c5) Business is happening now.

C6) The Internet itself is huge business. Can your company adapt to compete for money spent both through it, and on the infrastructure of it, software, hardware, or services.

c7) Can your business be made more efficient through the use of the Internet?

C8) collaboration/making partnerships over/through the net

c9) An IP in every Box.

d1) Phones

d2) Java Rings

d3) More and cheaper Chips

b2) Choosing Hardware and Software

b3) Building blocks for an Internet Presence

c1) Everyone uses TCP/IP. Why?

c2) Client Server

c3) Html. Why it's the standard

d1) what is HTML, basic elements of a web page

d2) principles of web site designpurpose, structure, navigation, style, mechanics

d3) basic HTML (cleaner, easier to troubleshoot) vs. pagemaking tools (anyone can use immediately)

d4) which enhancements are worthwhile for your business?

[put the rest of the "creating a web presence", "make or buy" stuff here??]

c4) Bandwidth, connectivity, and whats needed to make it work. How does one choose which company to use to connect to the Internet?

d1) Whats needed to build a network? Bridges. Routers. Physical wires. DNS software.

e1) troubleshooting net problems; how to tell Where the missing link is

d2)Throughput vs. Latency

c5) Unix as the backbone.

d1) BSD and its variations, with a sidebox on Linux.

d2) Solaris

d3) Other proprietary Unixs including IRIX (SGIs) HP/UNIX, and other legacy systems.

c5) Microsoft as the Newcomer

c6) Macs as easy servers, as well as the (disputably) the best website creation platform due to BBEDIT.

C7) Choosing the server. Secure or not?

d1) Netscape Server

d2) Microsoft

d3) Apache. Stronghold, Apache SSL

d4) Webstar.

C8) Don't forget the people.

d1) The people who build the site.

d2) The people who view the site are the main reason the site exists. Extremely prequalified leads.

d3) How to capture information, both ethically, and unethically. What is the difference? CGIs.

c9) Cool Network Tools. How to deal with the ever-possible problems.

d1) Cross platform graph of following tools including one or more of the best options for using each of the following protocols for several major platforms

d2)telnet (scsh)

d4) FTP (scsh)

d5) Email scsh) [move to a separate section?]

d6) Push (scsh)

d7) Traceroute (scsh)

d8) whois (scsh)

d9) nslookup (scsh)

d10) dig (scsh)

c10) Choosing and using the most appropriate platform

d1) Free software

c11) How much will it cost?

c12) What kind of expertise is needed? How to distinguish an expensive technology project from a lower-budget text and design project.

b4) Whats on the Internet to help businesses? How do you know?

c1) Search Engines

c2) Indexers




c3) Personal Sites

c4) Links

c5) Resource Sharing/Info sites

c6) Traditional News Media

c7) Local Small Media

c8) Info is free

d1) Chiapas (scsh)

d2) SF Free Press (scsh)

d3) Yugoslav Station on the air

d4) Untied Airlines.

d5) Gateway

c9) Building community

c10) The better access to information, the better decisions, and the more transactions will take place.

a2) Creating Online Revenue
b1) Money: What it is, and how its changing, how its transferred.

b2)Strategies/Business models

b3) The changing nature of money. According to B.L., money is information about how we exchange energy

b4) Online Payment Methods

c1) How do you convince customers to switch to purchasing product online from traditional methods ie. catalogs or retail to online?
[what are the barriers to entry for merchant and consumer? e.g. Wallets, hardware, software, complexity?]

[attribute to Bernard?]

d1) ATM/Farecard Two-Party Payment Methods

d2) Unmediated Two Party Payments

d3) Mediated Three Party Transactions

d4) Micropayments

d5) Anonymous Digital Cash

c2) Gift economies
d1) San FranZiskGo! (scsh)

d2) Craigs List (scsh)

d3) Time Dollars

d4) Other Local Currency

b5) Better feedback/more efficient shopping will change the nature of money [why/how?]

b6) Online Money Transfer/Not so fast

c1) Problems

c2) Verifiability

c3) Expensive

c4) Customization

c5) International Problems

a3) Implementation Strategies
b1) Whats working? Whats not?

[which of these models are working; which aren't? meta: what do the successful & unsuccessful models have in common?]

c1) Online Banking

c2) Online Brokerages

c3) Online auctions

c4) Credit Card payment

c5) Order info on web, take other action

d1) Mail order

d2) Phone order

d3) 900 number with password

c6) Distribution

c7) Allowing people to make informed /better decisions c8) Have another company handle your online storefront

a2) The quality of your company, on (and off) the web

b2) Brand Recognition

c1) Using it/Putting it out there.

c2) Getting a good domain name which reinforces the Brand name. Very important

c3) Protecting/Trademarking it. [other IP issues?]

B32) Customer Service : Do you satisfy every customer? Can you?

c1) Why not? What can be done to get closer to that goal? Would being on the web make your customer service more efficient? How?

d1) Previous way [explain?] vs. online

d2) Ability to buy right now, or at any moment

d3) Instant access to catalog. Possibly inventory.

d4) Decrease phone support.

d5)Frequently asked questions

d6) How cool are you? Does what you have up there (well talk about putting it up soon) give warm and fuzzies to the people youre looking to attract, for sales, info, or whatever. [What is cool, and why does it matter?]

b4) Marketing
c1) Fitting in with Internet culture

c2) Building a presence

d1) Your people already online: a great asset, as well as a barometer. Your (and their) email taglines. Are you proud?

d2) Relevant email lists. Discourse on why spam is bad, but names on your legitimate list are worth money. Real world mailing list comparison (graph), showing quite a few major lists, and what theyre about. How to browse and manage them.

d3) Websites. The Laura Lemay story about how to learn about building your own. Personal sites are a base. This could be a long section. Maybe more appropriate later on, or as the next chapter.

d4) Amplifying the people who love your stuff on the web

d5) Dealing with people angry at you. Mitigating disaster. Dont drop this! Work to sympathize and understand your [? their?] viewpoint. People are never quite sure if they should be working with you or with someone else, and seeing a problem (perceived or real) and how its handled can make or break sales and recommendations.

d6) Helping out others

d7) Are your products onlinecentric? Are your target markets online?

[jargon. What exactly makes a product onlinecentric?]

d8) Is your company onlinecentric? Should it be? Not all businesses do well on the Internet why?

a4) Creating a web presence
[move all this stuff to the "building blocks" section?]
b4) Putting up a simple website

c1) Getting started

d1) A place to put your info

d2) A basic Guide to html

d3) Local or remote

b5) Putting up a more advanced website
c1) What's appropriate [what's included here? How to decide whether bells & whistles are necessary/desirable? Demographics?]

c2) Java

c3) Other Multimedia Bells and Whistles

c4) Plug-Ins

b3) The make or buy decision

c1) What business are you in, and where is it going?

C2) Do what you're good at.

C3) In-house abilities/not taking them off other projects. Building an in-house team. On a small crew, one person may handle many (or all) of the following themselves.

d1) Designers

d2) Artists

d3) Writers

d4) Programmers

d5) HTMLers

d6) Systems administrators

c3) Running the webserver

d1) Internet Datacenter onsite or off. Better have a good reason for on.

d2) The 24/7 nightmare

c4) Public Relations

c5) Using Demographics to Learn More About Your Market

d1) Collecting Statistics

d2) Analyzing Raw Data

d3) Predict Customer Trends. Much tighter feedback loop.

a3) Business online
b1) Better access to information leads people to you for information and hopefully purchasing

c1) Getting registered in search engines.

c2) Email tagline

c3) Getting linked to/reviewed

c4) Advertising online

c5) Real world pointers

d1) Added to materials/catalogs which you distribute.

d2) Added to ads

d3) Flyers/stickers

d4) Special promos, like tradeshow materials

c2) Competition/Competitive advantage

d1) No longer just local

d2) Pricing information instantaneous

d3) Comparison Charts between your product and the competition's.

d4) Testimonials

c3) Delivery

d1) Normal Channels

d2) Downloadable with Key to follow

d3) Encrypted downloads/Cryptolopes

b5) Better access to information [what will be covered here, and where does this info fit best???]
a5) Protecting your investment
b1)Security Problems

What are the chances you are going to have a security breach? What types of businesses are more likely to have a breach? How secure is necessary, when nothing is truly secure? Costs, benefits, and tradeoffs.

c1) Fraud

d1) Stolen Credit Card #s

d2) Identity Hacking

d3) Chargebacks

c2) Denial of service attacks

c3) What to do if attacked

c4) Information available to all

d1) Competitors

d2) Potential Competitors

d3) Enforcement agencies can use info they gather to target people whove published online.

d4) Increase in jurisdiction due to doing business in other areas (or countries). Liable in all areas where the Internet is available, like Iran. In cases such as online gambling, the USA has been strict about enforcing its rules, even if the company is located offshore.

C5) When your reputation on the net is negative
[how/why is reputation on the net different from reputation in general?]
d1) For legitimate reasons/Fix the problems

d2) Because your online presence or absence shows no understanding of net culture/Fix!
[examples of what about the net a business needs to understand?]

d3) Because an individual or group is pissed off/Work with them individually. Listen to them, and try to turn them into an advocate, individually and for groups too? This must be dealt with on a case-by-case (and overall) basis.

b23) Taking a Netcentric approach, to avoid security and other these problems.
c1) Specify what makes an approach netcentric?]

c2) Are there any other potential problems? ]

b3) Encryption

c1) PGP

d1) What it is

d2) How to use

d3) Export problems

[workarounds for these problems, e.g. recent episode in which a company used its overseas office to distribute 128-bit encryption?]

d4) How secure is it?

[distinguish secure on todays processors vs. secure on potentially much faster machines in the future]

c2) Key Escrow

d1) What it is

d2) Why govt/law enforcement is pushing for it.

d3) Why it's not compatible with global business

d4) Alternatives; why its not necessary for security.

c3) Other encryption methods

[e.g. Rivest Shamirs new chaffing model?]

b4) On the internet/off the internet

c1) Tradeoffs

d1) More sales/better information

d2) Possible theft of info and related damages

c2) How secure is secure enough
[today? 100 yrs from now? Talk about risk assessment.]

c3) Fear and Paralysis, and the losses if you suffer from them [product cycle; cite Tornado model]

b5) Extranets
a5) Business to Business Communications

Appendix A. Business Internet Terminology

Include Below Ideas GREAT!other questions that could be answered: