An Action Thriller: Bookstores
Anyone who thought books would become obsolete in the age of electronic information can put those fears to rest. Just the opposite seems to be true. Books, an $82 billion worldwide market (as of 1998), have become more numerous and much easier to buy and sell because of the Internet.
Field of Dreams: Sports on The Web
Sporting goods—clothing and equipment—is a $150 billion business worldwide and the biggest purveyors of these goods were quick to get their business onto the Internet. Three young West Coast entrepreneurs began SportSite.com, an enterprise that united sporting goods distributors and catalogers into a giant electronic sports mall for the consumer. They quickly captured a big chunk of the market and bought out their main competitor.
A New Take on Takeout: Cybermeals
California entrepreneur Tim Glass was watching the movie The Net one day and when the Sandra Bullock character surfed her way to a pizza Web site, Glass was struck by this “brilliant idea for online commerce.” The only problem was that Hollywood’s idea of virtual takeout was ahead of the actual technology.
Rags to Riches: Vintage Clothing
Mail order catalog shopping may work for mass-produced standard clothing from Eddie Bauer and J. Crew. But the World Wide Web is an ideal way to shop for that one-of-a-kind 1940s “Kramer” shirt, a white suit like the one John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever, or a pink satin Victorian reticule. There’s no need to rummage through dusty bins and racks in second hand clothing stores if you know what you want.
The Yes! Files: Fan Clubs
The fan club operator’s life is made much easier by the World Wide Web. The Web, in fact, is a boon for fan club managers and fans alike. It is easier to operate the business, but also easier for fans to keep informed about their favorite celebrity.
The Reachable Stars: Online Astrologers
For most people, the three-line horoscope in their daily newspaper is a quick hit of “what if” fantasy entertainment. Most of us cannot help but speculate when the reading fits our lives in some way, such as the irony of a long-distance friend calling the day your horoscope said you’ll hear news from afar. Perhaps your horoscope says you will win the lottery, travel looms large, or your talent will be appreciated.
Music to their Ears: Virtual CD Stores
EMusic (emusic.com) founder Mark Chasan has been passionate about music since he was ten years old. He started playing drums and percussion and later studied music and piano in order to write and arrange his original compositions. Although Chasan’s passion for music has continued over the years, at age twenty-two, Chasan’s love of music was exceeded by his distaste for poverty, and he pursued a career in law.
Lost in Space: Data Recovery
People who thrive on pressure and those who need to be needed are perfect for the data retrieval business. Expertise in data retrieval is highly valued, and people who love computers find this is a challenging field.