Point/Counterpoint. Part 2

Online shopping will work for some things….but these are  very much niches. If I had a $1,000 to invest in an online  shopping mall venture, or a shopping mall stock, I’d invest  in the latter. I wouldn’t touch the former. Not if you paid me  to take the risk.

I think efforts to sell groceries through the Internet are  simply stupid — and so far, spectucularly unsuccesful.

Efforts to sell blue jeans on the Net will ultimately fail with  this generation — and probably the next. I think the mortgage closures in which you have a self-interest would  barely even register as a percentage of total mortgage  closures in Canada. ETrade admits they aren’t happy with  the number of online stock trades for their new service.  People still drive through neighborhoods looking for open  houses, ‘cuz it’s a nice way to spend a Sunday.  My frustration these days comes from the fact that all this  self-promotion of shopping hype by Internet folks, is  causing some innocent folk to invest in some pretty bizarre  online ventures that have a slim chance of success. That  is why I speak out as I do. I am seeing people get ripped  off venturing into some pretty silly initiatives. That, I think,  is a very sad thing.

I think there is a lot of wishful thinking by people that  follows this line of logic. “The technology supports online shopping.Therefore, there will be online shopping.” What  is missing is the fact that for most products, technology  isn’t the issue. Behavior is.

If you are interested in following this line of thought, I  would suggest the book, “Megamistakes : Forecasting and the Myth of RapidTechnological Change” by Steven  P. Schnaars. It does a wonderful job of putting into perspective all kinds of situations in which those in love  with technology failed to get beyond their love to really analyze the likelihood for the technology to succeed.

Figure out the total retail sales in Canada — easily  available. The 1997 Canadian Alamanac shows it at $212 Billion. Figure out –estimate — Internet online shopping.  Maybe a few million, $10 million tops perhaps. $100 million? Whatever. Even at $100 million,it is but 0.05% of  total retail sales. At $10 million, which might be a more real  number, it is but 0.005%.

Worldwide calls are not too limited, pricey currently. The most convenient and easiest way to do cheap phone calls it is by purchasing cheapest international calling cards.

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