July 6, 2000 |
Amazon.com and other online book retailers are powerless to summon the owls that deliver mail to Harry Potter and the other wizards-in-training at Hogwarts School. So they are relying on planning and high-tech magic to make sure those who pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire find it on their doorsteps Saturday. (At 752 pages, the fourth installment in the wildly popular Potter series won't slip through a mail slot and may be too hefty to squeeze into a standard-sized mailbox used by Muggles in the nonmagical world.
June 11, 2000 |
The editorial cartoon projected above keynote speaker Jeff Bezos' head in the Grand Ballroom didn't need an explanation, and the founder of Amazon.com didn't provide one. "I can't figure out how you caught malaria," a puzzled doctor says to a feverish, sickly looking patient. "Well," the patient replies, "I did order that mosquito off Amazon.com " The booksellers in the audience laughed, and Bezos chuckled - actually, he honked - with them. Nearly a thousand strong, mainly owners or employees of independent bookstores, they had come early for the opening educational days of BookExpo America, the annual gathering of about 30,000 book-industry professionals held here at McCormick Place last weekend, a rite of spring in which publishers display and sell their fall and winter wares, and booksellers scrutinize and buy them.
May 12, 2000 |
Some entrepreneurs dream of Silicon Valley, maybe of starting the next Amazon.com or Cisco Systems Inc. and becoming the next billionaire. For now, Bohdan Kulchyckyj has more modest aspirations: moving his West Chester start-up into Center City, expanding its base of about 20 customers, and posting annual sales that would equal less than a hour's revenue at many a high-tech heavyweight. "Next year, if we can hit a million dollars, we'd be very, very happy," Kulchyckyj said yesterday during a break from the action at Business Expo 2000, a daylong gathering of businesspeople at the Convention Center sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
April 14, 2000 |
Major booksellers are being assailed by leaders of Jewish groups and thousands of customers for stocking a notorious work of anti-Semitism. The book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, appeared in Europe in the early 20th century and was widely used to stir violence against Jews in czarist Russia and elsewhere. It purports to be the secret minutes of a late-19th century meeting of Zionists plotting to seize control of the world. Historians later exposed it as a fraud. Two small publishers have reissued the book, and online booksellers have begun stocking the slim volume, which has no known author or copyright.
February 23, 2000 |
Here's how the Internet has shifted the power structure in today's business world: Josh Kopelman, 28, starts a small Internet company in Conshohocken last summer called half.com. Straight out of the Donald Trump handbook, Kopelman contacts the town of Halfway, Ore. with an offer officials cannot refuse: Rename the town half.com, Ore., for one year in return for some free computers. The mayor of Halfway agrees. Half.com (population 360) gets a ton of national and international publicity, including ABC News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the London Times.
February 13, 2000 |
It has always been my policy to avoid making snap judgments about others. That's what I tried to do with the recent rash of cyberterrorism on the Internet. Reading about people who spend their days and nights obsessing over how to zing and zap people in cyberspace, I tried to understand why. What is the point? What do hackers get out of this besides a few laughs and the promise of three hots and a cot? These computer aficionados have used their considerable computing skills to bring Internet businesses and news organizations - among them CNN, Amazon.
December 10, 1999 |
From seemingly every corner came a low-level din. Conveyor belts whirred. Sorters chugged. Automatic labelers pressed on addresses with a steady ka-thunk, spitting out a new package every two seconds. Employees in sneakers and running shoes, computer printouts in hand, scurried among 152 aisles, grabbing books, CDs and videos. At noon Wednesday, a voice on the loudspeaker announced the hourly update: 2,317 orders received; 5,954 shipped. A cheer rang out. They were catching up on a backlog of orders at the company that claims to do things bigger, faster, better than anyone else.
November 24, 1999 |
Sotheby's, the 255-year-old auction house that in 1811 auctioned off Napoleon Bonaparte's library and in this century fetched $78 million for Renoir's "Au Moulin de la Galette," has gone on-line. Sotheby's and Amazon.com have joined forces to create a 24-hour cyberspace auction house to offer antiques and expensive collectibles at prices ranging from $100 to more than $150,000 at their sothebys.amazon.com address. The address is offering items in more than 100 collecting categories, among them fine oil paintings, jewelry, watches, silver, furniture, entertainment and sports memorabilia, vintage fashions, coins and photographs.
November 18, 1999 |
Businesses are launching Web sites as quickly as possible, hoping that a dot-com address will help them grab a share of a market expected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2003. But all too many of the companies eager for Internet success fail, largely because they have no inkling of what a Web site should look like, what it should contain, or how it should treat potential customers, two experts who have studied e-commerce warned at a Comdex seminar. Comdex, the computer industry's annual dog and pony show, is celebrating its 20th anniversary here this year.
September 30, 1999 |
Amazon.com Inc., the biggest Internet retailer, said it will rent space to other merchants and create an online shopping mall with more than 500,000 products. Starting today, a company can list as many as 3,000 items on zShops, an area on Amazon.com's Web site, for $9.99 a month. Amazon.com, which until now has sold mostly books, music, and a few other products, will be paid a percentage of each zShops sale. The plan brings chief executive officer Jeffrey Bezos back to his original strategy of selling merchandise without the cost of carrying inventory.