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Chapter 12. Developing the e-Business De... > Case Study of e-Business Design in A...

Case Study of e-Business Design in Action: E*TRADE

E*TRADE illustrates the value of identifying and focusing on specific dimensions of competitive differentiation. E*TRADE is a leading provider of cost-effective online financial services. As a self-service innovator, E*TRADE has become synonymous with the term "online trading" by being one of the first to establish a leading, branded destination Web site that offers self-directed investors compelling prices and direct access to high-quality, real-time information.

As a start-up, E*TRADE illustrates an interesting aspect of e-business design: the tension between incumbent firms and start-ups. Incumbents and new entrants have different sets of advantages. Incumbent trading firms, such as Merrill Lynch, have cash, financing, customers, production assets, and brand. New entrants, such as E*TRADE, have a clean-slate business design, an entrepreneurial culture, and nimble decision-making processes.


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