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Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 1. Introduction


         For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see,
         Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonders that would be;
         Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
         Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;

—Alfred, Lord Tennyson[1]

[1] Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall (1842).

Internet commerce has become the new frontier for businesses around the world. Although what is now the Internet began more than 30 years ago, only in the past few years have we seen significant use of the Internet for commerce. The explosive growth of the Internet has been accompanied by claims of business revolution, ways to “make money fast working out of your home,” and even the end of the nation-state. In the late 1990s, many overhyped startups spent huge amounts of venture capital, promised to change the rules of their industries, and then went bankrupt on failed business models.


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