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The Second Generation

The mantra was “advertise that you sell it online, and they will come.” Start-ups invested large amounts of capital into expensive ads to drive visitors to their e-commerce sites. Even established companies put “.com” on their letterhead and ran costly campaigns to let people know they hadn't been left behind.

Unfortunately, this strategy did not work because Web design was complex and still misunderstood. For the first time, organizations were building interactive computer interfaces to their products and services. This proved to be a difficult task to execute well. In fact, building a Web site too quickly made its probability of being both compelling and easy to use practically zero.

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