The Industrial Age concept of a team is not appropriate for collaboration on the Internet
Why there are no examples or case histories?
After I had written the previous chapter, I sent it out to the readers in the cafe with a note asking what they were expecting or would like to see in the final chapters. I explained that I intended writing the ending of the book like the ending of a detective story, where all the clues spread throughout the book could be brought together to produce a final conclusion.
The most frequent requests were for some real world examples of e-business or e-commerce that would show how the ideas in the book were being applied. This was something my publisher had also been asking for. Unfortunately, I couldn't oblige because the book isn't about procedures or methods, it is about concepts and ideas. These aren't tangible elements that can be put on show; they are elements of the invisible frameworks that lie behind strategies. Such frameworks would be in the minds, not the actions, of strategists. Unless you can actually get into the minds of everyone involved in a solution, you can't really say how it happened.
This is why I have stuck rigidly to my own personal experiences because I know all the details and the reasons why things happened. Sure, it needs a little abstraction to map the concepts across to e-commerce, but, this is what the book is about: getting at the abstractions so that they can be applied as a kind of streetwise Zen-ness. This allows an e-commerce business man or woman to work at the leading edges of the expanding world of digital communications and be able to make shrewd decisions that are not logically obvious. Once the Internet settles down to where things can be formulated and written up as procedures and case histories, all the great opportunities will have long since passed.
Apart from this reason, I'd already made a decision at the beginning of the book to avoid case studies or examples of any Information Age business solutions because it was reasonable to assume that they would be out of date by the time people came to read the book. This had been patently obvious from my reading of other e-commerce books. Some of the examples I'd seen used looked ridiculous by the time the books got into print. The production time cycle of a book takes centuries measured up against the light speed world of the Internet.
E-business and e-commerce, books are really only suitable for explaining fundamental concepts. In this fast moving world, past examples are seldom helpful because trying to play "copy cat" or "catch up" isn't a good strategy. The only way to play the game is to get out in front and stay there and, if you do get behind, you play leap frog. At this stage of the Information Age, looking at what others have done in the past is likely to be counter productive. What we need is conceptual tools that allow us to look ahead.