Stories by Tom Davenport

The Disorganization Man

The last decade has been one of incredible technical tumult. And like an earthquake centered in Silicon Valley, the hundreds of new companies spawned there have added hundreds of billions of dollars to today's thriving economy. Behind at least five of those startups stands Jim Clark, mastermind behind the Geometry Engine chip that brought 3-D graphics-and virtual reality-to the world.

Unfriendly Hosts

I am experienced. At IT, that is. I'm not trying to brag, only to indicate that when I have problems with information technology, it's not because I'm technically incapable. I had one of the first PCs and one of the first laptops and still have a Palm Inc. I. At one point I was a systems administrator (though, admittedly, it was a couple of decades ago).

E-Commerce goes global

Connecting to the world, it seems, isn't as easy as you'd think given that the Internet reaches most countries and cities around the world, you'd think that e-commerce would have been global from the beginning. Not so, at least generally. The combination of language issues, currency conversions, shipping hassles and general unfamiliarity with foreign websites has made business on the Internet largely a domestic phenomenon. Americans surf U.S. websites and Germans buy from German sites. There are exceptions, but our e-commerce electrons have mostly stayed within borders. And if you're an American and think all the action is here, you should know that a U.S.-oriented website will reach only 5 percent of the world's population and only 25 percent of global purchasing power. If you're not interested in the other 95 percent and 75 percent, by all means turn the page now.