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An evolutionary look at e-commerce

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1 Author(s)

Theories of natural evolution may have something to teach us about technology. A theory I find appealing is that of punctuated equilibrium proposed by Gould and Eldredge. Traditional evolutionists such as Darwin envisioned a slow and steady evolution of better adapted creatures. Gould and Eldredge observed that the fossil record doesn't support a belief in steady evolution. Instead, they saw long periods of equilibrium with little activity, separated by short bursts of evolution (hence, punctuated). I consider e-commerce as a new technological life form. Will it succeed or fail? This depends on the ecosystems it will inhabit and the species it will displace in order to flourish in (and thus modify) those ecosystems. Some likely candidates for displacement are print catalogs and mail-order purchasing; business processes for purchasing, accounting, and inventory management; manufacturing scheduling and resource allocation; and requirements acquisition

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar/Apr 2001

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