In 1994, BUSINESS WEEK was the first general business magazine to do a cover story on the Internet. But even with an early start on covering the phenomenon, I am constantly astonished at how rapidly the Net has re-ordered the way we do business. The browser of choice then was Mosaic, a clunky bit of software that bears scant resemblance to today's sleek models incorporating sound and video. In 1994, Jeff Bezos, now CEO of Amazon.com, had just left his job as a bond trader to go West and seek his fortune in cyberspace. And BUSINESS WEEK was soon writing stories regularly on how the technology behind the Internet was linking companies and bringing them closer to their customers and suppliers.
Our coverage grew into a series of special reports on electronic commerce--first one a year, then two. Last year, we did two special reports and added a comprehensive, 30-page package entitled "Doing Business in the Internet Age." Demand was so great that we ran out of copies.
With interest that high and with such huge implications for what has come to be called electronic business, we decided something really special was in order. Say hello to BUSINESS WEEK e.biz. This issue launches a quarterly report that appreciates E-business for what it is: a disruptive change in the course of commerce that will reward those who embrace it and punish those who try to avoid it. E.biz looks and feels different because business as usual is over. Our new approach is intended to drive that point home.
But we won't be resigning ourselves to a quarterly pace of coverage by any means. We will continue to feature stories on E-business in the regular pages of the magazine. And, as befits the subject, we have added a new channel, if you will, to our BUSINESS WEEK Online Web site. The new channel will feature daily coverage from our own staff as well as a real-time news feed from CNET, one of the Web's best sources for technology news. Our staffers will provide a regular lineup of company stories and personal profiles as well as weekly columns on the most critical areas of E-business: retailing, portals, finance, and legal issues.
I hope you will be particularly interested in the topic we have chosen for our first supplement: What every CEO needs to know. As you will undoubtedly conclude, E-business is no longer something that can be left to technology staffers. It needs to be an essential part of the strategic thinking of every chief executive--and anyone who wants to be one.