How Middlemen Can Come Out On Top

Nimble businesses can change the Internet from a threat into an ally

Bruce Yoxsimer owned a travel agency for 13 years before events forced him into a bold, new strategy. The seven-employee company in Palo Alto, Calif., was doing nicely. Annual bookings came to nearly $4 million. But when the airlines capped commissions on ticket sales in 1994, the agency's largest source of revenue was suddenly under siege. Many competitors launched a protracted fight against the carriers--which amounted to tilting at windmills, as it turned out. Yoxsimer took a more farsighted approach: He set up shop all over again--this time on the World Wide Web.

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