‘Dot-Cons’ Debunked: Author/Consultant Spotlights Hidden Realities of Online Retail

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New book TenserÂ?s Tirades gathers five years of published business articles and essays by this veteran business journalist into an entertaining trip back in Internet time.

NORWALK, CT [Nov. 6, 2002] — While the e-commerce promoters were heralding a magically weightless "new economy” and freshly-minted MBAs were churning out “dot-con” business plans almost as fast as the venture capital community could hand out seed money, James Tenser was sounding the contrarian’s alarum.

In a sequence of more than 30 published articles, essays and commentary, some from his own pioneering e-letter, VStoreNews, and others published in some of the nation’s best-respected industry periodicals, Tenser questioned and criticized the assumed realities of online retailing. Disintermediation was bunk. The real revolution was taking place within traditional retail companies.

These writings are now collected in Tenser’s Tirades — Essays on the Dot-Com Retail Phenomenon 1996-2001, published this month by 1stBooks Library. The book documents the obsession of self-styled consultant/e-vangelist James Tenser with the astonishing phenomenon of dot-com retailing.

Collectively, they track the early promise, exhilarating rise and stunning demise of born-for-the-Web retailing through a series of snapshots taken in the moment. As one of the earliest observers to grasp and comment upon the unvarnished realities of e-retailing, Tenser was right more often than he was wrong, but as these rants reveal, he never kept his opinions to himself.

“This volume is the sum of more than a half-decade of effort to understand and document the impact of Internet retailing,” says Tenser. “While it’s easy now to be smug about the dot-com implosion, just a few short years ago the business world was swept up in irrational exuberance. Investors were rushing to back even poorly vetted business plans in the hope of gaining ‘first-mover advantage.’ Against that backdrop, I made it my mission to maintain a common-sense view of the meaningful changes that Web technology was bringing to traditional retailing.”

Tenser’s Tirades takes its name from the kicker used on Tenser’s monthly column in VStoreNews, the e-letter he founded in 1998. From this soapbox, he railed against the uncritical group-think that led investors and the mainstream business media to make rash declarations about the future value of born-for-the-Web retailers.

Those essays, and more than a dozen other examinations of e-retailing dating back to 1996 are arranged in reverse chronological order, so that the reader experiences what might be described as a trip back in Internet time. With its irreverent and sometimes in-your-face writing style, Tenser’s Tirades entertains while it enlightens.

This book belongs on the nightstand of every Web entrepreneur, retailer, marketer and investor who ever owned a dot-com stock option or wished he or she had. It will make heads nod at today’s multichannel retailers. It will make faces redden at more than a few venture capital concerns. It will make eyes roll at e-business services firms. Tenser’s Tirades tells it like it was and shows it like it still could be.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Tenser’s Tirades: Essays on the Dot-Com Retail Phenomenon 1996-2001 (ISBN: 0-75963-804-7) was published in 2001 by 1stBooks Library. It will available on a print-on-demand basis through online booksellers, beginning Nov. 15, 2001, and in select bookstores. Further description, a sample chapter and purchasing information may be found at http://www.vstorenews.com/tirades.html.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Tenser, a former business journalist-turned-consultant, has written more than 2,000 published articles about business topics, with a focus on retailing, brand marketing and Internet technology. His consulting firm, VSN Strategies, helps technology and service companies define and communicate their value propositions to targeted retail and brand marketing customers.

TRADE ASSOCIATIONS & CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS: Author James Tenser is available for a limited number of readings and speaking engagements. Please contact him to discuss arrangements.

NOTE TO THE MEDIA: We will provide an electronic (Acrobat format) copy of Tenser’s Tirades immediately upon request via return email to qualified members of the media, along with a detailed author’s bio. Color mug shot and book cover image are also available in high-quality electronic format. Author James Tenser is available for interviews and public appearances.

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