Foreword for

September 8, 2000

By Steven J. Snyder, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Net Perceptions, Inc.

Do you get it yet? Have you seen the light?

The business world is in the throes of a catharsis that's moving at an Internet-driven pace. Buying and selling opportunities now regularly come and go in microseconds and that means businesses that plan to be among those that endure must be positioned to assess the landscape quickly, act decisively and move rapidly to ensure they are making the most of every possible contact.

This book by Mitchell Levy offers provocative insight into how this new world is shaping up and what is required to make sure your company survives, adapts, grows and thrives. It lays out well what we who have been in the industry for years have learned through experience - that success depends on the ability to change before change becomes necessary.

I invite you to pay particular attention to Chapters Five, Eight and Ten, in which Levy focuses on he significant elements of content, customer expectations and marketing. The reality of constant change is a common thread that ties these sections together.

As Levy notes in Chapters Five and Ten, the ability to constantly maintain and evolve content that is fresh and appropriate for individual customers is an art and a science. It requires the ability to deeply analyze the relationships between each customer, your products and your promotions. You have to analyze that information quickly and have the infrastructure that allows for on-the-fly content change that is meaningful to the user. The good news is that the merger of this art and science is achieved through the application of advanced technology.

Chapter Eight deals with customer expectations. Who doesn't acknowledge that customer desires are always in flux? But this nuance of business is magnified because the Internet has not only created a new channel for interaction, but has now established the ability to link all of the points of contact that businesses have with their customers. The customers know this and they're demanding a response. Again, the technology is there to handle this integration.

Someone once said, "To change and to change for the better are two different things." This book presents guidance on how to make sure your business does the latter.