Foreword for

September 7, 2000

By Michael Silton, CEO, Rainmaker Systems, Inc.

Two choices. Evolve or die! Clearly, you bought this book because you have chosen to evolve. Good choice. How will you get the most from this book? And why should you trust what it has to say?

You have probably formulated questions that you hope this book will address. And, most likely they revolve around understanding what your customers want and what actions to take. By asking questions as you read the book and even more importantly as you implement your e-volving e-strategies, you find out what works, what is out of date and what you can add to make your results even better.

The first thing to realize about the Internet is that you are out of control. I am not talking about the rate of change and all the confusing technologies. I am talking about power in a relationship -- the relationship between you and your customer. In the old world, you sold to customers. In the new world, a customer buys from you. The center of power has shifted. If you understand this and take it to heart, you'll figure out how to win when the center of power or action has shifted to your customer. A great relationship, by definition, involves two-way communication. So, how do you let your customer have the power, but still play a pro-active role in helping them create successful transactions with you and your company? That's your magic question. Answer it and you've applied what you've learned from this book.

To discover the answer, why not learn from someone who has already helped hundreds of e-companies, someone who has already seen thousands of mistakes and hundreds of intentional and accidental successes? No one is more connected with e-commerce management as Mitchell Levy. In, Mitchell takes us on an exploratory journey through the key issues in this area. On each page, he shares the practical experience of someone who has tried something new. Get behind the scenes to see the thought process not just the end results. There is no better, more independent source of ideas to help you as you build your evolved and evolving strategy than

The radical change that placed the customer at the center of the relationship is undeniable. Companies today are still struggling with the basics of turning all their systems, processes and especially thoughts inside out to accommodate and take advantage of this change. In the true spirit of the Internet, Mitchell has also made available a web site for continually updated ways to evolve. But most importantly, this book will get you ready to evolve your own thoughts on an ongoing basis as long as you keep asking the right questions.

I look forward to reading about your questions and successes on the web site.