By Don Tapscott, david ticoll & alex lowy

Digital Capital (2000)


B-webs — partner networks of producers, service providers, suppliers, infrastructure companies, and customers linked via digital channels — are destroying the firm as we have known it and generating wealth in entirely new ways.

In Digital Capital, information-age visionaries Don Tapscott, David Ticoll, and Alex Lowy describe and explain the b-web phenomenon and the forces behind its emergence.

Drawing on three years of multimillion-dollar research into hundreds of b-webs as diverse as the Microsoft Alliance and the automotive industry, the authors illuminate the five distinct types of b-web now in play: Agoras, Aggregations, Value Chains, Alliances, and Distributive Networks.

Punctuating their analysis with a rich set of case studies, they provide the definitive guide to business model innovation in the digital economy.

The book includes:

  • The untold real story behind the story on successes like eBay, Cisco, Linux, Schwab, and Priceline
  • Positioning and analysis of emergent e-businesses like Webvan, OptiMark, AT&T Solutions, and Enron
  • A step-by-step process for b-web strategy design
  • A new approach to maximizing organizational effectiveness in a multi-enterprise environment
  • The “ABCDEs” of marketing — heir to the “four P’s” of the industrial age
  • Guidelines for deciding whether to hire, buy, or partner a needed capability
  • A new set of lenses for viewing the stock market


The authors warn that participation in b-webs is not optional.

To encounter and satisfy the digital customer, firms must lead or partner in one or more of these new business networks.

While no single path leads to b-web success, businesses will adopt effective b-web strategies-or they will simply fade away. Sustaining advantage in the digital economy demands more than superficial actions like attracting “eyeballs,” launching a hot IPO, following “new rules”, building a cool Web site, or even just focusing on customers.

In Digital Capital we finally have a book that gets beyond whiz-bang cliches to today’s central issues of competitive strategy.

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Digital Capital is unarguably the single best guide to corporate survival in the new economy. If your company wants to be in the phone book in the year 2003 and beyond, read this book.

– Warren Bennis,
University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, and Coauthor, Organizing Genius and Co-Leaders


This dynamic work provides an unprecedented in-depth look at the new economics and the fundamentals driving the digital revolution. Anyone intrigued by the Internet’s boundless possibilities will view Digital Capital as an essential guide to innovation and success.

– Jeffrey Mallett, President and COO, Yahoo! Inc.


The Internet revolution waits for no one-no country, no company, and no individual. The key to success in this revolution is harnessing the power of the Internet to gain sustainable competitive advantage and to create value for your customers. Tapscott, Ticoll, and Lowy show you how to do this by defining the business model for your company’s survival in today’s economy. Read this book to stay ahead.

– John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco Systems

“…if you are trying to understand why some companies are flourishing and others are struggling. . . Digital Capital is pure enlightenment.”
Business Week, July 17, 2000
“Digital Capital provides a powerful intellectual framework for thinking and acting in the new economy…”
Klaus Schwab, President, World Economic Forum
“Digital Capital takes you beyond the theoretical model [of the digital economy] and reveals the how-tos of preparing your business for the future.”
Gerald W. Schwartz, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Onex Corporation
“By far the best work on the new business models required to compete in e-business. Pray that your competitors don’t read it!”
J. Bruce Harreld, Senior Vice President of Strategy, IBM
“We created eGM to transform General Motors into a major force in the digital economy. Don Tapscott and the Alliance for Converging Technologies team have greatly influenced out business design and are helping us to chart the future. Digital Capital does a great job of putting the task at hand in clear focus.”
Mark Hogan, President, eGM
“Tired of all the hype and clichés about e-business? Still don’t know how to compete in a dot-com world? You just found your secret weapon. Tapscott, Ticoll, and Lowy cut to the core of what really matters-how to use the Internet for creating powerful business partnerships. You can’t find a better guide to winning in the new digital economy.”
Kim Polese, President, CEO, and Cofounder, Marimba, Inc.
“The Internet has seamlessly interconnected customers, suppliers, and the workforce, and b-webs are effectively blurring all traditional roles and changing how we think about infrastructure. Digital Capital is a breakthrough-a must-read to understand the dynamics of how this new economy will unfold.”
Craig Conway, President and CEO, PeopleSoft, Inc.
“Digital Capital is an insightful guide to the rules of engagement in the new economy. Its explanation of collaborative business webs-the emerging market models for value creation-should be required reading for anyone who wants to reach the digital customer.”
Michael S. Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell Computer Corporation

Best Selling Author

Don Tapscott

Don Tapscott is one of the world's leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology. Named one of the world's most important living management thinkers by Thinkers50, he advises business and government leaders around the globe. Tapscott is the author or coauthor of some of the most widely read and cited books on technology in society, including Paradigm Shift, Growing Up Digital, Grown Up Digital, The Naked Corporation, Digital Capital, Wikinomics, and Macrowikinomics.

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