Esther Dyson plans to looks at the small-business market for the next issue of Release 1.0. She writes:
The starting thesis: big businesses have already benefited significantly from IT and the attendant economies of scale – though you often can’t see the results because they are overshadowed by countervailing bureaucracy, politics, inefficiencies and waste. Where will the big wins for small business come from? for some [economies] of scale, outsourcing is key. for others, simply using the same technology available to large companies on a micro basis is the answer.
But I suspect a lot of benefit will come from rationalizing supply chains that the small companies are part of. Second question: what’s the best way for vendors to reach (sell to and support) these small companies? There are VARs, but it seems to me that often the best channel is through their suppliers or customers. E.g., if you want to sell to Ford or JC Penney or now Wal-mart, you have to use X… anyone who knows successes or failures in these arenas, or supporting or contrary examples – and economists to explain it all… I would love to hear from you.