Last week the influential First Tuesday group shifted its focus away from the dot-com world, with which it has been identified, and spent an evening discussing business to business (B2B) and new Net market makers.
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These are companies that aggregate products and services or bring together buyers and sellers online. The concept has been described as a "butterfly market" because it resembles the wings of a butterfly - one for buyers and the other for sellers. Other terms for it are "cyber-mediaries" and "vortex businesses".
First Tuesday's timing was good. Last week, research group Gartner suggested that B2B e-commerce will grow from $145bn in 1999 to $7.29 trillion in 2004, when it could represent 7% of the forecasted $105 trillion total global sales transactions.
The new market makers represented at First Tuesday - Gartner calls them "e-market makers" - are projected to facilitate $2.71 trillion e-commerce sales transactions in 2004 - that's 37% of the overall B2B market - and 2.6% of forecasted worldwide sales transactions. Gartner describes an e-market maker as an organisation that develops a B2B, Internet-based,