Flipped Lecture 2- Download: The True Story of the Internet

‘Bubble’ part three of the documentary series ‘Download: The True Story of the Internet’. The documentary explored the growth and development of ‘e-commerce’, referred to by website ‘Dynamic Web Solutions’ page, ‘What is e-commerce?’ as:

‘In its simplest form ecommerce is the buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers over the Internet. People use the term “ecommerce” to describe encrypted payments on the Internet.’

The documentary explored the growth of e-commerce through case studies examining both eBay and Amazon and their ‘get big fast’ strategies. What I found most interesting within the documentary was the concept that both these companies were willing to sacrifice economic growth initially in order to develop their business and in turn this lead to in theory a delayed financial gratification. The other key idea raised in the documentary was that for an e-commerce website to achieve success it had to offer something the customer ‘needed’ and to offer a two way forum where customers could control their own actions and purchasing. The failure of many websites during the dot com boom was due to their inability to cater to the customers needs or identify with their wants. Here ebay was different, as the ‘Free Encyclopedia of E-Commerce’ states:

‘By providing feedback from buyers and sellers, eBay had succeeded in establishing an online community. Customer loyalty was a key factor that allowed the site to maintain a dominant position in the auction market.’

As the documentary did not examine the current financial success of eBay and Amazon, I thought I would do some further research to uncover their current financial success. In an article for the ‘Chicago Sun’, ‘Tech Drives eBay Growth’this article suggested:

‘The biggest marketplace on the Web — eBay has 93 million active users — is going all in on mobile shopping, a booming market that is projected to top $119 billion by 2015.’

The following chart displayed within ‘Forbes’ article ‘Amazon’s 4 Keys to Spectacular Revenue Growth’, which they sourced from businessinsider.com, I thought was a useful tool in examining the ongoing growth of Amazon, as an e-commerce leader:


When examining this documentary and relating it back to Networked Media as a course, I think the most valuable thing I can take away is that for a website to be effective and achieve success it must have a clear purpose, audience/usership and offer a unique way of operating as part of community. Most importantly giving the users something they need and want. Therefore innovation is key to the building and development of a successful website.