"The business of America is business," quipped President Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s. Not even "Silent Cal," however, could have predicted what happened to business at the end of the twentieth century, when the remarkable performance of the U.S. economy called into question assumptions, methods, practices, values, and truths of long standing. Suddenly, and in many instances quite unexpectedly, the old rules governing business no longer applied and no one knew for sure what the new rules were going to be. A volatile and unpredictable decade for business, the 1990s was as full of opportunity and promise as it was peril and apprehension.
This upheaval resulted primarily from the advent of the Internet, which transformed life for most Americans. Suddenly the whole world was more accessible as an unprecedented quantity and variety of information enabled companies and individuals to function more efficiently and profitably. The Internet fundamentally changed business as brash, computer-savvy entrepreneurs eclipsed many of their more venerable, and now vulnerable, counterparts, who found themselves struggling to make sense of the new cyberworld. Observers differed, however, on how the Internet was altering the world; when the World Wide Web made the Internet more accessible, starting in 1994, the traditional...
(The entire section is 1269 words.)
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