This rather portly book will, no doubt, cash-in on its title, which, cleverly, only mentions launching a business on the Web, but says nothing about making money on it.
After the mandatory chapter on what the Net is, why it's so popular and who it can work for, the authors do eventually get around to offering some useful information on what you can do to get your company started on the Web. Okay, so it takes nearly 130 pages to get there, but there's a lot to cover.
Unfortunately this is where David Cook and his co-author Deborah Sellers, get a bit caught up in all the intricacies of the Web's attributes. That includes shareware, freeware, the type of processor you should be using, what VRML is and so on.
A far better title for the book would have been The Web, its bits and can you launch a business on it? - or something like that. The book tends to skip about, blissfully eluding to all that is Web-like and then just leaving it upto the reader to fetch other books on the subject they've just read about.
By chapter seven we get a glimpse of what launching a Web company may be like with topics such as, "How to find Internet and Web providers," closely followed by "When to change Internet providers."
At this point, my famously short attention span began to creak and I began skipping through the book, desperately searching for a chapter that was either relevant to the UK, or one that didn't assume I was a techno-virgin who didn't know what a floppy was.
All in all I'd give this book a miss. It's not that it doesn't cover a broad spectrum of subjects all aiming at teaching you how to be successful on the Web - it's just that it doesn't do it very well and is far to US oriented.
Launching a business on the Web (2nd edition). By David Cooke and Deborah Sellers costs #36.99 and is published by QUE Computer Business Library
Computer Bookshops: 0121 7783333.
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