The dot-coms, such as Themestream, forgot the true goal of a business--to turn a profit--in their rush to be popular and well-known, charge the lowest prices, and give out the most chotchkes. When they could no longer ignore the laws of economics, they fell like rotten trees, undoubtedly contributing to our current state of recession. Now only a few trees are left standing in the forest--trees like eBay, which never had a problem turning a profit, and Amazon.com, which has for the moment managed to fool its investors (and the rest of the world) into thinking that one isn't necessary.

What should we learn from this? That even in a world of amazing new technology like the Internet, the old laws of economics still hold sway. Adding a "dot com" suffix to your name is no automatic guarantor of success. A hollow tree may stand for a while, but if there's nothing there to hold it up, it will fall over when the first big storm comes along.

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