This article by Stuart L. Adams, Jr. appeared as part of an online book in progress in the 

Louisville Computer News

May 2000

LCN Exclusive, DotCom This!

Growing an Organic Book, a Month at a Time

    This article represents a first for Louisville Computer News and a unique venture, as far as we know. Stuart Adams, an attorney who contributes a monthly column on legal issues related to e-commerce and computers, is kicking off a new series of articles on starting an online business.

    That's not necessarily news, but what is news is that each month the articles in this series will be a somewhat condensed version of a book he is writing on how to start an e-commerce business. The working title is "DotCom This! A Step-by-step Guide to Starting Your Own Online Business." We will have the unique opportunity to read the first draft of the book, a chapter at a time. There are lots of "how to" business books in print. This one, however, promises to be different in several ways, aside from being one of the few guides focusing on e-commerce start-ups. Most of the e-commerce books on the shelf today are the story of one company or a compendium of war stories about successes and failures of major companies.

    To make things more interesting, this is an "organic" book that promises to be dynamic in several ways. First, the author promises to provide a longer version of each chapter concurrently published at his Web site: which will include links to resources and background material. Second, he hopes you will give him feedback by e-mail, to help him continue to improve and update the material. Third, in addition to incorporating reader feedback, the author promises that both the hard copy (which will have a CD-ROM packed with links, forms, templates and other resources for the start-up e-commerce entrepreneur) will be updated frequently to replace or repair hyperlinks to resources cited in the material, to provide updates on changes in the materials and incorporate new developments, as well as continuing to add chapters with greater depth in specific areas.

    Growing a business is a process. Writing a book is also. This month, Louisville Computer News brings you the unique opportunity not only to start reading a working draft of this book as it is written, but also to participate with your e-mail comments to the author. The Ohio Valley is far from Silicone Valley in many ways, but Louisville is exploding with e-commerce start-ups. The author brings not only over 25 years of experience in starting businesses for others, but is currently starting up two "e-businesses" in which he is personally involved. While he determines if he has what it takes to create another "dotcom" after the recent tech stock "correction," join us this month for his first article in the series and decide if you have what it takes to start an e-business.