Keenan Vision
E-Merchant 2001: Accelerating Free Trade PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vernon Keenan   
Saturday, 20 April 2013 19:39

2001 was a bad year for Internet Analysts. This is one of the last publications by Keenan Vision where I followed up my 1999 piece about small businesses doing e-commerce over the Internet.

Here's the introduction. You can download the full PDF here.

E-Merchant 2001: Accelerating Free Trade

In the aftermath of the Internet bubble small business e-commerce services are still going strong

By Vernon Keenan November 7, 2001


For the average American or European it seems like common sense that anyone may choose to own a business and operate as a business entity. However, this entitlement comes only after centuries of bloody progress in Western values, including individual liberty and freedom.

After civilization emerged from the Middle Ages and the Crusades the global economy was governed by mercantilism, which was an economic policy prevailing in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Under mercantilism governmental control was exercised over industry and trade in accordance with the theory that national strength is increased by a preponderance of exports over imports. Empires and royal families controlled all international trade and exerted military force to colonize the New World as new sources of production and to have power over trading routes.

Around the same time that mercantilism was developed Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press which mechanized the production of pamphlets and books. The automation of book production had an explosive cultural effect in Europe, where people learned to read, and the religious movement gained power.

From the time of the American Revolution to the dawn of the 21st century advances in the speed and richness of remote communication have mostly accelerated the spread of liberty and freedom, especially concerning commerce. The power of the printed word was in force during the 18th century when the personal freedom and Free Trade movements took fire from American, French, and British writers, generating the American and French revolutions. In particular, English economist Adam Smith wrote extensively about Free Trade in his influential masterpiece, The Wealth of Nations (1776).

Free Trade expanded in Europe and America in the 19th century as the Industrial Revolution made capitalists strong enough to conduct global trade, displacing government-run trade. Free Trade was the operating theory of international trade until the early 20th century when worldwide discord stimulated protectionist governmental policies. The protectionist practices formed a kind of neomerchantilism, which was strongly practiced until after the Great Depression and World War II.

This scene from the Sacramento Delta during the 1849 California Gold Rush, exemplifies the role of individual merchants in a Free Trade system

As personal freedom and liberty reasserted itself in the second half of the 20th century instant global communication was developed, with capabilities ranging from making an international telephone call to a live worldwide television broadcast to 2 billion people. Starting with the telephone, telegraph, radio, and television, the century ended with the Internet rapidly advancing towards becoming the richest and most widespread global medium for remote human communication. Globalism, which to some people describes a borderless economy focused on individual company productivity, is now the world’s newest economic paradigm.

Not surprisingly, a new type business is emerging out of the convergence between Globalism and instant worldwide communication. These new businesses, which Keenan Vision calls e-merchants, may be seen as the ultimate expression of commercial freedom and liberty. The e-merchant is a small business which performs all or part of its economic activity using the Internet. Keenan Vision considers an e-merchant to be a business with fewer than 100 employees that offers a catalog of products and services, confirms orders, and accepts payment with Internet technology.

The global nature of the Internet gives a single individual an unprecedented level freedom to perform commerce on a global basis, especially products and services that have an intangible nature and may be delivered entirely over the Internet.

As the power of freedom and liberty has been enhanced by remote human communication in the last 300 years, the power of an individual to become a branded entity in global commerce is now just beginning to be felt.

The adoption of the Internet as a primary or auxiliary way to do commerce is as inevitable as the adoption of the paper catalog, telephone, fax, and advertising media as tools of commerce. The difference is that with e-merchant technology an individua

Welcome PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vernon Keenan   
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 00:00

Welcome to the Keenan Vision web site!

This is a "memorial" web site to the business I ran from 1998 to 2004 called Keenan Vision. It was a computer industry analysis firm that specialized in the examination of electronic commerce. In the course of my studies, consulting engagements, and publications I got to ride a bit of the wild Internet Bubble that grew during the millennium period.

At Keenan Vision I published a number of articles that had detailed predictions of the business future. Time has borne some of my predictions to be true, and several of them to be wildly off base. I think I was ahead of the curve when it came to thinking about what is today called "cloud computing." I drew a lot of complicated diagrams all of the intricate mechanisms that accelerated global commerce via computerized communication. Today companies like Google and have built these networks of APIs and other mechanisms to run business at the speed of light. But I blundered plenty in my predictions, too, especially seeing how e-commerce players would manifest. I'll let you decide how right or wrong I was.

Currently I am running a small computer services firm in Berkeley, CA called Berkeley Logic and I even pontificate about the industry occasionally on the Berkeley Logic Blog. While I don't get to be on TV predicting the future anymore, I do take some satisfaction on knowing that at one time I did see the future effectively and told the world about it. It was a lot of fun at the time!

Vernon Keenan
Berkeley, CA
March 3, 2010

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:31
The E-Merchant Opportunity of 1999 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vernon Keenan   
Thursday, 17 June 2010 23:59


This was my next major work that focused on the opportunity for businesses of any size to get onto the Internet to do sales and marketing.

In this rather involved paper I envisioned how all of the major players would have to work together to get Internet e-commerce moving. As you may see, I was really digging the 1849 San Francisco Gold Rush analogy.

You can download the full PDF here. Here's the introduction...

The e-Merchant Opportunity of 1999

By Vernon Keenan
Published March 1, 1999

Get ready.

A new wave of Internet players is about to make their presence felt and a rich vein of opportunity will follow for the properly positioned vendors.

Like the California Gold Rush of 150 years ago, the real revenue opportunities will go to those that provide this new wave of Internet immigrants with the supplies and expertise needed to conduct their business on the Internet.

These new immigrants, who we have dubbed e-merchants, are already making their presence felt. But it is only the beginning. While the larger, high-profile’s grab all of the attention, we believe that the migration of the millions of existing small business in the United States to the Internet will provide an opportunity to a whole host of Internet technology and service vendors. With only 17,500 e-merchants online right now—and over five million offline merchants in the US who currently use credit cards to process payments—we believe the growth opportunity in this market to be spectacular.

We believe that a sizable portion of this new market will revolve around Internet portals. Small merchants will flock to portals for the same reasons their real-world predecessors flocked to commercial districts and shopping centers – visibility.

No small merchants can match the marketing clout of a Yahoo! or Just as merchants seek to gain store space in a mall or shopping district that includes an anchor tenant like Macy's or Bloomingdale's, the online merchant will seek a location near a well established Internet brand. In the next four years, the number of e-merchants will increase 20-fold.

Are you ready?

In this Keenan Vision report we will describe opportunities for suppliers of goods and services needed by this emerging class of e-merchants. We have delineated this set of needs in Part 1 as the e-Merchant stack. This concept is at the core of our analysis of the market opportunity surrounding e-merchants, and will serve as a guide to those companies wishing to capitalize on this new opportunity.

In Part 2 we will describe the players in this market space, those that have the opportunity to fill the needs of the e-merchants. While portals will supply locations for e-merchants, a whole host of critical services must be provided in partnerships with or through the portals themselves. No small e-merchant will have the time or interest in becoming a highly skilled IT professional. This section will serve as an alert to those companies hoping to cash in on the e-merchant rush.

Finally, in Part 3 we will offer the strongest documentation we have seen on this new market opportunity. The e-merchant market opportunity is going to explode in the next four years; we believe that both our market data and anecdotal information will convince even the hardiest skeptics. This section also gives a unique insight into the needs of the new e-merchant.


Last Updated on Friday, 18 June 2010 04:58
Exchanges In The Internet Economy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vernon Keenan   
Thursday, 17 June 2010 22:21

This is the paper that really launched my exploration and expertise into the realm of dynamic pricing and the Internet. At the time eBay was still a glimmer and the world was still full of promise.

You may find the whole report and the numerical analysis at these links. I also made a nice PowerPoint of the report. Here are the first few paragraphs and the table of contents of the report.

Exchanges In The Internet Economy

by Vernon Keenan
Published October 26, 1998

Market pricing is going to control a dramatically increasing proportion of transactions on the Internet, Keenan Vision has determined through an analysis of the Internet Exchange and auction technology.

We have prepared this report as compilation of information, history, facts and analysis designed to help Internet architects and system planners incorporate auctions and market pricing into their solutions.

Internet Exchange and auction technology is creating a new class of intermediaries. These players create their own markets by inserting themselves into niches which previously had been dominated

by entities who offered only fixed rate pricing, offering advantages to both buyers and sellers in the process. Furthermore, the speed with which new companies can enter this space is increasing with the rollout of new auction software which is becoming faster and easier to implement.

First, we take a look at the market opportunities created by new, market-driven pricing technologies and examine projections for Internet commerce. We also review our estimates for which industries will be the first to move towards the Internet Exchange.

Next, the offerings from five Internet companies who sell products and services that implement auctions for users of electronic commerce technology will be profiled. We analyze the relative differences between the offerings and profile the ideal customer for each of the players.

The report concludes by offering practical advice for Internet architects who are thinking about using Internet Exchange technology.

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The Internet Exchange
  3. New Intermediaries
  4. Opportunities
  5. Auction Types
  6. Exchange Architecture
  7. Auction Software
  8. Conclusion
  9. Tables and Graphs
  10. Footnotes
Last Updated on Friday, 18 June 2010 00:02
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