SAN FRANCISCO – History is littered with technologies that were once hailed as the next big thing. That can be annoying for consumers when they realize that, say, the quadrophonic stereo they purchased was a waste of money. But when companies bet on the wrong technologies, the consequences can be devastating for them.
In the late 1990’s, for example, the belief that B2B exchanges would prove to be the “killer app” for commerce resulted in the formation of more than 1,500 of them. Most have since vanished, taking billions of dollars in investment with them.