Statisticians saw nothing but Net five years ago, when North Bay, Ont.-based Corinfo Research published the 1998 Canadian Internet Marketplace.
to the sixth annual survey, Web use followed the rise in PC penetration in Canadian households to 37 per cent. According to Corinfo, 17 per cent of those users had an Internet connection, and despite the credit card fears that would make headlines in the years to come, they were ready to shop. The report said the average dollar transaction at a Canadian-based Web site was $75, and a full quarter of Canadians said they were actually willing to pay for content, long before sites like Salon.com struggled for financial survival.
Though it’s hard to imagine its demise now, 1998 was the year many observers felt the Web had proved itself.
“”For all those — especially businesses — who thought this was something that was going to go away, I think we’re well past that point,”” a Corinfo researcher said.
While the industry was busy trying to fill corporate enterprises with products, HP was starting to think about what happened to them after they were already out there.
The company launched Planet Partners, which featured a prepaid Canada Post return shipping label in each cartridge box, a bulk return option and a bilingual recycling guide issued to both customers and channel partners. The company said it recycled 95 per cent of each cartridge it received.
Environmental protection concerns have since attracted the notice of the PC industry. Earlier this week, Noranda announced plans to expand it e-waste program while an industry group formed to create a national policy on the issue.
Discussion over the brain drain has hardly ceased since 1998, but that year the focus was on senior management.
Toronto-based recruiting specialist Spencer Stuart authored a study called Crafting the New Machine: Developing Canadian High-Tech Leadership for the 21st Century. The poll of 220 chairmen, CEOs and other top executives showed a lack of stability at the top as many senior managers bolted to work for rival firms amid the IT industry’s rapid growth.
The problem was compounded, the report said, by the fact many computer companies refused to hire from outside the industry. Spencer Stuart argued that many of the most important skills in finance, customer service and marketing were transferable. Many executives found this out the hard way, when downsizing forced them to “”do more with less”” and handled many of th