KPMG explodes dotcom myth

The report, E-Business Leaders Survey 2000, shows that the average e-business leader is aged 38, and is quite willing to sacrifice corporate perks in order to start a new business in a dynamic sector. E-business leaders are less likely to have their own office or PA and are more likely to travel economy or with “no frills” airlines. They do not necessarily rebel against traditional rules of business – 88% of respondents felt casual dressing was not appropriate for important meetings and the majority of those interviewed worked extremely long hours and had little time for socialising.

“Despite the well-publicised failures of some dotcoms recently, it would be a mistake to underestimate them,” said Alan Buckle, chief executive of KPMG Consulting UK. “This survey shows that dotcom leaders have huge energy, drive and understanding of how the Internet is already changing business. Traditional leaders have a lot to learn from this new generation and ignore them at their peril.”

Dotcom directors differ most noticeably from their counterparts in “old world” businesses in a number of important areas, particularly in how they work on a day-to-day basis. Typically, Internet business leaders start work later, continue until well into the evening, and often work seven days a week. Many dotcom leaders are in it for the long haul, with one in seven still expecting to be working when they are 70. When it comes to dreams, dotcom directors have their heads firmly in the clouds – the most popular alternative career for this group is a pilot, while they would ideally like to drive a fashionable Audi TT.

But the survey quashes the notion that traditional business leaders are ageing technophobes. Their average age is 46 and they use the Internet both at work and at home, to gather information and buy online.

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