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Despite the news (reported above) that PublixDirect has been shut down, The Seattle Times reports this morning that "a path to success on the Internet has been to provide a platform for others to offer goods and services," and that companies like Amazon, Google and eBay have discovered that the best way to utilize the web is to "not only offer their own services but also connect buyers with sellers in intelligent, efficient and innovative ways."

The paper also points to another recent online success: Netflix.

"What distinguishes this Silicon Valley company is the uniqueness of its service — DVD rentals through the mail for a monthly subscription fee — and its superior understanding of Internet-marketing mechanisms," the paper reports. And while the competition is ratcheting up, with both Wal-Mart and Blockbuster getting into the space, it doesn't necessarily stand to reason that Netflix will be trampled.

"By rights, Amazon should have been hammered by Barnes & Noble or a huge publisher like Bertelsmann. EBay has flourished despite competing with a domain — classified ads — long dominated by print media. Google is the default search service despite rivals Yahoo!, MSN and others.

"If there's any lesson to their success, it's that Internet wiles and innovation still can beat deep pockets and entrenched behemoths."
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