Wednesday, October 03, 2007

neoSteel and the internet

Speaking of steel and transformation…. Via the blog Steel Strip World I see a note that the eCommerce site eSteel is shutting down. The story of steel in the B2B internet world is interesting. It’s interesting locally because eSteel had a competitor called MetalSite which looks like it is still around in some various forms: scrapsite. The funny thing about Metalsite was that it was created by Weirton Steel in the late 1990’s and was eventually sold at a tidy profit. I always thought it was an example of how innovative ideas could be created from what were seen as stodgy ‘old’ industries. The problem for Weirton Steel was that even that internet generated profit could not save the underlying business and Weirton Steel would eventually go bankrupt nonetheless, so you can’t push that innovation argument too far. But when you add in the history of Freemarkets here and these smaller endeavors, we really were a hotbed of B2B internet innovation for a time.

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