While the national business media relishes in the reporting of the downfall of all the large dot.com companies, they are missing the real story.

In every town, in every state in America, there are small to very small dot.com companies (micro dots) blossoming... even thriving. One of the true promises of the Internet, the leveling of all playing fields has been actualized by these micro-dots.

Why are so many micro-dots achieving success while their larger cousins fail daily?

Look at Aron Benon (as reported in the Wall Street Journal 4/23/01), the owner of Florist.com. He was a simple floral shop owner (before his internet business took off, he owned three). He contacted the owner of www.florist.com and bought the domain name for a remarkably low $15,000. Without advertising, his booming Internet sales have grown from nothing in 1997 to $3.8 million (152,000 visitors to his site in January). He has been profitable from day one and only hired employees when the sales warranted it.

Compare this to most "dot-bombs" like etoys.com or pets.com which spent millions on advertising and payroll before they even knew if they were able to make a profit or even their businesses made any sense.

The bottom line here is the rules for a dot-com business are no different than any other business. Before you spend money, make sure that you can make a profit and that you actually have a business.

Also, don't try to conquer the world before you've even made your first sale. As Mr. Benon stated, "I get enough of the market share to do well... That's great for a guy like me... I'm happy to serve a smaller number of people really well, increase our profits and stay the course. I don?t care about being the biggest."

Sounds like good words to live by.