“More Tales From the New Economy”

Entrepreneurs speak out on the changing nature of their businesses:

Used Musical Instrument Store: "eBay, Harmony Central, Musician’s Friend and other Internet auction sites have hurt us. There still are those customers that must feel and play before buying, and we obviously cater to them. Our business is down, and we need to find some new revenue sources."

Virus Protection Software Company: "Our edge is that we can act as a second line of defense right behind your regular virus protection plan. We also can detect worms and other problems that most protection programs cannot.

Where other programs can only protect you from known viruses — we alert you to anything out of the ordinary. There was 10 times as much virus-related loss last year than the year before. As a result, we feel the market will be coming to us."

Business Machine Repair Company: "When electric business machines first came out, they cost as much as mechanical machines but were not reliable. As time went on, the electronics became cheaper and the mechanical died out.

Oddly enough, banks continue to use electric typewriters, and we have the only guy around that can fix them. So much of what we see in the new age here is paying big bucks to track pennies."

Writer: Jack D. Deal is the owner of the Deal Consulting Group, Santa Cruz, Calif., which assists companies in the transition to the new economy.