Firefly Network

Firefly Network

By
Erik Brynjolfsson, Jean-Claude Charlet
1998|Case No.OIT22A

Firefly Network develops software that allows Internet-based businesses to gather information about their online customers and deliver personalized information to them in return. Firefly was founded in March 1995 by a group of researchers of the MIT Media Lab working on applications of intelligent software agents. This case discusses the role of personalization software in building online communities and enhancing electronic commerce, with a particular focus on online book selling. It compares the different technologies available, including “rules-based systems,” and analyzes the related issues of trust and privacy. Finally, it questions revenue models for Web-based businesses, as well as the strategy of a young Internet software company trying to create an industry standard.

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