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NEW YORK CITY-A relatively light turnout did not deter the weight of the message given at PACT’s B2B Real Estate Construction Conference, held here yesterday. Mark Friedman, CEO of MyContracts.com, said in a panel discussion moderated by Real Estate Forum editor Cynthia Hoffman, “The next year will be marked by chaos and carnage. It’ll be how we separate the wheat from the chaff.” This grim pronouncement was one of many predictions of more failures of dot-coms. Other themes that came up throughout the day were fragmentation and integration, strategic partnering or consolidation and the emergence of standards.

Friedman’s predictions continued. The year 2001 will bring “revenue, but not profit,” he said. “In the next 90 to 100 days, most of these companies will be gone. 2002 is where we’ll turn the corner. The shakeout will be done.”

Metin Negrin, CEO of iscraper also commented on shakeout in an earlier panel. “We’re hearing a lot of noise,” he noted. He predicted the market would “clean out the noise.”

Catherine Rice, managing director for Banc of America, remarked in the first panel of the day, “The last six months have been very painful, but I think healthy.”

Bruce Zev Weissberg, CEO of Realty IQ.com joked, “After hearing the speakers today, I think I should have brought copies of my resume.”

“It was staggering to hear Mark’s figures, but I don’t disagree,” said Dennis DeAndre, CEO of Loopnet Inc. “I can only hope we’re on the up side.”

Many said in addition to venture capital and financing from bricks and mortar businesses, consolidation and strategic partnering would provide an answer. “If they keep building individual silos,” commented Dan Cornish, CEO of DesignArchitecture.com, “it will not work.”

Kevin Travers, president of Comro.com said, “Consolidation will bring clarity.”

DeAndre, however, commented, “I don’t think we’ll see end-to-end. The longer [Loopnet is] at it, the more narrow is our focus.”

Negrin stated, “I don’t think we’ll see a model like Microsoft where all things come from one source.” He argued businesses will be seamless and the best of their niche.

The biggest obstacle identified by the panelists was the “fragmented” nature of the industry. All seemed to agree integration, lower prices and easier installation and use of technology would help. “In the future there will be an opportunity to leapfrog within the construction industry based on fragmentation,” said Tim Harmon, vice president for strategy of Expertise.

Rice identified the focus from IPO to B2B, terming it “back to business.” Paul Mockapetris, senior vice president of engineering CTO for Urban Media, said technology would become so essential, not having it would be “bringing a knife to a gun fight.”

Frank Rockwood, CEO of Vectiv, argued that community is out, the marketplace is suspect, “disintermediation” is a bad word and a poor customer base/poorly defined revenue model do not work. He added browser-based applications, ASPs, Internet business service providers, customer focus and providing whole solutions do work.

Many argued integration would bring greater definition of standards. “Standards will emerge over time,” predicted Anne Bonaparte, co-founder of Buzzsaw.com. Cornish contended, however, “The idea that one standard is going to emerge is a bit of old thinking.” Most panelists throughout the day, despite Cornish’s comment, argued standards would emerge and bring owners, wary of technology, to embrace it, and investors, wary of commercial real estate, to see its value.

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