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The Future of E-Commerce

Sam Leinhardt
Storm Systems


Newell-Simon Hall 1305 (Michael Mauldin Auditorium)


This talk will focus on e-commerce, commerce that is facilitated by or dependent on the Internet. We will explore the history of e-commerce, its current state and future prospects. Enabling technologies, relevant policies, and evolving business methods will be covered and the role of pervasive computing will be considered. The fundamental argument is that e-commerce, after experiencing explosive growth and catastrophic failures, is settling into a pattern of normalcy, i.e., it is becoming a basic component of everyday business conducted in all three sectors: consumer, business, and government. The availability of more Internet capable devices, more mature, tested business models, and the arrival of pervasive computing will solidify this trend and create new forms of commerce and patterns of social and political behavior.

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Samuel Leinhardt has been an educator and serial entrepreneur. Leinhardt earned BA, MA and PhD degrees at the University of Chicago (1965, 1967 and 1968) concentrating on mathematical and statistical applications in economics and sociology. He pioneered the development of stochastic digraph theory and its application to social networks. He was an SSRC Post Doctoral Fellow in Mathematical Social Science at Harvard University and taught at universities around the world. He was on the faculty of GSIA and SUPA (Heinz School) and is a member of the Advisory Board of CMU’s School of Computer Science. Leinhardt co-founded three companies. Leinhardt-McCormick Associates, provided computer-based tools for statistics, exploratory data analysis and data mining. FORMTEK, Inc., a CMU spinout, was started in 1982 to provide computer assisted design (CAD) and engineering data management products. It was acquired in 1989 by Lockheed. Leinhardt remained until December 1997, as Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary, and International Director. STORM, LLC, was started in 1998 to develop and market Internet infrastructure software. Its products accelerated file systems and managed and monitored servers. STORM was acquired by Redleaf Group in June 2000. Leinhardt’s positions at STORM included Chairman, President and CEO.