BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

Pehong Chen


PEHONG CHEN

BROADVISION INC.

Position: Chairman and CEO

Contribution: Pioneered off-the-shelf software for transforming Web sites into e-stores.

Ambition: To make the online shopping experience so easy that anyone could do it.

If he's lucky and works really hard at it, Pehong Chen has the opportunity to become for electronic commerce what McDonald's Corp.'s (MCD) Ray Kroc was to hamburgers. Like Kroc, Chen took a concept that had been around for a while and figured out how to make the market explode. E-commerce software sold by his Silicon Valley startup, BroadVision Inc. (BVSN), has the potential of helping cybershops worldwide match McDonald's claims of billions and billions served.

Never mind fast food. This is fast software. In the early days of e-commerce, companies typically cobbled together their own technology for selling things online--a process that could take months. BroadVision's software, first released in 1995, allows Web sites to get their virtual cash registers up and running in as little as seven weeks. And, while BroadVision has plenty of competition now, one of its advantages is that its software keeps things simple for shoppers, too. ''Our goal is to automate [shopping for] my mother-in-law,'' says Chen, BroadVision's 41-year-old founder and CEO.

He is already automating a ton of Web sites--300 so far, including everything from Home Depot Inc. (HD) to Hershey Foods Corp. (HSY) The past year has been a whopper. The Redwood City (Calif.) company's sales rose 95% in the first half of 1999, to $41.9 million. And things only look to get better now that e-business is really taking off. Forrester Research Inc. says worldwide online sales will reach $3.2 trillion by 2003. ''Our biggest challenge is that there are only 24 hours in a day,'' Chen says. ''There's so much business out there it's incredible.'' Now, that's cooking.

By Timothy J. Mullaney

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[empire builders]
Jeffrey P. Bezos
AMAZON.COM INC.

Stephen M. Case
AMERICA ONLINE INC.

Timothy A. Koogle
YAHOO! INC.

[the innovators]
Louis H. Borders
WEBVAN GROUP INC.

Jay S. Walker
PRICELINE.COM

Margaret C. Whitman
EBAY INC.

Glen Meakem
FREE MARKETS ONLINE INC.

James H. Clark
MYCFO INC.

Christos M. Cotsakos
E*TRADE GROUP INC.

[bankrollers]
Masayoshi Son
SOFTBANK CORP., JAPAN

Robert C. Kagle
BENCHMARK CAPITAL

Lawton W. Fitt
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO.

L. John Doerr
KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS  

Bernard Arnault
LVMH MOET HENNESSY
LOUIS VUITTON  

[the visionaries]
Mary G. Meeker
MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER

John Hagel III
MCKINSEY & CO.

William Joy
SUN MICROSYSTEMS

[the architects]
Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
IBM CORP.

Pehong Chen
BROADVISION INC.

David C. Peterschmidt
INKTOMI INC.

Kevin J. O'Connor
DOUBLECLICK

Ellen M. Hancock
EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS

[the pace setters]
David S. Pottruck
CHARLES SCHWAB CORP.

John T. Chambers
CISCO SYSTEMS

Michael S. Dell
DELL COMPUTER



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