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The triple stripes of this German brand have been around much longer than Nike, but they're regaining street cred as the swoosh loses ground.


The 800-pound gorilla of e-tailing. All eyes are on this category kingpin as it expands into new lines of merchandise. Meanwhile, the search for profit goes on.

America Online

It's fashionable to dis the service as the online equivalent of training wheels, but just try to get a newbie on the Net without it. You've got . . . to live with this choice.


Reach out and touch everyone. This telecom player soon will own and control broadband access to half of America. 'Nuff said.


Will Americans forgo forays to the dry cleaner and toss their suits and skirts down the laundry chute along with their skivvies? If Procter & Gamble Co. succeeds, this new brand threatens thousands of mom-and-pop businesses.


From its origins covering Australian-rules football, ESPN has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest imagination. With its cable networks, magazine, books, Web site and restaurants, ESPN already is the king of convergence.


What Merrill Lynch did to investing a generation ago, E*Trade is doing today. One day soon we'll all trade stocks this way and the concept of the retail brokerage will have been E*defined.


"For us, by us" is the motto of this African-American-owned fashion line. But the suburban kids wearing the clothes don't seem to care who "us" is. As hip-hop roars as a social force, Fubu is poised to become its first mainstream brand.

General Electric

Just who's going to design those smart appliances of the future? Expect this behemoth to play a key role in the convergence of HAL and the icebox, and to let its TV network in on the plan.

Jack in the Box

What's not to like about a CEO with a big styrofoam head? Jack is fun, fast-growing and fully recovered from a devastating contamination incident that could have killed the fast-food chain.

Krispy Kreme

What, you've never had a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut? Well, hop a flight to Chicago and stand in line for 45 minutes on a Saturday night and you'll understand. The marketing secret: word-of-mouth.


In the future, operating systems will be obsolete, we're told. But those who fervently hope that will weaken Microsoft Corp.'s domination of the software world are in for a surprise. The giant will tower over the future.


A cat and a dog, all in one. Angry beavers. A square, pants-wearing sea sponge. It's not easy setting the curve for children, but Nick has done it flawlessly for a decade and -- just like CatDog -- there's no end in sight.

Palm Organizers

It's small, networkable, Web-friendly and getting cheaper. Soon the 3Com Corp. organizers will be able to toast bread and take out the trash. What beepers were to the '80s, Palms will be to the '00s -- the must-have status gadget.


When Capt. Kirk talks, people listen. He told us this Internet player "is going to be big, really big!" He seems to be right; Priceline's negotiations for hotel rooms and airline tickets have taken off, and promise to spread to everything from home mortgages to haircuts.


Disc-based devices that let consumers record TV shows off the air, personal video recorders such as those marketed under the Tivo and ReplayTV brands promise to capture detailed information about viewing habits that can be valuable for marketers. But they also give consumers -- gasp! -- a better way to avoid ads than the average remote control.

Puff Daddy

Legal troubles aside, he's hip-hop's first true megastar, a crossover media darling who not only sees himself as an artist, but as a brand. Watch for demographically targeted line extensions. Make room, Martha.

Toyota RAV4 EV

We know, we know, consumers have no interest in electric vehicles. But as the perception fades that you can drive them only as far the extension cord reaches -- and as concerns about the environment grow -- we have an, "Oh! what a feeling" you'll buy one.

Victoria's Secret

Because there are men still trying to log on to the Web site.


Before the Internet, its information technology team had already revolutionized retailing. If anyone can make money -- and we mean actual profit -- in the e-commerce age, this bricks-and-mortar powerhouse will be the one to do it.


This portal made a liar out of everyone who ever said you couldn't build a brand from scratch in the cyberworld. Not only has Yahoo! done that, it has also

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