If you work for an Internet company—or if you’ve invested in one—these are uncertain financial times. Last week’s crash on Wall Street and the increasing impatience among venture capitalists both punctuate concerns about the future of the dot coms.

Yet there are ways Internet companies can survive in this volatile environment. Last week, during the GartnerGroup Spring Symposium ITxpo in San Diego, several industry experts discussed how dot coms could find new ways to generate revenue. The panel of IT professionals also spoke about the possible mergers and acquisitions that could result from massive dot-com failures. While the panel members didn’t offer a quick fix to the financial woes of Internet companies, they did outline the long-term characteristics of winning online strategies.

Among the predictions from the leading experts:

  • Up to 95 percent of all pure dot coms will likely fail within the next two years, predicted Michael Fleisher, CEO of Gartner Group, Inc., based in Stamford, CT.
  • Business-to-business Web sites will likely have the most success in years to come; however, B2Bs will need more time than consumer sites need to attract customers, according to Vasant Prabhu, president of information and media services at The McGraw-Hill Companies.
  • Investors will still realize a healthy return even at dot coms that are forced to sell, that merge, or that are acquired, predicted Paul Sagan, president and COO of Akamai.

If you didn’t attend the symposium, you can now see and hear what you missed during the “Masterminds Keynote Panel: New Age of Media.”
Will it become more difficult for a start-up to recruit new employees when the lure of the stock option doesn’t look quite so realistic? Is this the time for traditional companies to go bargain hunting in search of an online company to become their Web site? If you work at a dot com, do you believe these grim predictions? Post a comment below or send us some mail.