Dotcom or dotcon? It has always been clear to the sanest among us that there was very little inherent value in many of the new economy stocks floated in recent months. Sadly, we were in the minority. Shares in these sexy firms have soared, while solid performing retail and fmcg businesses have found themselves pushed into the investment community's equivalent of the Nationwide League. Thankfully investors finally seem to be waking up to the fact that all that glitters definitely isn't gold. And any pricking of the technology bubble has got to be good news for the readers of this magazine who work for companies that have been relegated from the Premier League. But be warned: any respite will be short lived because the madness will return. Just witness what happened to Tesco this week. Its share price received a much needed boost on the back of speculation ­ since played down by the company ­ that its online shopping arm was about to be turned into a standalone operation ahead of an eventual listing. Now Tesco Direct is a great business ­ and was hailed as a model of excellence at last month's ECR Europe conference in Turin. Trouble is, nobody will say whether it is actually making any money. And the anecodotal evidence suggests that consumers are still frustrated by problems placing orders, organising convenient delivery times and getting what they ordered. Clearly, there's still much to be done before Tesco Direct can rival the operational performance of the supermarkets business. Despite this, the City nitwits still valued this fledgling operation at £2.4bn. If anything positive can be drawn from this farrago it is this: maybe, just maybe, investors have now sussed that the companies worth backing are those that combine the best of the new and old economies. One reason dotcom stocks have been so highly prized up til now is that the markets have put the relationship they are forging with consumers at the heart of their valuations. And surely the people best placed to really exploit such e-com relationships in the future are the dull old bricks' n' mortar brigade? Julian Hunt, Deputy Editor {{OPINION }}