24600 Millstream Drive, Suite 480,
Stone Ridge, VA 20105
Phone: (703) 327-4743 • www.paratext.com
Born and lived: Born in Detroit, MI, but spent most of my life in metro Washington, D.C area.
Education: B.A. Classics/Philosophy. MA. Philosophy.
Professional Career and Activities: I had completed graduate work in Philosophy in 1987, with the expectation of having a teaching career in Higher Ed. However, my exposure to the scholarly information industry captured my interests and ambitions. I was very fortunate to receive an “apprenticeship” of sorts with Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey, followed by the daily insights and mentoring from my business partner Bob Asleson. Can’t improve on that tutorial. The rare opportunity to create products within an intellectual environment is the most challenging field I can imagine, and it is never boring.
Family: Wife Samantha, a psychotherapist, and daughter Caroline.
In My Spare Time: Golf, cuisine, oil painting, and playing hide and seek with my daughter. Golf can wait.
Favorite Books: I’m not a voracious reader, I grow impatient at endless character development. Probably a byproduct of the immediacy of business needs on a daily basis. That said, I’ve recently found myself going back to some philosophy texts after 25 years out of grad school. They carry entirely new meanings now with some years under my belt. For me, Plato’s allegory of the Cave from The Republic, is about the single great distillation of the challenges of life — to separate reality from the shadows on the wall. Seeing our own shadow has to come first, however.
Philosophy: “A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault.” — John Henry Newman
How/Where Do I See the Industry in Five Years: I see a real seriousness in the industry I did not see prior to the age of the Web. A realization that we are entering a realm of limitless technological possibilities — particularly in the area of information awareness and assessment of the behavioral habits of people looking for information.
Five years hence, I expect to see smarter librarians, with higher levels of technical knowledge, and smaller companies creating compelling, easily integrated information solutions for scholars and the general needs of libraries. I do not think the Web itself will obviate libraries, at least in my lifetime. Detailed information always requires patience and curation, and ultimately there will always be a market for the complete, the accurate, and the well-constructed scholarly argument.