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|Originally Published: Wednesday, 19 January 2000||Author: Melanie Burrett|
|Published to: interact_articles_jobs_profiles/Job Profiles||Page: 1/1 - [Std View]|
Being CEO ain't all bad...
Here is another example of hope for all of us without a B.A. in Computer Science. Paul Everitt, the CEO of Digital Creations, started out as a Materials Engineer.
His business partner, Rob Page, was his room-mate at the U. of Florida. In their salad days, they started a company called Connecting Minds. Digital Creations came about in 1995 when they got together with Infinet (www.infinet.com), an ISP. In 1997 they spun off into their own company, and now they're the folks who bring you the internet application server, Zope. It is an Open Source dynamic web site builder, which runs on a good number of UNIX-type platforms, as well as Windows NT.
Zope is a conglomeration of three software packages: Bobo, a free 'object publisher' for the Python scripting language, Principia, a commercial application server, and Aqueduct, a commercial database integrator for Principia. Michael Hauser from Python actually came up with the name. The software which makes up Zope has been around in various forms since 1996.
Paul Everitt has been CEO since October of 1998. When I asked him how one becomes a CEO, his reply was that everybody felt that he "was the right person to get out in front of that". My first mental image when he said that was an engineer at the front of a train. It wasn't until a little later in the interview that I realized how apt that image was. As Chief Executive Officer he is the one who deals with the public, investors, and does the interviews. As he put it, "the CEO is the external face, and the COO is the internal face". The COO, that's Rob Page. He's the Chief Operating Officer for Digital Creations. What does Paul Everitt like the most about his job? "Being a co-founder and CEO is fun, but the best thing is the attention you get to draw to other people in the company, and to people in the community". That pretty much sums up my impression of him. He displayed a lot of grace in a strange interview situation; ICQ was unable to get through his firewall to set up a chat session. We had to do the whole interview through messages, which put a bit of a strain on the flow of questions.
How does Linux fit into this? Well, Digital Creations uses Linux for all of their development, and their website is run off of it. He has Linux on his own computer, as do half of the company. He has been using it at home since his wife got fed up with Windows 98. They now use KDE (the K Desktop Environment). We conducted our interview over ICQ, and he was using LICQ, for Linux. Digital Creations' software and services cover more than Linux systems (similar to Apache), however, increasing numbers of their customers want Linux-type applications.
As with most things technical these days, the company is doing very well. Digital Creations is going to double in size, and add some new offices sometime in the near future.