After the launch of SPRYNET I was promoted and asked to move to Columbus, Ohio, the headquarters of CompuServe. Believing that all of the action for everything Internet was going to be on the west coast for the immediate future, I declined the promotion and joined Design Intelligence (DI) as Director of Electronic Commerce. DI had assembled a world-class team and was working on a revolutionary new desktop publishing product called iPublish. Users could create/write once and publish anywhere — a document, CD-ROM or website.
My job at DI was to build the infrastructure necessary to sell iPublish from our own website, and to line up distribution deals with other sites that had begun to sell software electronically. Everyone saw the packaged software business drying up. The margins in selling direct were much better — no packaging to pay for and no returns. During my tenure I chaired several committees for the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the predominant trade association. I worked on industry policies and best practices for electronic software distribution.
While at DI I conceived of iCopyright. The CEO, Keith Brintzenhofe, was gracious enough to let me incubate it at DI. It got a life of its own and was spun-out as its own company. It was in this time frame that I also built and launched StartupBiz.com, more as a hobby than as a business, to help other entrepreneurs find the resources they needed. Design Intelligence was subsequently acquired my Microsoft and its technology incorporated into Microsoft Publisher and other products.