Who: Craig Ullman
Company: ACTV Inc.
Has held title for: 6 years
Previous title: Director of Programming
Degree: MFA, Brown; BA, Bucknell
If students enrolled in Georgia State University's distance-learning program find even their accounting classes enchanting, they can credit the Web wizardry of Craig Ullman. Based in New York City, Ullman is charged with delivering both technology and content for eSchool Online, ACTV's online education service. He believes that every interactive experience should be magical — even teaching people how to read a balance sheet. His sense of sorcery has helped ACTV become a leader in online education.
How does keeping the magic keep customers?
It translates into a level of coolness that students can relate to when they sit down and use our stuff. Kids are not linear thinkers. Going to class, maybe raising their hands, and taking notes are antithetical to how they spend the rest of their day — playing video games and living in a multimedia world.
Where is the magic actually kept?
My job is about sharing knowledge, so I am as much a distributor of magic as I am the keeper of it.
Have you ever cast a spell?
Absolutely not. The title is purely metaphorical. Do you want to know a secret? I'm a pathetic rationalist.
A version of this article appeared in the May 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.