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Minister of Order and Reason

Job Titles of the Future

Who: Martin Tobias (


Age: 34

Has Held Title For: 1 year

Previous Title: Electronic software distribution manager, Microsoft

Degree: BA in marketing, Oregon State University

Two realities of the internet age: Anyone with an idea can set up shop on the Net - and any Microsoft alum with an idea has already done so. That was the case with Martin Tobias, who last year ended his eight-year tenure at the software giant to start, an Internet video- and audio-compression service. Now Microsoft is a client, and revenues at the startup are growing by 200% a month.

Why "Minister of Order and Reason"?

I didn't know much about startups when I founded the company. But I knew one thing: They don't have a lot of order or reason.

Are you a reasonable man?

Reasonable enough to know that people who call themselves "chairman" or "president" of a two-person firm need to lighten up.

Is yours a one-man administration?

We're like a banana republic here. Our operations manager is the Minister of Chaos, our salesperson is the Minister of Clientele, and our production manager is Minister of Defense - but only because he's a big guy.

Do you operate by jungle rules?

We did at first. Now we're more civilized.

A version of this article appeared in the October 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.