Who: Martin Tobias (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 Encoding.com, 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.