Corrections or additions?
These stories by Phyllis B. Maguire and Barbara Fox were published
in U.S. 1 Newspaper on Wednesday, May 27.
Successful and Not So
The Internet may put the world at our fingertips, but
its delivery can be pandemonium. "There are now 40 million World
Wide Web sites, a figure that may reach 80 million by next year,"
says Robert J. Britting, president and CEO of International Internet
Association (IIA) LLC, a Princeton Junction start-up launched this
month. As an alternative to those Internet hordes, IIA intends to
be the single source for information, products, and services for high
tech and Internet professionals. It is a national trade association,
hoping to serve as Chamber of Commerce, employment network,
forum, and lobbying group for the Internet and high tech industries.
The idea for IIA was born three years ago, when Britting — who
has over two decades of marketing and advertising experience in the
pharmaceutical and health care industries — got the
itch. "At the forefront of business were managed care and the
Internet — and the Internet was like the Wild West," he says.
"Where there is chaos, there is opportunity." Britting, who
is now 49, decided to focus on the Internet, teaming up with computer
wonder Jason Kinner, now 24. They organized focus groups of high tech
programmers and professionals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, learning
what their prospective members felt they needed in a professional
organization and website. The results were
site — and some very big plans for the future. The model Britting
keeps in mind is the very organized (and powerful) American Medical
"We’ve stolen a whole host of ideas from a number of sources,"
he laughs. "We will be driven very much by our members’ needs,
and IIA will be like a Japanese garden: something that breathes and
The association is for members only and their sponsors, with 150
memberships offered. There are now, says Britting, 6 million computer
programmers and Internet specialists worldwide. By advertising through
computer journals, news groups, and direct marketing, Britting hopes
to enroll 50,000 of them as IIA member in one year, a number he hopes
will double by year two. Attracting members are IIA services.
offered on the website is IIA Interface, a database for professionals
seeking business relationships and a secured E-mail intermediary;
IIA Job Search for resume and position postings; a Link Library, for
links to products, software, and training programs, and a TechTools
section. There is also Biz Tools, with headings like "Never Back
a Rat Into a Corner" and "Never Step on Someone’s Shoes and
Scuff Their Shine," to help members who have less experience
But the current site is just the beachhead from which to launch a
host of other services. Britting expects to offer educational and
accreditation programs online, as well as live conferencing. He
IIA to conduct market research, serving as a "Consumer
for the high tech industry. And Britting wants to publish a trade
journal that can keep pace with the legal, economic, and judicial
implications of these rapidly expanding fields.
Does Britting envision the association participating in the national
debate on government regulations? "Absolutely." And what is
the cost for professionals to become members? Absolutely nothing —
with a catch.
Britting proposes to sell both advertising on the IIA website and
sponsorships for various training programs and services. But the core
source of IIA income will be the sale of its list of members —
to companies with products the association can endorse or which it
believes offer value. "Our list won’t be sold to tobacco
Britting is quick to point out. Members who don’t want their names
sold will pay $295 a year in membership fees for the privilege.
The database of IIA members will be of great value to a variety of
companies, including 300 major computer-related organizations.
and computer professionals are the most innovative purchasers of high
tech products," Britting says. "They may not buy more than
the general population, but they are the first to buy. Each Internet
professional influences 30 other people about which software and
products to buy. They are a specialty market high tech companies want
And will apparently pay handsomely to do so. Britting won’t discuss
the company’s initial capitalization, but he expects to reap $1.5
to $2 million in revenues his first fiscal year, and projects upwards
of $15 million by his third year of business.
Born in Newark, Britting has been a West Windsor resident for the
past 10 years. A specialist in database marketing and management for
the pharmaceutical industry, he helped launch Scriptrac for
a database program for target marketing. "The database identifies
which physicians are the first to prescribe new drugs," Britting
says. "It also identifies which physicians have the highest volume
of prescriptions." Pharmaceuticals target specialists, Britting
explains, and "once specialists become familiar with a drug, its
use trickles down to the primary care community." Britting has
switched that concept of target marketing from health care to high
Britting graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson with a marketing degree
in 1976 and a marketing masters’ in 1979. Kinner, who wrote his first
computer program when he was nine, received a B.S.in engineering and
computer science from University of Pennsylvania. Specializing in
analog computing and database development, Kinner has worked with
Bluestone Inc., a developer of web applications and information
"This is a young person’s business," Britting says, "and
the Internet and computer programming are both very consultant-driven.
Consultants tend to concentrate in particular industries, and my guess
is that our membership will first include programmers within retail
organizations. The Internet now plays a very significant part in the
sales efforts of many companies."
Britting expects the association to address the growing gap in
literacy, with the IIA implementing Internet for the Inner City
starting in Trenton. He also notes this global concern: India produces
50,000 programmers a year, a figure he thinks is second only to the
United States. With U.S. sanctions in place after India’s nuclear
testing, the flow of those professionals into U.S. markets may be
As to E-commerce, Britting’s advice is "buyer beware. The Internet
is no different from any other medium. But it is the most dynamic
medium I’ve ever seen, a hybrid of television, the telephone, the
Yellow Pages, and direct marketing — and it doesn’t cost
— Phyllis Maguire
Court, Princeton Junction 08550. Robert J. Britting, CEO.
fax, 609-799-1162. URL:
Antidote to Web Optimism: Jeff Berger
Does Web technology answer every need? No, says Jeffrey
Berger. Burned by his races on the fast track, he has retrenched to
set up shop on more traditional avenues.
When he was living in Paris, Berger hatched a grandiose idea of an
Internet business, to market and merchandise over the Internet,
with European boutiques and artists, and incorporating an
lifestyles magazine, complete with stills, video, and surrogate travel
experiences. Click on Chartres and you got a virtual tour of the
village with the famous Cathedral and then visit the shop of a stained
glass artisan, where with another double click you could purchase
his work. "It was very ambitious," says Berger.
His dream foundered on the World Wide Web’s pretensions. He and his
wife came back to the United States "with many contracts from
people eager to sell charming merchandise," says Berger. His first
Internet service provider "turned out to be a fly by night
Then he negotiated a good contract with none other than IBM, which
was planning to set up a shopping mall and to charge in the
of $60,000 rent for shopping cart programs, online purchasing, and
a good hit rate. Berger was on the verge of signing a contract with
an Internet consultant when IBM canceled its plans. No more IBM mall.
That was in April 1997. Now, insists Berger, the only good mall is
at AOL and is way too expensive.
So, after this very high-tech career, Berger is now marketing jewelry
designers, artists, and spa products the old-fashioned way — by
hiring manufacturers’ reps and being represented in showrooms in
New York City, and Los Angeles.
A math and English major at Temple, Class of 1972, he worked for
Hall’s textbook division before his first high-tech endeavor, setting
up a computer graphics service bureau that was funded by and located
at CitiCorp in Manhattan.
Berger headed to London to get his master’s degree of economics and
international trade from London School of Economics. In the late ’80s
he analyzed electronic imaging technology for E.I. DuPont, to find
electronic analogs for such traditional chemical-based businesses
as X-ray film and printing. His wife, Evelyn Kopke, worked for Corning
Besselaar (now Covance) in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, and
the Paris residency came when she got a job in Paris working on
regulations in the European community.
Thwarted ambitions? "It is disappointing," says Berger,
artists are disappointed and so am I." He eagerly proffers color
photographs of some work that is quite lovely indeed. In his stable
are two jewelry designers, including one who had designed for
four painters, two sculptors, and two porcelain designers; their work
ranges from the fine arts category to product licensing to
on Limoges china.
But it is his spa line that must pay the rent now. He is the North
American distributor for bath, body, and skin care products of Masor
Term of Strasbourg, to be marketed as Ange de Beauchene for fitness
centers, resorts, and specialty retailers, and the very finest health
"I’ve spent almost $250,000 developing Weboutique, and now I have
to move the product," says Berger. He invested in buying the
in getting FDA clearances for ingredients and labeling, and setting
up a clean room for bottling and labeling the expensive aromas. In
effect, he and his wife have their own cottage industry.
"For the first time I have my own products that I am selling.
Anybody who works for an ad agency can tell you it’s a nice place
to be," says Berger.
"Having worked for major companies I have gone beyond fatigue
almost to the point of hostility. I would rather go it alone. That
it is a low tech business is almost a relief," he says.
As a strategic planner he had to read hundreds of pages a week, just
to keep pace with technology’s relentless learning curve. "I am
happy to be off the treadmill," says Berger. He doesn’t even have
a Web site.
— Barbara Fox
4, Princeton 08540. Jeffrey Berger. 609-514-0043.
We had hoped to brag a little about our own website
in this Internet issue, but between the crush of editorial content
provided by Barbara Fox, Phyllis Maguire, and Peter Mladineo, and
the informative advertisements and advertising features rounded up
by Diana Joseph-Riley, Martha Moore, and Laura Mosiello, we discovered
we just didn’t have any room left.
First we had planned a full-page ad showcasing our website,
Then it was cut to a half page. Then another paid ad came in, and
our "house" ad went out.
So instead we are stuck bragging about the content of the paper. Check
it out, beginning with the Survival Guide offerings on page 6, and
continuing with the cover stories on pages 14, 15, and 20, along with
the advertising features on page 15, and the potpourri of
business moves beginning on page 45.
If you don’t believe that the Internet is happening, consider the
growth of the Internet telephony firm, ITXC, which just received an
infusion of $10 million in venture capital (page 52), or Princeton
Learning Systems, which raised $500,000 to help market its online
educational software (page 52), or the recent successes of Sycom,
a Trenton-based firm that develops digital voice software and PC audio
links (page 53). And an advertising feature reveals that Productivity
Works, which develops software to help the blind surf the Web, has
grown from $177,000 in revenues last year to a projected $1.3 million
this year (page 48).
Of course, it takes an old-fashioned newspaper to pull all this
information together, present it in one convenient package, and then
put it under your nose at your place of work, where the greatest
of the Internet revolution still reside. Where on the Internet could
you find all this information assembled in this manner?
Well, you could check out princetoninfo.com. Every week we
our website with all the major stories from U.S. 1 Newspaper. We also
maintain a complete database of central New Jersey companies, retail
stores, and health and fitness practitioners, as well as a dining
database where you can search on restaurants by food type or city
and then post your own comments if you feel your dining experience
was noteworthy. And of course you can also search our archive of
on hundreds of companies. We would love to brag about it, but we are
out of room. Another time.
MY REACTION to the sign on Nassau Street, indicating New Brunswick
15 miles, Rahway 27, and Newark 36 (U.S. 1, May 13), was not derision,
but warm recognition, for "I got here from there."
I grew up in Rahway, where Route 27 is officially named St. George’s
Avenue, but we always referred to it simply as "the highway."
After I started working in Princeton I brought my bike down by riding
it down Route 27. Metuchen and New Brunswick were the only towns on
the way, so it was a very scenic ride.
Patricia N. Cherry
she wouldn’t chance it now.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.