Quark Essay, Research Paper
Quark Incorporated develops software for use in professional electronic
publishing and communication technologies. Quark software is used by customers
to create everything from catalogs, brochures, and packaging to newspapers,
magazines, and books. Quark is also at the forefront as the communications
mediums move from print to electronic distribution
In 1981, Tim Gill found himself out of work after more than 10 years
in the computer industry. Not wishing to continue being rejected by employers
who did not need his skills, he went into business for himself. Since
he was more interested in software than hardware and since developing
software was a less expensive proposition, that’s where he started.
He founded Quark Inc. in his Denver, Colorado apartment. He named the
company after the subatomic particle generally considered the building
block for all matter. He also considered that a word starting with a Q
would stand out in lists.
Gill’s first project was to tackle the word processing program that
Apple had been promising for the Apple III but had not delivered. Knowing
people were anxiously awaiting this program, Gill spent 10-12 hour days
on a borrowed Apple computer writing the program. Three months later,
Quark produced the first word-processing program for the Apple III before
any other vendor, including Apple. The new program was called Word Juggler
and within six weeks Gill was able to pay back the $2000 he’d borrowed
to pay for its development.
Gill then set to work on a project he’d been thinking about for
10 years. In its original conception, Gill considered it to be a "very
fancy" word processing program. But Gill and a handful of his programmers
kept adding features until it suddenly wasn’t a word processing program
anymore, but a desktop publishing program. In 1987, QuarkXPress was born.
Quark was not the first company to present a desktop publishing program.
Aldus had introduced its program called PageMaker the year before. But
Quark’s designers were not concerned about PageMaker or Apple’s
requirements while doing their development. Instead, they contacted potential
users, like typesetters, and discovered exactly what they wanted in a
product. Their subsequent program contained many desirable high-end features
that appealed to a number of customers.
At first, Apple threw its support behind Aldus. Although this could have
been the death knell for Quark, instead of fighting on the same field,
Quark changed tactics. It priced QuarkXPress $100 more than PageMaker
and presented it as a superior product for companies that needed and could
handle its expanded features. The ploy worked and QuarkXPress began to
sell. Even smaller companies that did not need all of the features Quark
offered, began to buy the program so that they would be using the same
software as the larger printing companies. Over the next few years, Quark
effectively took the desktop publishing market away from Aldus.
In 1986, Gill, who preferred the technical over the administrative part
of the business, sold half of the company to Fred Ebrahimi, an experienced
business manager, who became president and CEO. Gill continued as Quark’s
chairman and chief technology officer. Under Ebrahimi’s leadership,
Quark expanded to include international operations by opening a distribution
and manufacturing facility in Cork, Ireland in 1988. By 1996, Quark had
customer service and technical support offices in Denmark, France, Germany,
Japan, and the United Kingdom. The office in Germany also develops client/server
and communications technologies.
In 1992, Quark restructured its growing company into teams, with each
team responsible for a single project and operating like its own small
company. In another departure from normal corporate operations, Quark
created XChange, a distribution and marketing firm that it does not own,
for small companies that build XPress peripherals. And Quark encourages
small companies to create these peripheral products, believing that any
programs they develop will only add value to QuarkXPress and open new
Also in 1992, Quark introduced a version of QuarkXPress for Windows,
expanding its market beyond the Apple Macintosh for the first time. With
the Windows-based PC platform in mind, Quark subsequently introduced Quark
XPress Passport which provided desktop publishing in 13 languages and
launched the Quark Publishing System.
In mid 1994, Quark was growing so rapidly that it launched a nationwide
search for skilled employees and experienced management.The successful
personnel recruitment helped the company become more departmentalized
and increased their ability to handle the ever-expanding workload. In
1990, Quark had approximately 70 employees. By the fall of 1994 there
were 425 employees worldwide, with 350 of those in Denver.
Although, by the end of 1995 Quark had cornered more than 70 percent
of the publishing software market with QuarkXPress, it was faced with
increased rivalry from Adobe Systems Inc., which had merged with the Aldus
Corp. (whose founder, Paul Brainerd, actually coined the term "desktop
publishing"). Throughout 1995, rumors circulated that Quark was about
to go public as a means to raise capital for the battle against Adobe.
Gill and Ebrahimi denied the rumors by pointing to the fact that the company
had $50 million in the bank and zero debt. The end of fiscal 1995
saw Quark post record sales of $200 million. Despite these successes,
industry insiders still believed the company was laying the groundwork
for a move.
In February 1996, Quark acquired part ownership of Colossal Pictures,
a 20-year old company that produces and designs films. Colossal specialized
in live action, cell animation, photo and stop-motion techniques, motion
control, as well as clay, computer, and performance animation. The acquisition
of Colossal provided Quark with access to TV commercial, cable television
programming, CD-ROMs, and interactive movie production.
In October 1996, Quark entered into an agreement with Oracle Corporation
to develop a line of Internet publishing solutions that combined Quark’s
print, multimedia, and Internet technologies with Oracle’s WebServer
and Universal Server products. The Quark/Oracle electronic publishing
venture would allow customers to deliver a wide variety of services and
online-storefronts to Internet users.
major products include:
– a desktop publishing software that allows users to lay out text,
photographs, and graphics.
Passport – contains all of the features and capabilities of QuarkXPress
but adds the ability to handle multiple-language documents
– Multimedia and Internet communications software that can be used
to create projects for the Internet, Intranet, CD-ROM, kiosk, and
Publishing System (QPS) – high-performance, server-based editorial
management system that provides page layout, word processing, and
file tracking software for workgroup publishing environments.
Digital Media System – The solution for digital content management.
Like many successful companies in the computer industry, Quark started
with one man and an idea. Unlike many other start-up entrepreneurial companies
in the industry, Quark is still around, still growing, and still successful.
The company has followed a simple premise—find out what the customer
needs and wants and develop it.
Today, Quark is a leader in the high-end, professional electronic publishing
and design industry. More than 1 million users in more than 100 countries
worldwide rely on Quark products to create, design, and manage the production
of their documents — from newspapers, magazines, books, and CD-ROMs to
catalogs, brochures, packaging, and online material.
Quark is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and has more than 550 employees.
The company is privately held.
"Quark, Inc." Hoover’s Company Profiles,
Hoover’s, Inc., Austin, Texas, 1996 (from AOL)
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publishing to the Net" Quark Web Page, October 15, 1996
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Quark Web Page, March 14, 1996
Goldrich, Robert "Quark takes Colossal step"
SHOOT, February 2, 1996
Olgeirson, Ian "Quark Programs for IPO" Denver
Business Journal, December 1, 1995
Svaldi, Aldo "Will Quark go public?" Denver
Business Journal, July 14, 1995
Patz, Debby "Image-editing category gains XPosure"
Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management" April 15, 1995
Locke, Tom "Quark pumps up management" Denver
Business Journal, September 30, 1994
Smith, Brad "Building a Colorado computer" Colorado
Business Magazine, September, 1994
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Growth" Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, March 2, 1994
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Gill" Colorado Business Magazine, September 1993
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Young, Jeffrey "From Star Trek to Desktop" Forbes,
July 19, 1993