Quark Essay Research Paper Quark Incorporated

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

customer markets.

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

print marketplace.


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)

"Quark Inc. corporate history" Quark Homepage,


"Quark, Oracle sign pact to deliver high-fidelity

publishing to the Net" Quark Web Page, October 15, 1996

"Worldwide sales of QuarkXPress Passport skyrocket"

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

Eib, Jeffrey "Software Maker Quark Inc. Reports Explosive

Growth" Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, March 2, 1994

Bourrie, Sally Ruth "Quintessentially Quark: Tim

Gill" Colorado Business Magazine, September 1993

Murphy, Anne "Branching Out" Inc., August 1993

Young, Jeffrey "From Star Trek to Desktop" Forbes,

July 19, 1993


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