i.20: Jupiter's Gene DeRose

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After a few years of trying his hand at writing, Gene DeRose, then a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, responded to an ad for a writer to start a newsletter at Internet consultancy Jupiter Communications.

Mr. DeRose got the job in 1990 and soon found himself in New York with Jupiter's founder, Josh Harris.

RESEARCH DIRECTOR TO CEO

Mr. Harris (now at Pseudo Programs, New York, which he founded) hired Mr. DeRose as research director; nearly a decade later, Mr. DeRose heads one of the most prominent consultancies focused on Internet advertising and commerce.

Joining Jupiter was a bit of a stretch initially for the English major.

CONSUMER MEDIA JUNKIE

"I have a classic liberal arts background," Mr. DeRose says. "So everything I learned about the Internet industry I learned here."

But Mr. DeRose--a self-described "consumer media junkie"--says his unique perception of media's value has aided him in transforming Jupiter from a two-man shop to 70 research associates and analysts, a company that hosts 14 industry conferences and publishes 130 research reports each year.

In August, Jupiter filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission for an initial offering of up to $57.5 million in common stock. Trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol JPTR began Oct. 8.

"My media background was important in understanding that [the Internet] was an important medium that would cut right through to business, that it would cut right into the financial, media and advertising communities," he says.

NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY

Mr. DeRose's philosophy that the Internet is transforming everyday business has rubbed off on all of Jupiter.

"We've invented a kind of research that is geared toward senior marketing and business executives," he says. "What we focus on is not technology or the Internet per se, but rather, how it is changing media, commerce and advertising.

"One of the reasons why we've been able to do what we do is because we've been defining [interactive media and commerce] since it's been invented.

"This is really about marketing and media much more than technology."

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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