MY BEST ...'The £261 million reverse takeover of Knight-Ridder Information by MAID in 1997, forming the Dialog Corporation. It took us straight to the top - we are now the leading distributor of online business information, with profits of £20 million in the first nine months of last year. MAID was dynamic and successful but much smaller than its rivals, and it would have taken years of incremental growth before we were big enough to tackle the likes of Reuters head on. Knight-Ridder has given us muscle. We've always been dangerous but now we are armed and dangerous.'
MY WORST ...' Basing MAID in the UK instead of in the US. If I had started over there, MAID would have been better capitalised and success would have come more quickly. When I started out in 1984, personal computers didn't really exist in the UK. In the US, everyone had a PC. Americans like young entrepreneurs. The British didn't want to know at first because I was only 21.
Dialog also gets a bad press in Britain from rivals like the Financial Times, which doesn't help the share price. It is ridiculously low at the moment, but I'm used to having the last laugh. In six months' time, it will be a different story.'