The Brown file Featured

8:00pm EDT September 25, 2008

Born: Fort Meade, Md.

Education: Indiana University, bachelor’s degree, physics; master’s degree, computer science; medical degree

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

Steve Jobs — he does an excellent job of working with the creative people in his company to do really astounding, innovative things.

What was your first job?

Delivering The Indianapolis News when I was 12, for three or four years. I learned to avoid mean dogs.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

To trust my own judgment. Early on, I had a tendency to sometimes defer to the judgment of people with more experience. I’ve learned to trust myself more as things have gone by.

What’s the greatest business challenge you’ve ever faced?

After we went public at the height of the whole Internet craze and the dot-com bust that happened, it created some pretty difficult times. We had to go through a couple rounds of layoffs. That was excruciatingly painful to actually deconstruct what I had worked so hard to build.

In the process of doing it, communicating my repugnance to the people around me. Going back to the idea of expressing human-level emotions that this is hard. This is something I hate doing. People are more than just cells on a spreadsheet that I can reset to zero. But this is something that has to be done for the good of the company. I am tough enough to step up and do this even though I hate it.

What’s your favorite movie and why?

‘Platoon’ — my dad was in Vietnam, so there is that emotional attachment. Just realizing the hardships that people went through. There were people who conducted themselves with honor and integrity even in a horribly difficult situation. Just a fine acting job by Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger and the others in that movie.