Matters of Life and Data
"I didn't set out to become a collector of your and your neighbors' information. When I was growing up, nobody but egghead scientists talked about 'data.' It was the mechanical age, and I was a gadget geek, taking apart my cousin's toys and trying to put them back together again. I was especially crazy about cars and engines, and had it not been for a fateful encounter during college recruiting season, I might've lived my life as a race car mechanic instead of learning about computers at IBM. As it turned out, pursuing Big Data allowed me the resources to become a professional race car driver on the side, competing against the likes of Paul Newman, who makes appearances in these pages as well.
Such are the wonders of this journey we're all on. Mine has taken me from the frontier of western Arkansas, where my ancestors owned a hardware store selling iron tools to westbound travelers, to the frontier of the digital age, where room-size computers have become eclipsed by the power of smart phones. And in a sense, the story you're about to read isn't so different from those of the colorful adventurers who stocked up their wagons at my family's hardware emporium and headed west to make their fortunes. Data mining is the new gold rush, and we were there at first strike, dragging with us all our human frailties and foibles. In this book's cast of characters you'll find ambition, arrogance, jealousy, pride, fear, recklessness, anger, lust, viciousness, greed, revenge, betrayal, and then some."
"It is a messy story. In the big picture, this could be called a narrative of America since World War II. But in the micro telling, think of it this way: The man who opened your lives to Big Data finally bares his own."
About the Author
Charles D. Morgan is the chair and CEO of PrivacyStar, a private company developing and marketing solutions helping protect consumersí phone privacy. In addition to his executive leadership, Morgan actively leads technology and solution strategy development.
Currently Morgan serves on the board of directors of INUVO Inc., a public company focused on simplifying performance-based Internet advertising. He also serves as a member and is the past chairman of the board of trustees of Hendrix College.
Morgan has extensive experience managing and investing in private and public companies. As founder, chair and CEO of Acxiom Corporation (NASDAQ: ACXM), world leader in data gathering and its accompanying technology, he grew Acxiom from an early-stage company to an international corporation growing to $1.4 billion in annual revenue during his tenure as CEO from 1972 to 2008.
Morgan worked comprehensively in Acxiomís European offices from 1987 through 2008 guiding the acquisition of numerous marketing services companies such as Claritas and Consodata, as well as spearheading the development activities of innovative software, data products and processing platforms across five countries in the region.
Prior to joining Acxiom, Morgan was employed by IBM as a systems engineer for six years, and holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. A gadget geek from childhood, Morgan has raced motorcycles, flown jets, and built and driven his own race cars in a professional career that includes victories at both the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Daytona, along with 17 other wins.
In his spare time, Morgan has developed a world-class golf resort, Querencia, in Cabo San Lucas, designed by renowned golf course architect, Tom Fazio. When Morgan is not working on matters related to PrivacyStar or other projects, he and his wife, Susie, enjoy traveling the globe or simply enjoying life in Little Rock, Arkansas.