Gray is Good

In the dotcom world, experienced managers used to be sneered at as suits. But the need for their skills is growing--and so is respect

Henry Bar-Levav launched Oven Digital in 1996 with one contract: to design a website for New York City's Museum of Modern Art. His start-up was turning a profit within two weeks. Three months later he had four more big-name clients, and the money was rolling in. Only then did he realize that he was losing control. Important details--like filing the necessary paper work to incorporate the firm--were falling through the cracks. "We had stacks of checks piled up on our desk," Bar-Levav laughs, "and we couldn't cash them." It was his first clue that he needed more than just top-notch designers....

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