Business type: Online entertainment production and distribution company.
Number of employees: 97
Job title: Co-founder, chairman and CEO
First ‘Net experience: Using Gopher (an early search engine).
Biggest challenge: Creating quality programming under bandwidth constraints
Favorite bookmark: www.salon.com
Icebox.com is generating heat, and that’s exactly what Steve Stanford designed it to do. Stanford is CEO, chairman and co-founder of the animation site that offers original programming from a team of writers and producers associated with programs such as “The Simpsons,” “Seinfeld” and “Futurama.”
Stanford came to Icebox from City Search, where he served as veep of business development. He cut his cyberteeth as a product manager in the network products group at Oracle. After that, he worked as a literary agent at International Creative Management.
Realizing that many clients were interested in online endeavors, Stanford founded ICM’s new-media unit. “My belief was that the Internet was a place where artists could have a form of expression that they’ve never had before,” says Stanford, who is known as an online entertainment pioneer for representing Scott Zakarin, creator of the first “Webisodic” program.
In 1999 Stanford teamed with TV execs Howard Gordon, Rob LaZebnik and Jonathan Collier to form Icebox. “The founding principals of our company are freedom and lack of censorship,” Stanford says. “Icebox is a place where artists can take more creative risks.”
And, according to Stanford, the risks are paying off. “What viewers get from Icebox is fresh, creative content from some of the best writers in the world, unfiltered by the studios and the networks,” Stanford says.