Two Haverfordians were subjects of stories in The New York Times earlier this month for inventing products in fields as diverse as laundry detergent and the blogosphere.
Doug Warshaw ‘ex-81 was the subject of Richard Sandomir’s Sports Business column in The Times of July 4. Doug has built a new web site, Jockipedia.com, based on his theory that, in Sandomir’s words, “Sports fans cannot read enough of athletes’ Twitter posts, blog entries, and Facebook messages.”
Hence, Jockipedia, which aggregates thousands of links to professional,college and high school athletes. Doug’s goal sounds impossible (though maybe not to those who know Doug). Says the former network news and sports producer, “We’re going to have every athlete in the world.” (He’s got at least one athlete from 26 countries now.)
On a companion site, the Jockosphere, Warshaw’s writers distill and discuss the wittiest sports blogs. Who knew that lacrosse player Kyle Harrison is the “William Burroughs of the Jockosphere?”
Lots of work awaits Doug. He’s got to stay ahead of other similar sites, find ways to add more athletes (he’s got almost 3,600 now),keep fans coming back, reach advertisers, and authenticate feeds. But in the words of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal quoted by Sandomir, “I’m da reporter now.”
In quite a different industry, Jonathan Propper ’77 through his Philadelphia-based Dropps company has been making premeasured, dissolvable liquid detergent packs since 2006, eliminating the need for detergent in a drug. Propper, The Times reported, found a formula for concentrated detergent and a thin polymer wrapper made from polyvinyl alcohol that dissolves in water and is biodegradable.
Eliminating the constant need to measure laundry detergent went over big with Propper’s wife, who does laundry for six kids, and lots of other families. Now Dropps has introduced a new product, Dropps Baby, an enzyme and dye-free product. Propper notes that it would take 5,840 Dropps detergent packs to equal the carbon footprint of one standard detergent bottle. Score one for Jon for both commercial creativity and environmental responsibility.
Haverfordians are no strangers to The Times’ pages, as one can easily see from these examples. But alumni and students can still probably win bets from their friends at other colleges by claiming that not a day goes by without at least one Ford’s namein the paper. Let’s see if anyone can figure out how that works, and maybe we’ll let the secret out some time soon.
–Greg Kannerstein ’63