Here are two collages made with a collection of old and new photos... and a brief biography of Mike's career in business and publishing.
The Harvey family highlights the some of the accomplishment and passions of each member of the Harvey family... Dad's writing and flying... Mom's music and sculptures... (brother) Henry's sculptures and writing... (sister) Mimi's art.. and Mike's publishing and business career. The Henry Harvey family collage highlights Henry, Pam and Cameron and many of their sculptures... again with a mixture of old and new photos.
Mike Harvey - An Eclectic Career In The Fast Lane
The World of Mainframes and Emerging Technology
Mike Harvey, the
founder and publisher of Nibble, already had a successful
career in high technology and computers before the morning when he
decided to start Nibble . He had spent five years in sales
with IBM and had the top sales record in the company his second year
on quota. He moved to headquarters marketing with
He went on to become
President of University Computing Company, a 35 million Dallas-based
software company. In 1978, he became President of Inforex, a 70
During that time, he
continued as a computer enthusiast and a self-taught “closet
programmer”. He bought one of the first TRS 80s when it came out,
and followed shortly with his first Apple II. Weekends were spent
writing all kinds of games and utilities. He wrote a word processor
for his own use, a personal finance program, and a database
management program, among others. He was fascinated figuring out new
ways to get more out of his Apple.
He recalls that one of his biggest concerns was finding free-lance authors who could continue filling Nibble after he ran out of his own work. So he wrote letters to every author he saw published in other computer magazines, and persuaded several to start writing by the time his fifth issue was published.
For the next year, he got in the habit of waking up at 3 am, working on Nibble for 4-5 hours, and then going to his “regular job” for the full workday. In the evenings, he worked again on writing, answering customer calls, and writing the programs to manage the growing publication.
He recalls setting a “drop dead” target of having 1,000 subscribers in six months or else folding the publication. At the six month mark, he had 6,000 subscribers. At twelve months, he had 19,000 subscribers and had begun hiring office help … working out of his home.
At the twelve-month mark, he resigned from Verbex to manage Nibble full-time. And Nibble grew and grew. Through the next 12 years, we grew the company with a young, enthusiastic group of more than 30 people who really became dedicated to the concept of what we were trying to do -- help our readers learn and use the Apple productively, and have fun doing it. [There's a much more complete history on the Nibble Magazine website, and in particular, see the "Nibble - The First 10 Years" for a writeup, photographs, and background on the authors and staff who helped Nibble be a success.] During that time, company was self-financed with no debt and no outside investors. Mike said, “that was the best twelve years of my life. I couldn’t wait to get to work in the mornings, and continued the 3 am schedule. It was a labor of love.”
In 1985, he had offers from Ziff Davis and International Data Group to acquire Nibble . He recalls an afternoon when he sat out under a tree in his backyard and made the decision not to sell. “I remembered that I started Nibble to be independent and not have to be accountable to corporate bureaucracies. I realized that if I sold, I’d want to start over again doing what I was doing. I was having too much fun to go back to the corporate life.”
In the late 80’s he
added a magazine for the PC and another for the Macintosh. And
Nibble grew to a circulation in excess of 100,000 readers. The
company was operated using a comprehensive order processing and
subscriber fulfillment system that Mike personally developed along
the way. He recalls in the early years, facing the challenge of how
to sort 30,000 subscribers on an Apple II with floppy disks. His
subscriber files spanned 36 diskettes and he had an Apple II with 12
floppy drives stacked up around it. He’d process the sort in groups
of twelve diskettes and it took nearly 20 hours to run the job.
Eventually, the advent of “hard drives saved the day just in time”
he said. The systems he developed ran on a network of 20 Apple II
systems interconnected to 300 megabytes of hard drives.
In the late 80’s he could see the handwriting on the wall. Large publishers entered and dominated the industry and he saw he could no longer compete at that level. So he began systematically selling the magazine assets to larger publishers. Nibble was the last to be shut down in 1992. Mike said, “when we spun off the Nibble subscribers and closed the company, it was terribly sad – like the death of a family member.”
At that point, he
decided to reengage the mainframe software business as a consultant.
“It was quite a challenge getting back up to speed after twelve
years in the microcomputer business,” he said. He used the same
marketing methods he’d used to build Nibble, only now he was
Over the next three
years, he built a small client base in New England. One of his
clients was Sterling Software a very large multidivisional company
in Dallas. Twenty years earlier at UCC, he had managed several
executives who went on to found Sterling, and among them was
In 1997, Mike played a
lead role in Sterling’s acquisition of the software division of
This site was last updated 09/25/10