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Franklin Electronic Publishers

Gadget lovers may remember the Spelling Ace from a few decades back. But that’s not all Franklin Electronic Publishers had planned.

Gadget lovers may remember the Spelling Ace from a few decades back. But that’s not all Franklin Electronic Publishers had planned. Michael Crincoli, vice president of North American Operations, talks about going global, and succeeding in both the boardroom and the classroom.

How did Franklin Electronic Publishers get started?

In the early 1980s, Franklin started out as a computer manufacturer. Shortly after, the company created and launched the first electronic handheld product called the Spelling Ace. Since then, the company has sold over 32 million electronic reference products in over 45,000 storefronts worldwide.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

Throughout my career I have worked at several companies who manufacture consumer products. At Franklin, we are selling products that make a difference in someone’s life everyday. Our products can be found and used in many different environments, from the classroom to the boardroom. To me, it is rewarding selling products that consumers use to improve their knowledge or enhance their learning experience, every day.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

The need for language, spell correction and general reference products will always exist. These needs are integrated into everyone’s daily routine. Franklin products allow the user instant access to this information in a portable format. We also combine functionality with best of class reference materials to assist the user. You can phonetically enter a word into a dictionary–the product will correct the spelling (if misspelled) and return a full definition or translation–depending on what product you are using.

Where do you see your field going in the next few years, and how does the company fit into that?

Franklin is moving in several directions to meet the needs of both the consumer and the market. As many may know, standardized testing has become an increasing part of every student’s, parent’s and teacher’s life.

At Franklin, we see an opportunity to apply our core competencies to benefit that growing market. In 2006, the SAT is changing for the first time in over 70 years. Earlier this year, we announced a Princeton Review-branded product for this market. This product will combine the study guide and test-taking strategies in a portable handheld device that provide practice tests and diagnostics which will enable the student to identify areas that require focus. It is designed to be a portable interactive tutor that meets the needs of the student lifestyle and an improved method of studying for the exam. We will be looking to expand this product to include graduate level as well as other language proficiency exams. The company also sees an opportunity to meet the language needs of the growing US Hispanic population.

What do you like best about what you do?

I like being in a position that may help improve peoples lives. Our products offer a lifetime of learning and a benefit for consumers who use them. From the Children’s Dictionary and Thesaurus to the Translator or Crossword Puzzler, each is designed to meet different consumer needs and wants.

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