a PAW web exclusive column
7 , 2001:
When he's not doctoring,
Danny Grossi '93 is selling on the Internet
By Rob MacKay '89
Having just graduated
from University of Toronto's medical school as an anesthesiologist
last summer, Danny Grossi '93 is currently working 80-hour weeks
- with frequent all-nighters - in a residency program not far from
where he studied. But don't worry, he still finds the time to manage
his four Internet companies and fledging shipping service.
"Usually I can work
an hour or so in the morning and a few hours at night [on the Internet
businesses] to keep them going, and then I give them a full 10-hour
day when I'm not at the hospital," says the native Canadian
who also holds a master's of science in hematology and oncology
from UT. "I don't want my medicine to suffer, I just really
enjoy the Internet."
The oldest and most profitable
of his sites, www.video-now.com,
sells thousands of DVDs a day, mostly to customers in the U.S.,
but he's shipped these filmless films to such far away places as
Mozambique, Pakistan, and South Africa. To do so, Grossi, who is
30, has rented a warehouse and hired a slew of employees. And to
cut costs in the future, he's setting up a shipping business in
two months. "Soon I'll be able to ship my competitors' DVDs,"
Grossi also runs www.emovietoys.com,
which customers can use to by action figures of movie characters,
such as Austin Powers and Spawn, or toys uninspired by the silver
screen. In the near future, he plans to add posters and VHS movies
to the menu at Video-now and launch two more e-companies, which
he declines to discuss until they are up and running. Not such bad
side jobs for a man who also finds the time to run three miles in
the morning and six to eight miles in the afternoon.
A molecular biology major
at Princeton whose thesis researched hemotopoietic stem cells, Grossi
is humble about his cyber-success. "I was lucky. This idea
of the DVDs started as a bit of a joke with my cousin," he
admits. "My family always laughs at me because I always come
up with ideas for things. But I launched the site and slowly started
to sell movies. Then from June [of 2000] to Christmas, it skyrocketed.
I went from working in my basement to having a 5,000-square-foot
office, staff, and warehouse and having people want to buy my business."
Happy with about four
hours of sleep, Grossi likes the high-energy lifestyle he's carved
for himself. So for now he will not be deciding between medicine
and e-business, he'll take both - thank you very much. "Being
a doctor is very gratifying when you help someone, but you're always
around sickness," he says.
"Internet is a completely
different lifestyle. You can express yourself in many ways, and
it's more lucrative than medicine."
Rob MacKay, is an editor
at Timesnewsweekly, a weekly newspaper in Queens, New York. He can
be reached at email@example.com