They often say simple ideas succeed best in business. In 1995, Stan Grossman, a professor of mathematics, and Howie Miller, a lawyer, invented an applicator that can stick labels on CDs in such a way that they will not make the disc oscillate and cause damage to the CD drive. After patenting the applicator, they founded Rocky Mountain Traders in 1995 and quickly won a contract to supply the digital-media giant Memorex in America. The firm also supplies Dixons in Britain. Later it developed software that prints images and text on CD labels. Now based in Basildon, Essex, and run by Ken Fraser and John Woodley, Rocky Mountain Traders has pushed up its sales 140% a year from £391,000 in 1997 to £5.4m in 2000, when it had 23 staff.
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