Research Reflections: IT Director David Yeh

In honor of Applied Marketing Science's 30th anniversary, AMS President and Managing Principal John C. Mitchell interviews several long-term AMSians about the company's history, significant memories, and what they wish for the firm in the future. In this final installation, John speaks to AMS Director of Information Technology, David Yeh. 

Technology has changed drastically over the past quarter of a century or so. Tell me about what it like at AMS when you first started? 

When I first joined AMS, we didn’t even have a network, per se. I remember those first few weeks, all I did was crawl into ceilings, pull wires, and check network connections. We didn’t even have internet. In three weeks, we had our network crash, and it took me three hours crawling under everyone's desk to check where the loose connection was. Eventually we found one loose connection that brought the whole network down. It was hilarious. That was quite the experience.  

It's kind of hard to believe that there was a time before wireless networks.  

Definitely. But AMS has always been ahead of other companies in terms of deploying technology. When we started, there was no internet like the internet we know today. It was probably just used in some top tier universities. When it began to come into the public eye, we jumped right on. We were one of the very first companies to have a website. That was back in 1994 or ‘95.  At that time, there was no email. We were also one of the first companies to start using email.  

 I know that web-based surveys are another area where AMS has been on the cutting edge.  When and how did that get started? 

The first online survey I ever programmed was in early 1998, so it's been over 20 years. Our surveys are not like standard consumer surveys in that each survey is unique. We tailor each survey to the specific needs of our clients. We have to customize a lot of behind-the-scenes processes to really achieve what we need to achieve and deliver the result to our clients.  

So AMS is using a home-grown survey system? 

That’s right, and I’ve programmed well over 2000 surveys since 1998.  

You've been at AMS for almost 26 years. What's kept you here for so long? 

It's more than a job. It's a family to me. We have always had a great team. People tend to work together well and we have had a lot of smart people over the years. We all have the same goal, to make our company successful. Almost every single day I look forward to coming to work, to be with people, to be challenged.  Whenever I need help, people are there. It's hard to describe, but I just feel so comfortable.  

What are your hopes for AMS in the future? 

I hope AMS keeps growing and expanding and remains successful, which I'm sure we will. We have a very talented group of people and we all have the same goal.  

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