Stuart Skorman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stuart Skorman (born 1948) is an American entrepreneur, consultant and author. He founded the companies Empire Video,,, Elephant Pharmacy, and,[1][2] He is the author of the book Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur, Why I Can't Stop Starting Over (Jossey-Bass, 2006).[3]


Skorman was an executive at Bread & Circus, the Boston-based natural foods chain bought by Whole Foods in 1992.

Empire Video

In 1985, Skorman founded Empire Video in Manchester Center, Vermont. According to Video Store Magazine, the company had the highest volume video stores of any chain in the US for three consecutive years.[4] Later in 1994, he sold the company to Blockbuster Video for $6 million, after helping to build a movie recommendation kiosk system as a consultant for the company.[5][6][7]

The company was founded by Skorman in September 1996. He launched the website in January 1997,[8] as an online movie information site and e-commerce site.[9] In July that year, Skorman also opened a walk-in store in Berkeley, California. He later added Cinema U, an online film school, for customers who wanted to learn about movies including movie history and film theory.[10] In 1998, he sold to Hollywood Entertainment Corp. for $100 million and became a consultant to the company.[11][12][13][14]

Hungry Minds

In early 1999, Skorman founded Hungry Minds, an internet learning portal. The company offered links to online courses and other learning resources including classes from UC Berkeley Extension, UC Extension and NYU online.[15] Hungry Minds was sold to IDG Books Worldwide in August 2000 and Skorman stayed on as a consultant and adviser.[16]

Elephant Pharmacy

In 2002, Skorman founded Elephant Pharmacy, a holistic big box pharmacy, in Berkeley, California. The store provided products and services including alternative remedies, pet medicines, organic groceries and a health related book library in addition to general prescriptions.[17] The company expanded but closed in 2009 as a result of the recession while [18] Skorman had left the company in 2006.

In December 2008, Skorman launched ClerkDogs, a movie recommendation website. In 2011 Netflix had licensed ClerkDogs’ database and the company's managers were working with Skorman as a consultant to augment Netflix's computerized movie recommendations.[19][20][21]


He is known for pioneering new business models and challenging the long-standing companies in the industries he enters.[22][23] As a result of his work in the dot com industry, he was referred to as one of the 'dotshots' of the 1990s.[24] He consulted for Borders Inc, a bookstore chain, to increase sales,[25] and has been an adviser to a chain of restaurants for thirty years.[26]


Skorman is the author of the book Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over. (Jossey-Bass, 2006)[27]


  1. ^ "Tech Nation - with Dr. Moira Gunn". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Founder of". 19 October 2017. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  3. ^ Skorman, Stuart; Guthrie, Catherine (2007). Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0-7879-8732-9.
  4. ^ Welles, Ed. "Natural Selection". CNN Money. Retrieved September 1, 2004.
  5. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (17 May 1997). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 18 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Swapping Ads, Advertising Article". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Lateral Thinking for the 21st Century". 6 June 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Reel - The Planet's Biggest Movie Store". 22 January 1998. Archived from the original on 22 January 1998. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ Variety Staff (21 May 1997). "Reel Inc. to sell, rent vids online". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  10. ^ Bunch, Sucker. "Surfing: Perturbations, Pleasures and Predicaments On The I-Way". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Staff (July 31, 1998). "Hollywood Entertainment to Buy". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Now Is Really Real". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  13. ^ "REEL BUMMER / Movie Web business collapses after a run-in with dot-com reality". 23 June 2000. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Hollywood 2.0". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  15. ^ Schiffman, Betsy (June 6, 2000). "Looking For The Virtues Of The Virtual Classroom". Forbes.
  16. ^ Evangelista, Benny (August 11, 2000). "IDG Books Fills Appetite With Deal for Hungry Minds". SF Gate.
  17. ^ Novak, Laura (May 16, 2007). "This Elephant Asks, What's Your Dosha?". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Colliver, Victoria (February 4, 2009). "Elephant Pharm abruptly closes its stores". SF Gate.
  19. ^ Wingfield, Nick (October 24, 2011). "How Netflix Lost 800,000 Members, and Good Will". The New York Times.
  20. ^ Staff (November 9, 2008). "Human Touch added to Movie Recommendations". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Siegler, MG (December 9, 2008). "Clerk Dogs is the know-it-all video store nerd in your browser". VentureBeat.
  22. ^ Welles, Ed (2004-09-01). "Natural Selection". CNN Money. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  23. ^ "Stuart's Elephant". San Francisco Chronicle. 2003-02-19. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  24. ^ Leigh, Suzanne (2007-01-14). "". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  25. ^ Shallit, Bob. "Three Borders outlets plan a touch of classes". The Sacramento Bee. p. 1.
  26. ^ Hubbard, Sierra (September 21, 2019). "Richard French seeks a fulfilling life with The Works".
  27. ^ Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over (1 ed.). Jossey-Bass. February 9, 2007. pp. 224. ISBN 978-0787987329.

External links[edit]