To embody the word “progressive” is to never stop learning.
Mitchell Davis has started two companies in his life, and both center around books and technology, two components that will always equal new knowledge.
We asked if Mitchell thought he was progressive: "Yeah, sure."
He laughs, and continues, "I think I'm a curious person. I think that helps a lot. If you're genuinely curious about things then it doesn't feel like work."
Mitchell is from Charleston. He grew up in Summerville and worked as a carriage tour driver. He accredits that job to teaching him how to sell. "I like the do-it-yourself mentality here."
So Mitchell stayed and started BookSurge, a company that made it possible for writers to self-publish. When comparing his second start-up, BiblioLabs, to BookSurge--renamed CreateSpace after Amazon purchased it in 2005--Mitchell says, "This is even more important than that, because this takes all the books being published at CreateSpace, adds them to all books being published by any company, adds that to the archives of museums and national libraries and all things that a library does, and puts it in one single, elegant interface."
The decline of libraries is an aside to the death of print, because they are where print publications are stored and archived, and BiblioLabs means to reduce this decline.
"Everyone loves libraries, but many people never consummate that love. It's a philosophical love. So in reality, libraries are really challenged right now."
Mitchell's spare time is just as fruitful. He co-owns a documentary company, Organic Process, with his wife. Last year, they released a film on the life of the beloved Charlestonian and jazz artist Jack McCray. Mitchell's on the board for the Jazz Artists of Charleston, too. He plays in a Widespread Panic tribute band. He has no children if you're wondering how he does it all AND sleeps.
"I've been an adult here since the early ‘90s. I've seen the city change a lot--when I was in college, the Francis Marion was an abandoned building--so I like the way progress has happened here. There's a great quality of life here. There's more culture. Things are interesting, but not overwhelming. It's more like real life. Hopefully the things that we're doing--and other technology companies are doing--is part of that progression in Charleston."
Words by: Elizabeth Bowers
Photography by: Mark Stetler