You can learn a lot about a company from its Web site. Even many of the companies that build sites or provide Web technology or tools offer more than the typical content.
For example, did you know:
1. Before becoming CEO of Stronghold Technologies (strongholdtech.com), Christopher Carey spent three months in 2000 riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle across the United States. He said the trip had been on his list of things to do since 1973. Stronghold develops wireless technology sales tools for car dealers.
2. Eighty percent of the employees at Dassault Systemes (dsweb.com), a French company that specializes in virtual reality software, are engineers. Their average age is 32.
3. Workers at automotive Web applications developer Rootlevel (rootlevel.com) know how to use their coding skills to improve their lives as well as those of their clients. Because the 30 employees shared one bathroom at their previous Detroit headquarters, they developed ToiletMonitor. The program detected when the bathroom was in use and informed all office members via desktop toilet icons. Since moving to larger headquarters, Rootlevel no longer needs ToiletMonitor, but the icon remains.
4. Siebel Systems (siebel.com), which specializes in customer relationship management software, also has a software package called Siebel Solutions for homeland security. Siebel designed the software to help the government overcome communication obstacles among various public and private entities.
5. EDS (eds.com) has a contract with the U.S. government to develop a $6.9 billion Navy/Marine Corps intranet.
6. Motorola's (motorola.com) first foray into the automotive industry came in the 1930s when it developed the first commercially successful car radio.
7. Cobalt Group (cobalt.com), which supplies software and builds Web sites for car dealers, went public in August 1999. It went private again last November after a merger with Warburg Pincus LLC. Also, Jeff Danford, general manager of Cobalt's MotorPlace Auto Exchange, founded giggo.com, the former Chrysler online lending site.
8. Supply chain management software company Manugistics Group Inc. (manugistics.com) has done work with Tronicus, a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Railway Co.
9. In 1972, five former IBM systems engineers formed business software maker SAP in Walldorf, Germany. SAP (sap.com) stands for "systems, applications and products in data processing."
10. Enterprise resource planning software company QAD Inc. (qad.com) has products in 26 different languages.
11. In April 2001, software company Trilogy Inc. (trilogy.com), along with Fortune and Goldman, Sachs & Co., hosted the second E-Business Battle Royale, a summit of senior executives from the Fortune 1000. Speakers included executives from Hewlett-Packard, Dana Corp., AOL Time Warner and General Motors. In 2000, speakers included Jacques Nasser and Kenneth Lay.
12. Software provider PowerWay Inc. (powerwayinc.com) offers online training seminars called webinars. PowerWay began operating in 1987 under the name Integrated Technologies Inc.
13. J.D. Power III, CEO of J.D. Power and Associates, is on the board of DealerTrack (dealertrack.com), which provides financing software for auto dealers.
14. What connection might Nintendo and GM have? Alias Wavefront (aliaswavefront.com), which makes automotive design software, also creates software used in the film and video game industries for special effects and animation. Both GM and Nintendo use Alias Wavefront software, as does Ford Motor Co., Mattell and George Lucas' special effects company Industrial Light & Magic.
15. Dealer management system vendor Reynolds and Reynolds Co. (reyrey.com) in the 1920s created Chevrolet's first standardized accounting forms and paper-based accounting system.
16. IBM (ibm.com), which among its many roles is an automotive software and telematics provider, has a rally song dating from 1931 called "Ever Onward."
17. GM's telematics subsidiary OnStar (onstar.com) has a Batman store at its site for consumers to order Batman/OnStar clothing and merchandise. Visitors also can view five "Batman Webisodes" cartoons.
18. Automotive exchange Covisint's (covisint.com) name is an amalgamation of the primary concepts behind the exchange's creation. "Co" represents connectivity, collaboration and communication. "Vis" represents the visibility that the Internet provides and the vision of supply chain management. "Int" represents the integrated solutions as well as the international scope of the exchange.
19. Syncata Corp. (syncata.com), which provides IT solutions to companies such as Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. and American Honda Motor Co., was formed in 1990 and originally known as NetBase Computing Inc.
20. In June 2001, Bell & Howell changed its name to ProQuest (proquestcompany.com).
Special Correspondent Gary Anglebrandt can be reached at