Mr. Jonathan Fitch
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
One of the best things about Accurance, the brain child of CEO Jon Fitch, is that any publisher or author can get an extremely high standard of editing, cover design, interior page design, manuscript analysis, and illustration and eBook conversion for considerably less money than competitors offering far lower quality. As an added bonus, authors own all of their editable and final files (which is unique worldwide).
How is Accurance able to do this? Simple; ingenuity runs in the family. Jon’s father was creating breakthroughs long before him and the rest of the family followed. His brother has a photographic memory. They have in their family tree a musical prodigy, a national President of a major labor union, a nationally syndicated cartoonist, and it’s even possible that the Fitch that invented the steamboat is included. Ingenuity, invention, and getting done what very few or none have done before, runs throughout the family genes.
Before Accurance, Jon spent six years involved in developmental neurobiological research under a brilliant MacArthur Grant professor. His work overturned 90-year-old assumptions about the functional and physical organization of brain areas involved with memory. He was published in two neuro journals that were at the top in the world at that time (Brain Research and the Journal of Comparative Neurology). Post-doctoral level work, done as an undergraduate.
Next, he founded FitchMeyer Direct Marketing Intelligence, in what was at that time, a very new hospital marketing field (don’t ask how brain research morphs into hospital marketing; nobody knows). Within a few years, FitchMeyer achieved Inc. 500 status, a listing of the
500 fastest growing privately held businesses in the country. FitchMeyer developed cutting-edge programs with quantitatively provable return- on-investment, with breakthrough results so strong they attracted the flagship hospitals of the University of Chicago, LDS Healthcare, and many other heavy hitter systems as clients. He was able to recruit a group of leaders so talented one investment banker had to be convinced that they were employees rather than outside consultants.
The Family Tradition of Invention and Innovation
Wherever Fitch goes, groundbreaking follows. He’s able to create things that no one else has been able to create, and in three different areas, so far. He came by this talent honestly. It runs throughout the family. One of his father’s own groundbreaking stories he didn’t even know about until a week after his father had passed, but it’s one Jon is particularly proud to talk about.
Roger Fitch, Jon’s father and a top engineer at the world headquarters of RCA, began going to the library one spring when Jon was a child, searching for answers to an age old problem.
Previous to about 1970, there were huge difference between A.M. radio and F.M. radio. A.M. radio could broadcast for miles and miles while F.M. could barely muster the power to transmit more than about a quarter of a mile. However, while the audio quality of music on A.M. radio was very poor, listening to F.M. radio made it feel like you were actually at a concert with the orchestra or band right in front of you.
Many engineers and firms had for years tried to achieve the Holy Grail of audiophile quality music that could cover 2,000 square miles rather than 2 square miles, as the financial implications alone were staggering for the radio industry. Nobody had been able to. So Roger started going to the library at night, on weekends, for months and months, pouring over journals, specs, obstacles, historical attempts, developing his own hypotheses and models, and spending practically every minute of his spare time there. Eventually, he succeeded.
Within a few years, people around the world were listening to audiophile quality music on the radio. Stations popped up everywhere. The airwaves were transformed. Jon remembers this happening, and that suddenly he could listen to Creedence Clearwater, the Beatles, the Temptations, The Who, and others with crispness and clarity that blew away everything that existed beforehand. He had no idea his father was the one that caused this change until, forty years later, at his father’s funeral, his fellow engineers talked about it during his eulogy.
Accurance began the way many things begin, with a story, and this one happens to be a love story. In 1998, Jon saw a photo of a girl who lived 9,000 miles away. As he was looking at the photo, noticing the sweetness of her face and smile, he said to himself, “I could marry that girl.” This comment surprised even him, as he had never said anything like it before.
In true entrepreneurial fashion, Jon brought efficiency to bear with one trip to the Philippines, where he combined two life-changing endeavors: meeting the girl in the photo and starting a multi-country business. His journey was never easy. He was nearly mugged at one point, had to be protected from would-be predators by 90 pound Filipinos (it’s a cultural thing). He drank just a sip of Coca-Cola with ice cubes, and it created instant long-term attachment to the toilet for days. He went 40 days with about 3 showers in regularly 95 degree heat. He communicated – not very successfully for the longest time - with people across multiple towns, villages, cities and islands, who spoke no English. And in all that, he created Accurance.
He built an American best-practices level production and management organization from the ground up with Filipinos that were in no way familiar with what that entailed. Melding tech cultures and languages and (successfully) keeping those problems from affecting the clients was a huge challenge every single day the first few years. Others had tried it in the industry and to this day continue to fail at it- but it was through persistence and a rare ability to create process and order at high levels of sophistication from scratch that Accurance developed into a high-standards publishing services firm that combines that high quality with extremely low prices.
More than half the largest author services firms in the Western World have or presently do use Accurance as their production backbone. All of Accurance’s services get very high marks from clients (presently there have been 3 Google-able complaints out of 70,000 titles produced), and some of them are at a level that industry-knowledgeable pros rate as in the top 5% in the market in terms of quality. Most of Accurance’s publisher clients came from other providers that were not able to handle their high degree of difficulty needs or processes.
The Girl…and More
Jon went to the Philippines not only to start a business, but to find and meet the girl from the photo. It was pre-email, pre-Skype, pre-bandwidth, and pre Internet Café, so much of it was no small trick. Despite these obstacles, Jon did find her, and they started to write one another. They met in both Singapore and the Philippines during his trip. He was right about that smile: this year, they are celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary.
Together, they have one son who is an artist and a basketball point guard. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He is the floor captain on the court, the leader. During one game, he got slammed in the nose by the elbow of a player much bigger than him, and it broke his nose. A foul was called. He went to the foul line, took his shots, made both, and as he got back on defense, running past the elbower, he asked him “That all you got?” Typical Fitch. He played six more games that weekend with the broken nose. Don’t get Jon started or you’ll never hear him stop talking about his son’s basketball or his art.