Bob Smith: When PAR first got started, the majority of the products we sold were developed externally by authors and sent to us for publication consideration. If we accepted a product, we would provide editorial and production assistance and then market the product. As the company grew, so did our ability to provide a collaborative, internal system of developing products. Today, we internally develop most of our test products in collaboration with outside authors.
Bob Smith: It’s much more expensive now to develop tests than it was in 1977. Unfortunately, the potential revenue doesn’t support the development of some good products today. And because it is so expensive to develop most new tests and because our staff has great test development expertise, we most often develop tests in collaboration with external authors.
Bob Smith: Typically, it takes 3-5 years to develop a test from its conceptual stage to a finished product.
Cathy Smith: We presently have over 40 tests and new software products in development.
Bob Smith: I strongly disagree with the current philosophy that all information on the Internet was intended to be free to share. It costs a significant amount of money to develop a product.
Bob Smith: Thankfully, no. We’re in an industry where the sale of our products is restricted to those who have certain qualifications as well as the training to use our tests. In addition, the tests are supposed to be kept secure. People in our industry understand that a stolen test could completely invalidate its use. So stealing is not nearly as prevalent as it is in other industries, at least not yet.
Cathy Smith: We are very careful about whom we sell our tests to and how our tests are distributed.
Bob Smith: In addition to having the copyright notice on all our tests, we also print a warning on our tests that states that if this test is not printed in a specific color of ink on white paper, then it’s an illegal copy.
Bob Smith: Yes. And we follow up on every one that is reported to us. Sometimes we even have to notify the head of an organization that one of their employees is illegally reproducing our tests.