Mark Prado founded
PERMANENT in 1985 when he was a
physicist in the Washington, D.C., region working for the Pentagon in
advanced planning for the space program.
A few years later, having come to understand the nature of government from direct experience, and that space resources should not be pursued by governments but should be done multinationally, and most rapidly by the private sector at a much lower cost, Mark resigned his full-time space job and became an I.T. and internet pioneer to network private researchers, long before internet became trendy. Due to demand, substantial income came from various pioneering projects in I.T. project management across countries.
In 1994, he traveled in association with USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) to Bangkok, Thailand, where the Asia Regional Office is headquartered. Although that association ended in 1995, and though he has traveled to nearly every country in Asia, he currently resides in Bangkok, albeit a suburb.
From 1995 until 1998, Mark took a break (from the constant interruptions and distractions of Washington D.C.) to focus on PERMANENT research, develop the PERMANENT website, and write the PERMANENT book. It was hoped that the website and the book would reach a global audience and at least one philanthropic investor would come in from somewhere. Mark gambled on this, instead of returning to the US and developing an internet based business of his own. That proved to be the wrong gamble. No investor came forth.
Mark also consulted with many engineering and construction multinationals (mainly Australian and British) in Thailand building highrises and factories starting in 1995, mainly in I.T. for project management, setting up engineering workstations for design and analysis, and various other things, including troubleshooting electrical systems in factories and other places… which was all very good experience for an eventual PERMANENT engineering project between multiple contractors in the future.
The 1997 Asia Economic Crash, which started in Thailand due to massive overbuilding and supply, put an end to most of that, so Mark had more time on his hands and lived largely off of savings. After publishing the PERMANENT book in 1998, Mark continued to develop the website into 1999 until finally the money ran out, despite fundraising efforts (including mailing books to potential philanthropic investors).
The lack of any philanthropic investor coming forward after all that investment in time, money, and opportunity loss otherwise, was the “dot com” bust for PERMANENT.
Mark went back to work and developed a real estate business, based on his experience with property developers during his engineering and construction consulting years. You can see this business today at kkBkk.com (Knock Knock BangKoK, being that Bangkok is known in slang by its airport code BKK, so K K BKK). This is what funds PERMANENT. The company is now Prado Property Co., Ltd., a real estate brokerage.