For over a decade starting in the late 1980s, I pursued the vision of creating a complete reference for an important area of law practice, designed from the ground up for dissemination on CD-ROM. The field of this dream was Social Security law. The journey to its realization was arduous. This was due, in part, to the rapidly changing technical environment, but even more it was the result of seismic shifts then occurring within law publishing, print and electronic. As I observed in a much later article which drew upon the experience, the project “provided ... a bruising education in the shifting priorities and fortunes and consequent turbulence within the commercial legal information sector.” This account covers that dimension of the experience as well as the project’s technical and conceptual challenges. It leaves for another telling the effect of the lessons learned on the establishment and early history of the Legal Information Institute upon which they had great influence.