Regis McKenna and the Birth of Marketing for the Technology Industry


(B) Earlier this month, Regis McKenna was interviewed by NY Times journalist John Markoff at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. McKenna talked in this interview about his career, his marketing firm Regis McKenna Inc, the early days of Silicon Valley, and of course marketing for technology products. His book “Who is afraid of Big Blue?” is a great insight to understand how the on-going changes in the computer industry (people, products, technologies, partnerships, standards) provided the foundations to a new generation of start-ups to challenge IBM. In his following book “Relationship Marketing”, he championed marketing as the relationship between products and users, with one dimension into the market, and another one in the technology.

A few interesting quotes from the interview:
“Apple was the only personal computing company to integrate design into its products and leveraged a premium from it”
“Silicon Valley is an attitude (developed from Bill Shockley’s employees spin-offs), not a place”
“Maybe I (Steve Jobs) will develop a product (at NeXt) that Apple will want and buy us back”
“Marketing is moving from humans-to-humans to machine-to-humans”

Note as well that he believes in Facebook’s business and people.


  • Who is afraid of Big Blue? Regis McKenna, Addison Wesley
  • Relationship Marketing, Regis McKenna, Addison Wesley

Note: The picture above is Regis McKenna’s book.

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