I help CEOs tell their stories in the earliest phases, and I write thought leadership books for tech disruptors.
How I got into this line of work is a long story, but with what I’m selling, I’m supposed to be good at storytelling.
It all started early in 2nd grade. I wrote an essay on How I Spent My Summer Vacation. I described the excitement of busting broncos on a Texas ranch, when in fact, I had been reading comics in my backyard. Mrs. Gregory caught me and made me stay after school.
It taught me a valuable lifelong lesson: Stick to nonfiction writing. I’ve done so ever since.
Later, I earned degrees in journalism and public communications and became a general staff reporter for a suburban Boston newspaper. I was good, but over time, I grew tired of interviews with sewer commissioners and in-depth reporting on horticultural competitions. I got a job in state government and wrote a couple of speeches for the governor.
But I soon learned that a State House is no place for a nonfiction writer.
Restless and directionless, I invested in a new Toyota Corolla and drove west in search of myself. I didn’t find me, but I did discover San Francisco, where I settled in and started a new career as a taxi driver. In my spare time, I also started freelancing mostly for San Francisco Magazine.
It was while covering a company Christmas party in 1979 that I first experienced the blinding light that was Steve Jobs, who was the guest speaker.
Jobs wore Birkenstocks and talked about how computers would change the world. I was mesmerized. I followed him out into the rainy December night telling him that he had given meaning to my life, that I wanted to join his crusade.
He sent me to his PR agency, Regis McKenna, Inc., (RMI). I got hired but worked only peripherally on Apple. However, it did get me backstage at the Mac launch. For me, that experience was better than being backstage at a Stones conference.
Eventually, I was assigned to manage the Sun Microsystems account. It was my first startup and I loved everything about it. Startups became my second love and have remained so ever since.
Eventually, I started SIPR, my own Silicon Valley agency, which I ran for 17 years. We specialized in launches for Internet startups and did quite well. Eventually, I sold it to Ketchum PR and spent several years writing about disruptive technologies for publications such as Forbes, BusinessInsider and FastCompany, but what I am best known for is writing seven critically acclaimed tech-business books.