My personal Burge remembrance came after I was named publisher of EE Times. I asked him, Steve Weitzner and Girish Mhatre--each former publishers of EE Times--for advice. Burge told me "wear a tie every day. It'll show you mean business."
I hadn't wore a tie regularly for 20 years, but what the heck? After my first week in the new job, a colleague walked up and said "what's with the tie? You just got a new job. You interviewing for another one?"
So the direct advice flopped, but it got me thinking (which was probably Frank's point) about how perception is extremely important even when you don't want it to be.
Brian, great tribute to Frank, a terrific guy, an amazing wit and possessed of a contagious energy. You could not be reclusive around Frank as his charm made you want to engage. I'll toast him tonight and remember the many times he inspired me.
I am lucky to have known Frank. I knew him in a professional capacity and one thing that marked him as special -- and a lesson for us all -- is that he always, always had his priorities right. Frank reminded me that what matters in life are family, friends, and personal relationships. The job is important but it's secondary. Frank always focused on people. I’ll cherish his warmth, his humor, his sparkling joy for life.
I first met Frank through the Silicon Valley Marketing Council that he chaired. The council brought together many of the marketing leaders in our industry and the conversations were spirited, informative and often eye-opening!
Through these meetings, and separate discussions with Frank, I realized that as marketers in High-Tech, the role we have is bigger than we think it is. Our role is to use marketing and branding in new and innovative ways, making a difference for our companies, to our industry via the media who support us.
Thank you for Frank for inspiring us to think bigger…
As editor at Electronic Business Asia in Hong Kong in the early 90s,I spent several years adapting Frank's columns to fit our publication. Many of his best pieces started with a conversation with his barber. Whether fanciful or real conversations, Frank tackled difficult business and engineering questions and delivered a story that held your attention and, often helped you consider things from a different angle, and in the end, made you feel good whether or not you agreed with his conclusion. Frank was a real storyteller. He was an original. He will be missed.
Frank's great strength was he loved people and life in equal measure, he was a terrific sounding board on all aspects of business and would tell you things you didn't want to hear. I was lucky enough to have lunch with Frank this year at his beloved Pedro's in Los Gatos and as usual I left a little wiser and calmer, he will be missed.
Some more Burge stories:
I remember my first EETimes sales meeting in the Fall of 1985 @Electro in Boston. Frank had run a summer sales contest for the ad "display reps" and he was handing out wads of cash to the winners. The sales meeting went on all day followed by some tedious dinner. After the dinner broke up and we got back to the hotel, I looked at my new boss(John Griffin) and said "where can I go to grab a beer in this hotel where I could sit down and not have to talk to any CMP managers". He pointed to the piano bar, smiled and said "Try that place" so I walked in and saw Frank singing with the piano player and getting the crowd involved. I tried to sneak out but he saw me, invited me over and there I sat, singing old show tunes with Frank until 2am