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
Thanks for lighting this campfire, Brian.
I remember when we were coming to grips with the decision to close OEM Magazine. Frank took me on a final round of meetings to tell our story to advertisers and hear their stories. He was a trusted guide in a difficult transition.
He would typically start off business meetings by asking everyone to say their name, their job and the elementary school they attended. It was a simple but affective ice breaker, inviting people to show how behind their business-like adult persona a playful kid was still kicking around.
I met and came to know Frank at the AdHoc dinners of Silicon Valley marketers. Frank was like everyone's favorite Uncle -- plenty of wisdom and he told great industry stories, but always with a wink. In other words, don't take any of it too seriously.
The industry was better because of him, and he will be missed. Thanks, Frank
"Life is short. And we have so little time to let those special people in our lives know how much we care."
I remember that article, and I remember e-mailing him about it to thank him. That comment started a major change in the direction of my life spiritually, one which has resulted in improved relationships with my entire family.
Thanks, Frank, we'll miss you.
Frank wrote about adoption maybe a dozen or more years ago when my wife & I were adopting our son. I too wrote to thank him for sharing what he & Barbara went through and how glad they were to have adopted their 3 kids. He wrote back with more encouraging words, and if memory serves, he again said "Life is beautiful indeed." Sunday my son will become an Eagle Scout, and in a small way I will again be grateful to Frank.
Thanks, Brian. Frank's column "About adoption" appeared on June 24, 1996 (I wrote to him in 2003) and ended with his sage advice: "There are children out there waiting to be adopted, waiting to be hugged and loved. Barbara and I recommend it."
Frank was a sweet man, a gentleman, a good editor and a great writer--
We worked together at EE Times for a year, after I left Electronic News in 1987--
My guess he, or Gerry Leeds wanted to learn the recipe for EN's secret sauce--
in 1988 Frank left Gerry/EET and went to Boston to work for Cahners/Electronic Business--
Since i am no longer close to the industry--
who has picked up Frank's pen and continued to make the contribution or have the impact of Frank Burge--or are those days gone forever--
Thank you for this tribute to our dear uncle Frank. All your memories of Frank, really helps the younger generation in the family know how he has impacted so many in the industry. Frank was my husbands uncle, and he requested that we sing Amazing Grace for his memorial. Here's the vid i'd like to share with all of you.
I can't say I was actually "mentored" by Frank, but his wit, intelligence, charm and downright authenticity has inspired me for more than 35 years. I learned a lot about life and integrity from Frank Burge. I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a wonderful human.
I have a million Frank Burge stories. Here's just one:
On my first day at Regis McKenna in 1976, Frank walked into my cubicle and dropped a large box on my desk. It contained binders, papers, magazines (copies of EE Times I'm sure), creative briefs and media schedules. He said, "Here's the Intel account. I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions."
I learned that Frank's filing system consisted of two such boxes. When one gets full, it goes into the trunk of his Volvo, and he starts a new one. When that one gets full, he puts it in the trunk, empties the first and uses it to start over.
He was a man of unprecedented honesty, wit, insight and authenticity. He set an example that inspired me, as I know he has so many others, over all these many years.
So long my dear friend.
Back in the early 80s, EET had a contest giving away a couple of the brand new Macs. I entered and won a Mac. Frank called me and we talked for a bit - what a Mensch.
My 9 year old son dominated and squeezed the stuffings oughta that little box. As a family we've had a lot of Macs. My son, after 7 years at Microsoft, took a position as Graphics lead for the Family and Church History department of the LDS Church. He and his wife both "drive" Macs.
Tothe Burge Family - Thank you so much. God bless