McNealy Marketing

Interesting piece from Stephen Shankland at Cnet on “McNealy marketing” — Like father, like Sun. I love the term, “McNealy marketing,” I must say. Great fun.

A few years ago when I was in corporate marketing, I remember a meeting when we were going over the launch speeches for the execs. It was a late Friday afternoon, and I wanted to get out of there. But we still had over a hundred slides pasted on the wall — which is several dozen too many. It was a mess. Then, out of the blue, McNealy walked in with his hands stuffed in his pockets. He cruised up to the wall filled with slide print-outs and started asking questions — which we couldn’t answer very well, I might add. The details aren’t important (because I can’t remember them), but to me it became apparent right away that the best marketer in the room was the Chairman and CEO of the company. The guy walking around in sneakers and jeans. He asked pointed (and painful) questions to focus us around the needs of customers who would be buying these fancy new systems we just built. It was massively helpful because within minutes we dumped dozens of slides. We focused. Marketing made simple. It was a fascinating experience for me about cutting through the BS.