25 years ago… I had an idea. Inspired by my beginnings in Silicon Valley which began on the electronics assembly line at Systems Industries and then to the launch of my career in marketing at Tandem Computers. Eager to explore new horizons beyond the Valley, I moved to Southern California where the scale of everything seemed so big. Instant communities with hundreds of palm trees appeared to rise over night. The allure of Newport Beach with its beautiful views, homes and business community – all right by the beach — was awesome. The entrepreneurial spirit was thriving in the 80s in Orange County. This was well before the region became known as the ‘OC.’ I quickly found that my Silicon Valley roots were a coveted asset by these Southern California tech companies who were equally influenced by the tech successes in the Valley as they were the real estate moguls in the region who built big and lived even bigger.
I missed tech and welcomed the opportunity to practice my craft at this different breed of enterprise. So it began… trade shows and travel, launches, brochures, promotions and news releases. Comdex, PC Expo, DAC and more. I was on the start-up fast track, jumping into small companies who had a new way to do things and they needed help telling the world what they have. The thrill of bringing new ideas to market was intoxicating and my first hand experiences clearly pointed to PR as the marketing element that had the most impact for these start-ups. Negotiating press coverage, staging launches, press tours…it was a magnet for my energy.
I had idea. Why not become an entrepreneur myself and set-up shop offering my high tech marketing and PR expertise to multiple start-ups? I took on the mindset of the entrepreneurs I had worked with and thought, ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen?’ Like so many before me, I really couldn’t think of anything that should stop me from giving it a go. With the encouragement from an exec who was once my boss, I took the back room in our tiny place in Corona del Mar and fired-up my PC and got to work. 1988 — first client – two young engineers with their idea. David Silver and Dean Hough, left FileNet to start their own document imaging company and called it Kofax Image Products. This was a perfect match. First products hit the market the next year and Kofax was off and running …and so was Lages & Associates.