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MIT Club of Northern California

Entrepreneurship Series

Real Time
Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer

Photo of Regis McKenna

Regis McKenna.
Chairman, The McKenna Group
Palo Alto, California

October 9th, 1997

Regis McKenna is chairman of The McKenna Group in Palo Alto, California. He lectures and conducts seminars on technology marketing and competitiveness throughout the world and has worked with over 300 start-ups, including Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Silicon Graphics, and Genentech. He authored Relationship Marketing and The Regis Touch.

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Photo of Real Time book Imagine a world where space and time is virtual, a world we create on command. Imagine a world where everything we do, from work to education, is clothed as entertainment. A world clouded by technology so subtle and transparent that we have no idea it is there at all. Habits, conscious and unconscious, attitudes, opinions, preferences, expectations, demands, perceptions and needs adapt unwittingly to the immediacy of this environment.

Modern technology is insidiously transforming time and space, capturing the attention of consumers and converting them into active participants in a new market system. Let us for a few moments explore the business and marketplace consequences of compressed time and virtual space. Let us look at the underlying causes, expected and unexpected results of technology-influenced speed. It is a marketplace where traditional concepts of time and space vanish from our frame of reference.

Mr. McKenna is responsible for helping to launch some of the most important technological innovations of the last twenty five years including the first microprocessor (Intel Corporation), the first personal computer (Apple Computer), the first recombinant DNA genetically engineered product (Genentech, Inc.), and the first retail computer store (The Byte Shop). Other first-time technology marketing efforts he participated in include the first commercial laser for retail systems, the first computer local area network, the first electronic spread sheet, the first operating system for personal computers, the first mini super computers and the first desktop publishing systems.

Mr. McKenna has worked with a number of entrepreneurial start-ups during their formation years including: America On Line, Apple, Businessland, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Intel, Linear Technology, Lotus, Microchip, Microsoft, National Semiconductor, Sequent, Silicon Graphics, 3COM, Tandem, and many others.

In the last decade, McKenna has consulted on strategic marketing and business issues to many of the largest technology-based firms in the United States, Japan, and Europe. McKenna continues to be involved in high tech start-up companies through his venture activities. McKenna is a venture partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the largest and most successful venture capital firms in the United States.

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Updated October 11th, 1997

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