Dwight McCabe

I worked as the marketing person at PCC in the early days, mid 1976to April 1978, starting with PCC newsletter, with DDJ just about to start and the Computer Music Journal coming later. I had worked at Learning magazine for a year as a Assistant Circulation Manager (there was the Circulation Director, I was the assistant), so I knew something about setting up promotional mailings, billing series and renewal series. I think we wrote all our own copy because we couldn't afford outside copywriters. I remember we had phemoninal response rates - the bind in cards sometimes hit 10% (subscriptions from bind-in cards in 10% of sold issues) which testifies to a strong pass along rate. Back in those days, there was the feeling that making money was somehow morally corrupting, so I often felt like I was treated as if I had a scarlet letter branded on my forehead. Everyone else was there for the higher purpose of bringing this revolution in computing, which was barely beginning, to the public, but I was the sleazy marketing guy who was trying to get more money out of our subscribers! Some of that attitude towards money pervades thinking about the Internet today, but that's another discussion. I also was the editor of a book of articles on the future of personal computing, financed by paid ads which annoyed some book reviewers.

We were a small group, crammed together in that small second-floor office space on El Camino in Menlo Park. We were young, high energy but none of us had never run a business before, and so we learned the meaning of cashflow crisis. We discovered with a shock that you can have too much success, that you can grow so fast that you run out of cash. That's because we billed for subscriptions and didn't get paid for a month or two, by which time we were printing so many more issues that we were strapped. It got very stressful, we needed more staff and resources, and being non-profit meant we couldn't raise capital. The world where stock options are common was a couple of decades away. I can still remember fondly many of those I worked with, Theresa and her baby, Daniel (not the baby but with bright red hair and beard), Bob, my assistant Andrea, Meredith Ittner, Jim Warren, and a ton of faces whose names have faded.

I took a magazine job in Seattle in 1978 and have stayed up here at different jobs ever since. I was at Pacific Northwest magazine for 5 years, eventually becoming Associate Publisher. I later started Starbucks Coffees mail order business, when it had just 20 stores, and grew that business to 500,000 customers in 5 years. I've started a couple of less notable businesses, and am now Director of Database Marketing at Onvia, an Internet company which started a B2B exchange and is now building a B2G exchange, helping businesses find work from the government. I've four kids, the oldest just graduated from the University of Washington last week, and the youngest starts kindergarten in the fall (I'm a glutton for punishment).

I've started a couple of less notable businesses, and recently took an exciting ride doing database marketing for a fast-growing and even faster-shrinking internet company. I've four kids, the oldest graduated from the University of Washington, and the youngest in kindergarten (I'm a glutton for punishment).

I'd enjoy hearing from old PCC colleagues. You can reach me at dwight.mccabe@attbi.com.

Dwight McCabe

CONTACT Dwight McCabe
Last Modified: Tue Apr 2 00:42:04 2002