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Pat Macri Remembers, Chapter 2Onward, Upward, and Sideways:


Pat Macri Illustration

Flush from the successful achievement of that glorious night at the awards presentation, I knew my life’s perspective would quickly change. It was the same feeling I had when I was 5 years old, after watching The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time. Something sparked inside me and I knew things would be different from this day forward.

Once the afterglow of that event subsided, I turned my attention to figuring out how this new medium could be re-engineered and marketed. Truth be told, I got lucky that my “Rube Goldberg” interactive presentation went off with nary a hitch. It was acceptable to test drive this in a non-commercial setting, but if I was going to market this as a bona fide service, I needed to work out some of the production and delivery bugs. As I pondered how I would do this, the answer suddenly became clear: Go back to school.

As it would happen, an ad club friend of mine was a professor at a state university on Long Island. We had begun discussing interactive media and the potential impact on the business world several months before my award ceremony event. He was very intrigued with my perspectives and as such, he decided to write his thesis on this topic. During these early conversations, he began assembling an “interactive media test kitchen” at the school. Once completed, we both began to play and experiment in “his sandbox.” It was at this point that he introduced me to a software product that would change my life. It was called “Director” and it came from a company called Macromind. It was one of the first interactive scripting programs for the Mac and it had the capability of exporting the final product onto a new medium called CD-ROM.

So, the bait was in the mouth and I started to swim furiously with it, talking to everyone I knew about this new medium and what it would do to the world of marketing. Lots of enthusiasm bubbled up to the surface but no one wanted to take a chance on this technology just yet, including my business partners who politely told me to put down my new toy and get back to basics. “We believe this is yet another fad that will come and go, as others had,” noted the eldest of my partners, “and that you should stop dabbling with this stuff as we are not supporting it as one of our business services.” You know that bait in my mouth? Well the line attached to it just jerked me backwards at that point, and I could feel it trying to reel me back in. And then it struck me, I had more of an opportunity taking this show on the road than trying to market it within my own business, where the skeptical nature of some of the partners was on full display.

I thought to myself, “Now what?” as I struggled to contemplate what this meant. Could I give up what I knew was going to be a game changer, for the security of returning to the old ways of doing business? Or was I going to leave that comfortably numb zone of a steady paycheck and take that step off into the abyss like a blind entrepreneurial madman.

  See Pat Macri Remembers Part 1
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