Just over five years ago I interviewed for a job with a fellow named Bill Curtis at a company called Curtco Freedom Group. Curtco was a small, entrepreneurial magazine publishing company, and Curtis was looking for editors for two new magazines he planned to launch. One was to be called Portable Computing Direct Shopper. The other was Sales & Field Force Automation.
Bill seemed to think that I'd be the right guy for SFFA: I'd written for several magazines targeted to resellers of various kinds and had just come off a long stint as editor of Presentations magazine. I wasn't sure I understood where he was going with this concept, but it sounded more interesting than Portable Computing, so I accepted the job.
Bill always has had a talent for picking up-and-coming technology topics. SFFA was in the right place at the right time and was an instant hit in the then-emerging field of sales automation.
Three years later it became obvious that the marketplace was shifting from a narrow focus on sales automation to a more comprehensive approach to customer acquisition and retention, and that the Internet was becoming the enabling communication channel of choice that really did change everything. We responded by changing the name of the magazine to CRM: Customer Relationship Management. Again, right place, right time.
SFFA and later CRM magazines spawned other, related magazines, Web sites, a conference and now even a consulting division.
Other changes have taken place along the way. Bill Curtis sold his interest in the company a few years ago; it's now Freedom Technology Media Group. Every other magazine we published when I first came to work here is gone as the company has shifted its direction from consumer electronics to B2B publishing.
The year 2001 has brought more than its share of challenges, and CRM magazine will no doubt continue to adapt to serve the changing needs of its readers and its marketplace.
However, this will be my last column as editor. Like many companies, FTMG has faced some tough decisions, and one of those decisions was to consolidate operations at our New York offices. My own roots are in California, though, and I've elected not to relocate. A new editor-in fact, a whole new staff-will be coming on board. I know some of the candidates, at least by reputation, and I'm confident they'll serve you and the magazine well.
By the time you read this our Malibu office will be closed and the staff I've worked with will have dispersed. I'm not going to list them all here because I'd be sure to leave someone out, but I do want to thank them all for their dedication and hard work.
My best wishes to all of you.
--Larry Tuck, Editor