Startup Marketing Lab Next Monday at SDForum Marketing SIG

I have been invited to take part in a “Startup Marketing Lab” next Monday at a joint session of the SDForum Marketing and Startup SIG’s. Four companies with “a tiny marketing budget” want to get “best use of their marketing.” They have ideas for how to market “but want to get some second or third opinions from other experienced marketers.” I will be joining two “experienced marketeers” dispensing advice:

I have been asked to make my feedback “directly actionable and appropriate for a small budget” which I have assured the organizers is all that the bootstrapping start-ups we normally work with will tolerate. There will be four companies presenting and it should make for an interesting evening.

The event is at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary LLP on 2000 University Ave., East Palo Alto, CA 94303

Registration and Networking start at 6:30 and the formal program begins at 7pm, with four companies presenting the program will run to 8:45PM. It’s free for SDForum Members and $15 for non-members.

A sad postscript: I learned late today that Barbara Cass, who retired as the volunteer coordinator at SDForum last December after more than two decades of service (starting with the original Software Entrepreneurs forum that subsequently merged with the Center for Software Engineering to form the Software Development Forum) passed away yesterday. I had the pleasure of first meeting Barbara in the early 90’s when I started attending the old Software Entrepreneur’s Forum meetings that were held at the old Palo Alto Elks club. I was immediately impressed at her charm and efficiency in “herding cats,” keeping a roomful of technologists organized and on track. She was the reason that I got involved in reviving the SDForum Marketing SIG in 2005/6. She had a strong sense of the traditions and values that have enabled the SDForum to continue providing value to it’s members over more than two decades of technology evolution and revolution in Silicon Valley.

More on Barbara Cass: SDForum has posted a remembrance page at

According to her wishes, no services were held. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Oncology Department, attention Philanthropy, 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

July-24-2008 obituary in The Almanac: Barbara Cass created software entrepreneurs forum

Barbara Cass, a longtime Ladera resident who had a second career as executive director of software industry groups, died at her home July 8 of pancreatic cancer.

Her volunteer work at the Resource Center for Women in Palo Alto, where she counseled women re-entering the job market, sparked her interest in the fledgling computer industry. She eventually became an executive in several nonprofit associations in that industry, said Tom Cass, her husband.

Ms. Cass helped form Software Entrepreneur’s Forum (SEF), where software engineers and entrepreneurs exchanged ideas during monthly dinners. She became executive director of the forum in 1984 and started inviting industry luminaries to speak. She was named to the “MicroTimes 100” several times in the 1990s.

In 1998, SEF and the city of San Jose’s Center of Software Development joined forces and became SDForum, a merger that was one of the proudest moments of her career, she had said. That same year, she helped create the prestigious annual Visionary Awards, which recognize the successes of luminaries in the technology field.

Ms. Cass retired last December as a result of her illness.

Born in San Francisco, Ms. Cass graduated from Lowell High School at age 16 and graduated from the University of California.

She married Tom Cass, whom she met while at Berkeley, a month after graduation. They lived in Washington, D.C., while her husband was in the U.S. Navy, then returned to Berkeley, and later lived in Paris while Mr. Cass completed postdoctoral studies.

Ms. Cass, a nursery school teacher during the early years of her marriage, later stayed at home to raise her young children. When the family relocated to California in 1970, she was guided to Ladera by her aunt Fanita Stendell, then secretary of Ladera School.

Ms. Cass became active as a parent volunteer at Ladera School. When her children were older, she began volunteering at the Resource Center for Women/Career Action Center in Palo Alto.

Her husband said her skills as a homemaker carried over into her professional life. She had a way of making everyone feel comfortable and welcome, he said, and as a hostess, she was always ready to accommodate one more.

Ms. Cass is survived by her husband of 49 years, Tom Cass; her mother, Norma Stendell of San Jose; a son, Peter Cass of Menlo Park; a daughter, Carin Zimmerman of San Francisco; and three granddaughters.

According to her wishes, no services were held.

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  1. Pingback: SKMurphy » Suggestions From The Marketing Lab Monday July 14 at SDForum

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