A Short History Of Creative Strategies, Inc
Creative Strategies was founded in 1969 by Larry Wells and David Norman. These two men worked together at SRI and had a desire to create a high tech research firm. They wanted it to be a part of SRI, but left the company when they found out SRI was not interested. The two worked together developing the company until 1971 when David Norman left to start Dataquest. Larry Wells continued to help the company grow and in 1974 sold it to Business International, a global business consulting organization who wanted a high tech research arm to supplement their various consulting practices around the world.
Back then, Creative Strategies was well known for their major reports about many technology issues. Their original focus was on the impact of mini-computers on next generation business practices as well as researching areas such as storage mediums, worldwide communications, and international data traffic.
An interesting fact is that not long after Apple introduced the Apple II computer in 1978, a summer intern named Trip Hawkins wrote what became the first study about personal computers. At the time Hawkins was a student at Stanford and worked at Creative Strategies during the school break. That report was read by a young Steve Jobs who challenged Trip’s assumptions. Hawkins asked to meet with Jobs and not long after that meeting, Jobs hired Trip to become the first Director of Market Research at Apple. After Hawkins left Apple, he founded Electronic Arts and has been a pioneer in the PC industry for decades.
In 1981, Creative Strategies’ current president and principal analyst, Tim Bajarin, joined the company and became their first full time PC analyst covering what was the birth of the PC industry. His original project was to work with the IBM PC team and with their staff he studied the trends in retail, business and consumer demand for personal computers. He was also a consultant on the original IBM laptop project that eventually became the ThinkPad brand of portable computers.
During those early years, he also worked on projects for Compaq, HP, Apple, Adobe and Epson as well as Software Publishing and Lotus. Consequently, he was an eyewitness to the birth of the PC industry. He is known for his articles and reports on the evolution of color, desktop publishing and multimedia. In 1984 Business International wanted to close down the Creative Strategies’ San Jose office and move the staff back to New York City where the BI headquarters was located.
The management team at the time, led by Ed Poshkus, did not want to make this move and instead offered to do a leveraged buyout so the company could be independent once again and continue to cover the world of technology from Silicon Valley. Business International agreed and for the next ten years Creative Strategies continued to be a leader in traditional technology related market research.
In 1994, the original partners wanted to either retire or move on so Tim Bajarin took the company from a mainstream market research firm to one that focuses more on high tech strategic services and specialized tech research.