No matter how many follow in his footsteps, few PC advocates will earn the respect Jim Seymour did. Seymour passed away on Wednesday in Texas after a brief illness, leaving a wife and son. His intonations no longer will grace industry publications, Web sites and bookstores around the world.
In retrospect, we were lucky someone like Jim came along in the first place.
Were proud to note that Jim Seymour first rose to prominence as a columnist for PC Week. Though he wasnt discovered in time for the publications launch in February 1984, he appeared soon thereafter, and for years stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Peter Norton, week after week, as the compelling voice of “micro managers” on the fast track to power in corporate America.
Back then, PC titans like IBM, Compaq and Microsoft typically viewed PC Week as a hard-hitting newsbreaker, but beleaguered IT readers (they were in “MIS” back then) cared much more for the empathetic, empowering insight that Jim Seymour provided. Seymour wrote with astonishing clarity. He was as technical as they came, yet he managed to convey his PC Week thoughts bereft of jargon, with humor, and always in context with how PCs solved business problems. It was no accident his column was called The Corporate PC.
In PC Magazine, Seymour deftly shifted gears and showcased his love of technology. Different publication. Different mission. Same Seymour writing brilliance. The readers loved his passion. His wit. His trademark sentence fragments.
We loved working with him. He always spoke his mind. We looked up to him, and we will miss him — just like the millions who read him.
Sam Whitmore is founder and editor of Sam Whitmores Media Survey and former Editor in Chief of PC Week.