>> When PA-based Black Box bought CA-based MENU
Small correction: MENU was based in Colorado, not California. Though I would love to know how MENU compiled their product databases, none of the old-time Black Box personnel with whom I'm still in touch did anything beyond producing the resulting directories. If any MENU people other than their former owner (?) -- whose contact info I don't have, even if he's still alive -- came to work at Black Box HQ, I don't know of them.
> Thanks for info
Sure. I was curious, and it was a good opportunity to reconnect with some folks.
> and is worth reading.
Not so sure about that one. ;-)
> It's too bad that probably a lot more info
> that could be found was put to a halt just to keep
> expenses from overtaking future potential revenue.
Yeah, if Black Box had allowed its catalog team -- which went on to win an unprecedented number of Catalog of the Year awards from the CATALOG AGE trade magazine -- to keep doing work for hire, it would've been poised to become a major third-party catalog production house. Unfortunately, the management shortsightedness that led to the company's long decline was just beginning at the point when the MENU guides were released, and the opportunity was lost. (Black Box was, nevertheless, on the verge of breaking into the Fortune 1000 when the tech bubble burst in 2000, which severely hurt its business; our rival-backstabbing and option-backdating jerk of a CEO, who was convinced that the Internet was "just a fad" -- costing us a lot more business -- went on to roll up a lot of local cable and network-equipment installers to assemble a services arm for the company, but that didn't help in the long run. Black Box stock, which traded above $44.00 as recently as 2007, is now trading at $2.95.)