Boy Has the Printing Industry Changed Over the Years

Not long ago, I got a ride from a rent-a-car agency back to my car, and the older gentleman giving me the ride was a part-time employee, only working a couple of days a week, supplemental income, giving him something to do between his hobbies, and social life in retirement. He lives comfortably in a high-end retirement community and we got to talking about days gone by. You see, he’d owned a printing company, making “business forms” in the Southern California area in the 70s and 80s.Perhaps you recall all those business forms, and memos with the carbon copies? Hardly anyone uses carbon anymore, although there are a few companies which do. Interestingly enough the Rent-A-Car company that I had rented the car from still used carbon copies. He told me stories how he grew his company due to the fact that he was able to do a very fast turnaround. Interestingly enough, not more than a week later I talked to another gentleman who would also been in the same industry. Indeed, I asked him a similar set of questions such as;What sort of industries did you serve?Did you supply Government Agencies, Corporate, or just anyone who needed anything, with an army of printing brokers in tow?The interesting thing is; the second gentleman I talked with had come along with the new technology entering the digital phase of the printing industry, just as the other gentleman was reading the writing on the walls, realizing that he needed to sell his company and retire before the new innovations took over the sector. This is the natural progression and evolution which occurs throughout the free-market system.Many believe this is disruptive, and it costs jobs, but it also brings technological advances, more efficiency, and lower costs. We should relish in the fact that we are able to so quickly move with new divergent technologies, as it acts as an adrenaline shot to the forward progression of our nation and economy. I asked the second gentleman;You certainly must have had the speed advantage, yes, that was a revolutionary time for the industry? 80s? Of course by the 90s hell, Word Perfect and personal printers, game over I guess?It turns out the second gentleman had a similar experience as the technology was changing once again. Soon, everyone would have home printers, peripherals, fax machines, and the printing industry would go through its next revolutionary change 10 years later. HP saw that one didn’t they? You know, it seems the every 10 years rule holds true in a good many industries, especially when those industries are blindsided by another industry which brings technology into their realm, completely disrupting the status quo and the market incumbents.Rule number one: the world changes.Now then, I did meet some of the founders of PIP once, what a fascinating industry. Some of those original Xerox machines cost much more than a luxury home back then. I read a book on the sales strategies of Xerox back then selling those machines, w/service contracts, GE apparently borrowed that model too for many of their divisions, mostly medical devices.New selling strategies, bundling strategies, marketing strategies, and technology are all part of both incremental gains and paradigm shifts. Now then, my question is to you;”Are You Ready for the Future?”Indeed, I hope you have a plan, and I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.