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Get Comfortable with Change

Last week I attended Singularity University’s Executive Program in Silicon Valley. The best way to describe what happened to me after a week of hearing some of the brightest people in tech talk about the future is that they dramatically changed my perspective. Come to find out, I had a very narrow lens through which I viewed the world; they replaced it with a wide angle lens that goes beyond our planet and looks far into the future.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: December 16, 2015


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Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.



By Joe Rickard on Dec 16, 2015

Jennifer: Well said and a good "call to action" for our industry.


By Jennifer Matt on Dec 16, 2015


As I was sitting in these classes last week, I was thinking about walking around Graph Expo this year and nothing much looked different from 10 years ago, yet so MUCH has changed in 10 years. Software was still relegated to the corners of the show. We are kidding ourselves if we think that we can continue to act like nothing has changed around us.

My most important message is to user groups, associations, and trade shows - START offering content that brings printers into the 21st century. Nobody gets to stay in their comfort zone if they want to remain relevant in the information age.



By Paul Dombrowski on Dec 16, 2015


Your writing and message is spot on. This year I've met and worked with over 50 printers in the US and Europe and the most successful are the best data processors.

Paul Dombrowski


By Jerry Scher on Dec 16, 2015

Jennifer - you are absolutely right on...

"Computing power is fueling the exponential growth in many other sectors that will impact every single industry, every single company, and every single job"


By Jennifer Matt on Dec 16, 2015

Jerry and Paul,

Thanks for your input, the more voices the better.



By Robert Godwin on Dec 17, 2015

Many of the things that have not changed, did not for good reason: they work. Why fix what works? The pruning of the print industry left a smaller, healthier industry. Automation has reduced cost through manufacturing efficiencies in file prep, print process, bindery and logistics. W2P has reduced the cost of sales and increased geographic reach. Those who have adopted and support these technology solutions are doing well. Those who haven’t primarily serve more complex, custom work (which is a much smaller part of the market than it was 10 years ago.).
The industry has changed what was needed to hone its relevancy. It supports the markets that allocate budget to those products that can be used effectively. Is more change needed? As the market commands, print will continue to respond.


By Jennifer Matt on Dec 17, 2015


Is more change needed? ABSOLUTELY. We are a slow moving industry living in a world of technologies that is improving at exponential speeds.

The last thing I want anyone reading this article to think is, "if I've implemented operational improvements and web-to-print, I'm good - no more change is needed."



By Robert Godwin on Dec 18, 2015

Sure change is needed, but only when it is needed. Identifying that need is the issue. I have been more than one shop that has a 40 year old Heidelberg die cutter. Not sure that needs to change in some cases.

What would drive the change is tracking the profitability of the equipment in use. Many shops simply do not do that level of granular data capture. Indeed, some shops don't need it. If they are still in business next year, they were right.


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