Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:   Printing Outlook 2020   WhatTheyThink Magazine     Production Inkjet     Installations and Placements Tracker

Frank on Industry Predictions from the 90s

Published on August 30, 2019

Frank talks about two studies from the 1990s that attempted to predict the future of the printing industry. He predicts that predicting the future is not easy.

         Email Icon Email    Reprint Icon Embed/Reprint

 

Discussion

By Cary Sherburne on Aug 30, 2019

Great recap, Frank! Your story about the Spontane was right on the mark. Going back even further, the same thing happened with the Xerox DocuTech ... printers said their customers would never accept the quality, yet it ultimately decimated b&w offset, especially in tech doc at the time. Lessons learned! Take heed!

 

By Frank Romano on Aug 30, 2019

Thank you and Happy Birthday

 

By Werner Rebsamen on Aug 30, 2019

Frank - great comments! 1978, you and I predicted the POD future, yet nobody did listen to us. That particular year, I presented such a prediction to a Binders convention in Colonial Williamsburg. The next year, 1979, the president of that organization said my prediction did not come along!
1982, I bought my first Apple computer with 48K - at that time, the state of the art technology! We have come a long way. Printing and binding one book at a time are today such exiting endeavors.

 

By Bryan Gordon on Aug 30, 2019

Frank, you are right, if you only use information from printing trade associations, you may not want to make big capital investments in your printing company. Talking to end users, possibly the marketing folks at larger companies that consume printed products would be good balance.

I have a lot of letterpress artifacts in my garage that my kids have no idea what they are good for. I wonder I my grandkids will recognize a litho plate someday? Will Nanography and ink jet have most of the market share in 2030? Whoa, it is hard to predict the future in printing.

 

By Raymond Prince on Aug 30, 2019

Predicting in this industry it difficult as it is in most industries. Keeping your eye on the pulse is easy. Talking with customers and attending the major trade shows and prowling all those little booths can open your eyes to what may be coming. Good piece Frank.

 

By Dennis Mason on Aug 30, 2019

Yogi Berra said it all: "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."

 

By Graham Judd on Aug 30, 2019

I remember around 1967, the foreman of our printing company (in New Zealand) saying "one day in the future you will take a pile of paper, zap it somehow from the top and it will print the whole pile right through from top to bottom". Looking back I think he was quite prophetic in his thinking, this could happen one day, in our lifetime!

 

By Muhd Yusuf on Aug 31, 2019

"...to look beyond where we are" (Romano, 2019)

 

By Eddy Hagen on Sep 01, 2019

Very valid points Frank.

The biggest influences (or often: dangers) come from outside the industry. You correctly mentioned the internet, mobile internet (on a userfriendly handheld device) was even more disruptive.

Predicting where the industry as a whole will go to is already difficult, predicting 'numbers' (think: CAGR and market shares for different technologies) is even more difficult. And tricky. I've seen comparisons that are just invalid. E.g. the cross over between different technologies (yes: digital vs offset). For over a decade I saw the same graph, as if offset wasn't changing. When the first version of that graph was created, the time needed for a job change on an offset press was 45 minutes to 1 hour. The last time I saw that graph, it was only a few minutes. But the figures for offset in that graph hadn't changed... Making it completely unreliable. And very deceptive.

It will always be very difficult to predict the future. The only way to have something a bit reliable is, like you and others already said, to go outside the industry (whether it is printing or any other industry) and listen to customers, see what people in general are doing and what their concerns are, see what kids are doing and what they like doing. But even then, it could go in a completely different direction…

CEOs, VPs, managers should make it a part of their schedule to keep up with developments, both market and technology. Not once ever few years, but on a regular basis.

 

By David Avery on Sep 17, 2019

I think I need to re-read my copy of Print 2020!!!!

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: King of On-Demand Book Printing

King of On-Demand Book Printing

Published: February 21, 2020

Frank interviews Tom Campbell of King Printing in Lowell, Mass. King has been a pioneer in short-run book printing and now provides a major service for publishers big and small. Campbell discusses the trends in book printing and publishing today.

 

Video preview: Owner of FASTSIGNS Forest Hills. N.Y., Talks About his FASTSIGNS Conversion

Owner of FASTSIGNS Forest Hills. N.Y., Talks About his FASTSIGNS Conversion

Published: February 20, 2020

Mohamed Kazi, Owner of FASTSIGNS Forest Hills, N.Y., talks about his recent FASTSIGNS conversion. After coming to the US from India, Kazi started in the sign industry in 1998 and launched his own business in 2007. He recently decided to convert his sign business to a FASTSIGNS as a way to take advantage of the franchise’s marketing and sales training resources to better complement his own technical and production capabilities.

 

Video preview: Temple, Tex.’s Paper Graphics Reaps Rewards with FASTSIGNS Co-Brand Program

Temple, Tex.’s Paper Graphics Reaps Rewards with FASTSIGNS Co-Brand Program

Published: February 19, 2020

Dennis Smith is owner of both FASTSIGNS of Temple, Tex., and Paper Graphics, a commercial print business founded in 1972. Five or six years ago, as the commercial print business started growing stagnant, Smith researched FASTSIGNS’ Co-Brand program. He chose to become a FASTSIGNS franchise rather than add his own wide-format printing equipment in order to take advantage of the franchise’s training and its brand recognition.

 

Video preview: Warren Werbitt Says,

Warren Werbitt Says, "Everything Is Printed!"

Published: February 19, 2020

WhatTheyThink print evangelist Warren Werbitt is sick and tired of hearing people, especially people in the industry, say that “print is dead.” Look around: print is everywhere. It’s changing, but it's anything but dead. As a result, printers need to promote print. Your assignment: tell Warren what you do to promote print communications.

 

Video preview: All Flags Signs and Banners Leverages EFI Inkjet and Other Technologies for Double Digit Growth

All Flags Signs and Banners Leverages EFI Inkjet and Other Technologies for Double Digit Growth

Published: February 18, 2020

Peter Wagner, Managing Director of Australia-based All Flags Signs and Banners, explains how his company has gone from needing four people over three weeks to produce 400 banners in 1998, to its capacity today to output 54,000 square meters of printed media today with its fleet of EFI VUTEk printers. The company serves a large portion of the Asia Pacific region with flags, banners, branding for sporting events, vehicle wraps, carpets, and more.

 

Video preview: Subscription in the Print Industry? You Betcha

Subscription in the Print Industry? You Betcha

Published: February 17, 2020

The world is rapidly shifting from products to services with subscription pricing models. Nick Gawreluk explains what is driving the subscription economy and how subscriptions are coming to the printing industry.

 

View More Videos

 





Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2020 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved