Earlier this month, WhatTheyThink's Cary Sherburne filed one of the most insightful reports that I've ever seen on the hardships of running a small printing business in tough economic times. Her two-part series, "The Rise and Fall of Mallard Press," was unusual in being based on an interview with the owner just days after the shutdown of the company. Sherburne—the winner of this year's Tom McMillan Editor Award for Journalistic Excellence—persuaded Mallard's Bob Gay to describe the downfall of his once-thriving business with remarkable frankness. The result is a cautionary post-mortem that should be read by every print company owner trying to steer his or her business through the hazards that brought Mallard down. Part one is Gay's analysis of what went wrong and how he attempted to respond. In part two, he speculates about what might have happened if his strategy had been different. In both segments, the candor and the courage of an embattled print business owner come shining through. Mallard Press wasn't a large firm: at its peak, it had revenues of $5 million and employed about 25 people. But, the lessons of its closure couldn't loom larger than they do in these still-perilous days for print firms of every size. Please read the interviews and post here about the take-aways for your printing business.