I thought it appropriate for the first post to WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging to be an interview with the founder of WhatTheyThink.com, Randy Davidson to get his thoughts on the new venture. So on a snowy Saturday morning with a fresh cup of coffee in front of me, Randy and I had a chat.

WhatTheyThink was started in 2000 in the dot com boom times. At that time the way most executives got their information was monthly when the trade publications came out and made it to their desks. Randy recalls, “We wanted to create an information tool that got critical information to executives on a daily basis rather than monthly, and the industry responded very favorably.” Being born in the “information age” WTT carved a niche that now includes over 30,000 subscribers around the world and the site gets millions of page views every year. “Our niche is to reach the executives in the boardrooms giving them analysis and economic news from some of the best minds in the industry” says Randy, “we are focused on providing business information to executives and let the traditional media focus on technical news where they are really good.”

It didn't take long for my questions to shift to the new Labels & Packaging initiative and when I asked about that Randy reminded me of work I had done for WhatTheyThink in 2007 helping their executive team understand the packaging marketplace. “You gave us a great deal to think about back then but the timing was not right for us. Since that time many in our existing community have asked us to expand to the packaging world and now is the right time for us to launch a rigorous effort into Labels and Packaging.”  That lead me to ask a very selfish question, “So how did you come to ask Karstedt Partners to be the face of your packaging effort?” The answer Randy gave brought a smile to my face as I wrote it down, he said “Kevin, as we worked through the decision we asked around the industry and almost in harmony those we asked said that Karstedt Partners were the guys to do this with.” Then he listed off some of those that are part of their editorial stable including Dr. Joe Webb, Frank Romano, Cary Sherburne, Andrew Tribute and others and I felt honored to be included in their company. He concluded, “We need to create an environment that benefits our readers, sponsors and partners. To do that we need to build an ‘all star team’ and we feel Karstedt Partners is the best group to lead that team.” 

The vision Randy outlined for WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging “is to create a thriving and important read for those looking to make money in the sector. This will include daily news, videos, expert analysis from ‘Kevin and friends’ and a weekly newsletter digest that will go to WTT Label & Packaging subscribers.” Randy summed up the interview by saying, “Kevin, we have a solid business model, a great technical infrastructure and an industry that needs what we can deliver. How much better could it be?”

Moving forward readers of WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging can expect a daily dose of usable information all geared to help them make money in packaging. I invite you to contact me ([email protected]) with topics you would like to see covered and encourage you to offer feedback on the site. 

A Note to Vendors:

We also realize that many readers are from the supplier ranks. A mainstay of the WTT model is a comprehensive news feed section on relevant topics to their readership. This will continue on the Packaging side bringing readers content compiled daily to bring the latest news and information in one place. To all the vendors and businesses in the audience, be sure to send your press releases to [email protected] in text or word format to ensure it is included on the site. 

About Karstedt Partners:

Karstedt Partners, LLC offers a variety of consulting services to participants all through the packaging and consumer product supply chain. Their clients include Brand Owners, Packaging Converters who are looking at process improvements in their packaging operations and OEMs and Service Providers who are looking to develop products and services for Brand Owners and Packaging Converters. They can be reached through their website www.karstedt.com or by phone at +1-716-992-2017.