Anyway, the full column is well woth the click. Some out of order excerpts, my quibble and question are below.
Printing Industry News, Commentary & Analysis, Research and Consulting from WhatTheyThink:
". . . find it somewhat amusing that, after all this time in the Internet age, printing companies and their vendors keep thinking that changes in the economy are the prime reasons for the state of their businesses. We know that the economy and print disconnected about 12 years ago in terms of the GDP relationship. It's hard to believe that something that started more than a decade ago is still stubbornly resisted by this kind of natural businessperson's analytical urge.First, the quibble
Clickable Print ( Print + 2d codes + cell phones) can connect newspapers, cable channels, and newspapers to enable commerce and get local advertising. The only defensible value is the network. Everything else is a commodity. Check out my blabla at The Digital Nirvana.
If newspaper inserts lose their relevance (that is, newspaper circulation goes down so much that some retailers abandon them), printers wonder what print product would benefit. The benefit to direct mail will be minimal. The big beneficiary would probably be local cable TV. I doubt that newspaper inserts will disappear quickly, though.
Then, the question re: Money Supply
The Conference Board's Leading Indicators uses changes in the money supply in its calculations. The rise in the money supply is so incredibly huge, I suspect the LEI is giving us false signals of an upturn.But if you take a global perspective isn't it about taking trillions out of the money supply?
Spot on: Globals and Earnings Calls
When entrepreneurs own a business, finger pointing at others for failures is one luxury they can never have. That's only a strategy for publicly held companies with big boards of directors.Spot on: Direct Mail
Human nature is always at work in the way we attribute the causes of success and failure. If business is great, it's because we have superior management and the insightful decisions we made; business is bad because the economy is against us.
. . got a rise out of the audience at one of the recent NPES Regional Meetings when I said that I thought "do not mail" legislation would pass, and the first time would be in any of these four states: California, Vermont, Oregon, or Washington.That's what happened to textbooks, so why not "do not mail?"
Spot on: Mergers and Acquisitions
There is a lot of interest in mergers & acquisitions as a means to cope with the recession and our own downturn. In the end, it may actually be counterproductive for the industry. Capital that would otherwise be used to update technology, worker skills, and other key attributes of successful businesses are instead used to pay for existing businesses that may turn out to have the right business model for 2008 but not 2012. Who is to say that what made a print business successful recently will guarantee success just a few years from now?How did that work out for Anderson and Cenveo?