Twenty Rugged Survivors in Dying Industries

That was the headline in an online Bloomberg/Business Week article on Friday, November 19.  It went on to say, “’Creative destruction,’ the term popularized by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, refers to the process by which entrepreneurs introduce innovations that force established businesses to adapt or die. What does the adaptive process look like on the ground? For small business owners across the U.S., in struggling sectors that range from independent amusement park operators to shoemakers, hobby shops, and travel agencies, survival strategies range from severe service cuts to bold expansion.”  One of the industries highlighted was the Commercial Print Industry.

Most of us know that the print will not die – but that’s not the perception of many “outsiders.”  Although any firm which continues to operate in the same manner as they did at the turn of the century is dying.  Regardless, many firms are beginning to understand that the industry is changing and new business models must be developed. 

One of the industry’s most outspoken individuals on this topic is Dr. Joe Webb and he delves into this topic in his book titled, “Disrupting the Future.”  In his opening chapter he states, “The view from 2010 is not a pretty one. We’ve had a dismal decade (or more). Can we stand to have another one? If industry trends continue the way they’re going, we’re in for another tough ten years. However, that doesn’t have to be our destiny.” 

Joe does not mince any words in this publication, and he uses it as a call-to-arms to the industry.  The book is available online on Amazon or through, but I have a better idea.  Why not come and see Joe in person?  On February 2nd, Dr. Joe Webb will make a presentation to our membership in Dallas/Fort Worth and will then make an identical presentation in Kansas City on Thursday, February 3rd.  Interested?  Contact the PIA MidAmerica offices at (800) 788-2040.

One more note on the topic of dying industries.  We need to combat that concept and Printing Industries of America (PIA) has developed several tools which can be used by any member company.  Just check out this site for plenty of information about the Value of Print.  It’s Renewable.  Recyclable. Effective.


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