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DeWese--Consulting the "Real" Experts on the Death of Printing

June 2000
This column is too important to read alone in your office or in the bar where you've gone for lunch or by the pool where you're sipping a few Wacky Wackies or in that field of daisies where, in slow motion, you've gone to contemplate your navel. Please don't attempt to read this while you are driving.

This is my most important column yet and you should take it home and gather your loved ones, if you have any. They need to hear the column because it affects your future and theirs.

If you work for a printing company, an equipment manufacturer, a paper company, a supplier of consumables like ink, plates and film, or if you are a printing magazine columnist or a lender to printing companies, you are cooked. You are dead meat, sisters and brothers. You are history. I'll tell you why.

Personally, I've already got a plan for my future. I'm starting MañanaManPonzi.com. This will be a Website where unsuspecting day traders can buy stock in MañanaManPonzi.com online, using their credit cards. MañanaManPonzi.com Inc. will promise these greedy investors huge returns on their investments. But—get it?—I won't keep the promises. I'll just pocket the money!

Isn't that great? What a scheme! MañanaManPonzi.com doesn't sell a thing except its own stock. I'll even send out fancy stock certificates so, at first, the avaricious and gluttonous investors will think they've really invested in something special. And, then later on, they'll find out they've just been had by the ol' Mañana Man.

So, you can see I've taken care of my future. It's your future I'm worried about, because . . .

This is the column where I predict, with a high degree of Mañana Man certainty, the death of printing.

This death of printing thing got started while I was talking with a high and mighty Super Senior Executive Partner of a prestigious venture capital firm. He was telling me that his firm would never invest in a printing company because the Internet was going to kill printing. Well, of course, as the printing industry's prime advocate, I was steamed and told the hotshot, yuppie, BMW-drivin' jerk that he could put his money where the sun don't shine.

This little conflagration got me thinkin' and fumin'. I was still fired up when I arrived home and began to inspect my mail. It occurred to me that I get a lot of mail every day and that, voila!, it's all printed. I counted this day's catalogs and there were 17.
 

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