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The Future Is With the Ladies, Anne and Carly --Waldman

March 2002
It's always good to see my old friend Kent Martin—after all, we go back about 30 years. I ran into him at the Graphics of the Americas show which, by the way, is most definitely far more than a regional event and is well worth a trip. Not just because it's in Miami Beach at the beginning of February, but because it is well done and really has something to offer.

Anyway, Kent and I went into our usual reminisce routine about print days past. And, of course, it always turns to the early '80s when he was president of Miller (does anyone out there remember Miller presses from Germany?) and I had the audacity to buy a press from a new kid on the block, Komori. What a shock: the press wasn't American or German; it was Japanese.

But Kent's harsh views have now become, "Harry, what a stroke of genius." You see, Kent is now a vice president at Komori. And the Komori I purchased turned out to be such a reliable, quality press (it still runs today) that he knows he can count on me for accolades.

The experience dwelled in my mind as I started to think about the days when I owned a printing company and had all those great big machines on my shop floor. The feeling of power was awesome and it was one of the reasons I loved the printing business. I still get a kick out of going to shows like PRINT and watching guys get so excited over the big equipment. Unfortunately, the multimillion-dollar price tags quickly makes them go limp. But, admit it guys, it's a macho experience to climb up on a six-color, 40˝ press.

So, if I was once one of the heavy-iron guys, why am I constantly writing about these little laser and ink-jet office printers? I can't climb up on them and there's no feeling of power. Or is there? Well, there is power, but it's a transfer of power.

A transfer that is happening more and more, and will be a major part of the future. That's why I keep writing about this. Because you, my fellow printers, must be alert to this trend as surely as you must stay alert to the latest price of paper. So read on as I present my case. And Anne Mulcahy and Carly Fiorina—the heads of Xerox and Hewlett-Packard, respectively—if you're out there somewhere, read this, because the future in so many ways is in your hands.
 

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