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Two Decades of Laughs with Substance --DeWese

October 2004
This is my 20th anniversary column. I have written 220 columns. I don't have to write columns for the month of July because Printing Impressions always publishes a buyer's guide directory for that month. Otherwise, I would have written 240 columns.

After I wrote them, Printing Impressions actually published all 220 columns, no matter what I said.

For example, who can forget when, in December of 1984, I wrote, "Selling is probably the least important funkshun in the printing bidness. Somebody has to go out and pick up the orders." I added, "Salespeople are snakes and charlatans. Don't trust 'em. Just send 'em out to pick up your orders and let 'em hang out in their offices the rest of the time."

Remember that in 1984 there was no spell check on these computers, I was still writing with a Southern accent, Attila the Editor was only a rookie and he was afraid to correct my work.

Then in 1986 I wrote, "Don't worry about the price. Your commission is the most important thing. Mark up all your estimates by 100 percent. The customers don't care; they will pay it." I added, "And all this stuff about price, quality and service is a lot of hooey. The customers can't have a low price AND still expect good quality and fast service."

In 1987 I wrote, "Who are all these stupid consultants that keep harping on quality—stuff like dot gain and ghosting? And why is on-time delivery so damn important? Let the customers wait. They will appreciate the job more if they have to wait a couple of weeks."

Flashback to the '80s

Then March of 1988 rolled around, and I wrote about competition. "Your competitors are scum buckets. Don't worry about 'em. There's plenty of business to go around. Just get your share of the high-margin jobs and let sleaze balls take the rest." I ended the column by writing, "Printing companies never go broke. No matter how hard you try, you just can't kill a printing company because there's too much money in printing."

One month later, in April of 1988, I implored the printing industry to grow by writing, "We need more cylinders! If every company has just one more press, the industry will grow 25 percent by 1990. Heidelberg, MAN Roland, Komori and Miller have to step up and manufacture more presses. Maybe they could move more presses if they offered no down payment, no payments and no interest for a year. Some low-end furniture stores do it and it works great. Can't they see we're in a rock solid economy and printing jobs are going begging?"


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