A Dose of Printing Reality --DeWese
Not much on TV interests me. For me, all of this new interest in televised poker is like watching soccer, which is like watching paint dry. I guess it helps printing. Somebody has to print all the poker playing cards and the government has to print the money.
I don't understand why the Travel Channel shows so much poker, which has nothing to do with going anywhere. I guess poker is a sport and it's okay for ESPN, which got the idea from the Travel Channel, to show the poker tournaments.
Then there are about five or six shows about building custom-made motorcycles. Watching heavily tattooed men and, yes, heavily tattooed women build motorcycles is about liking watching men and, yes, women participate in poker tournaments. I wonder if all this motorcycle building generates any printing—maybe brochures and coffee table books for bikers. Do bikers have coffee tables? I think bikers have unfurnished living rooms where they park their bikes.
Reality TV is ubiquitous when I surf through about 400 channels. Now, I'm informed, there are two reality shows about wife swapping. Where will it go next? They've gone from marooning a dozen people on tropical islands, to bachelors picking a bride from 25 bachelorettes, to a bachelorette picking a husband from 25 bachelors, to Donald Trump picking an assistant from a dozen contenders and now to wife swapping.
I've never watched a reality TV show. Maybe I'd watch if they put 100 print buyers in a printing plant for a month and let some of you print salespeople try to buy their printing at YOUR price. Of course, the print buyers would never deliver a job and the plant would turn out to be a one-month bankruptcy.
At last count there are 23 versions of house makeovers—while you were out, while you are there, when you are about ready to sell, when you are sick of your unfurnished living room and when you are constipated. For me, watching these house makeover shows is about like leafing through the pages of a coffee table book about custom-made motorcycles.
I really don't see how reality TV generates any printing—maybe the printed applications for amateur singers to appear on American Idol. Is American Idol a reality show? I have watched that show and dreamed for an audition where Simon Cowell loves my every note and gushes about my performance, even more than Paula Abdul. My baritone is a lot better than Tony Bennett and slightly better than the late Frank Sinatra. Maybe I could tape my audition in my bathroom with its great acoustics.
I'd watch a reality show about printing plants that need new presses and a direct-to-plate installation. The producer would send all of the people home for a month with full pay, film the plant makeover, deposit $1 million in the company bank account and then film the finale where everybody comes back to work elated about their fresh new facility and equipment. Then the company could operate for another few months until the $1 million was gone.
There should be a Printing Channel on TV. There would be a relatively large viewing audience for the Printing Channel. We have more than one million people employed in the printing industry in America. That's a lot of television sets.
There could be a game show where heavily tattooed men and women, under a tight deadline, build custom-made presses.
Another show would pit a team of Japanese engineers against a team of German engineers to see who could build a 10-color, 40˝, 5/5 press the fastest. Phase two would then be a competition to see who could sell their press first. The final phase would be another test to see who could deliver, install and bring their press up to producing commercially acceptable work first.
Another idea is a show where third shift pressmen play high-stakes gin rummy tournaments during the third shift at their plants. The rest of what's on TV is about tragic hurricanes in Florida and about politics. I'm depressed by the storms and bored with the politics. My life is so dreary.
A Look Into Harris' Day
All I have are these columns and some speeches I have to make. Believe it or not, it only takes about two hours to write the columns and I make up the speeches in the cab from the airport. Then it's work, work, work.
I have to do this Compass Capital Partners mergers and acquisitions report and I'm busy working on and negotiating about 15 printing company deals. Plus I'm on this stupid diet and have to spend about three minutes a day eating. Another hour is spent sculpting my body with Tommie the Trainer.
I was sitting by my garden shed when I had an idea. My bid for the presidency running on the Lithography Party platform went nowhere, so I decided to secede my gardens from the United States. The new nation will run from my pool fence back to Big Al Tegler's property line. I'm calling it The Republic of MañanaManVille. I've even created a flag for my new country. It's a dollar sign on a field of gold.
I'm busy now writing a constitution. It will enable all printing companies to domicile (register) in The Republic of MañanaManVille. And get this: NO TAXES! Even better, they must add 50 percent markups to all their jobs and their customers have to actually pay it!
Print salespeople can become citizens of The Republic of MañanaManVille. They don't have to live here. But their citizenship means that print buyers must take their calls and see them whenever a salesperson feels like making a personal call.
Or, better yet, I will require print buyers to come to the plant to see the print salespeople by appointment only! And when the print buyers call for an appointment, they have to tell you why they are qualified to buy printing from you. Gosh, I'm on a roll now.
I bet I can sell this to the History Channel for a reality show about the building of a nation. You get out there and sell something while I write the rest of my constitution!
About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of Now Get Out There and Sell Something, available through NAPL or PIA. He is chairman and CEO at Compass Capital Partners and is an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of information regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed more than 100 printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the printing industry. He specializes in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, sales, marketing, planning and management services to printing companies. He can be reached via e-mail at DeWeseH@ComCapLtd.com.