California Printers — West Coast Melting Pot
The dreamers are the transplants, those who head west looking to fulfill their so-called destinies. “Some of them work out, many don’t,” he adds. “We have printed for both.”
Those who have found success in California spend more time doing and less time dreaming, but the payout from success is almost always more work. Dan Hirt, CEO of Primary Color, recalls one customer who was saddled with a home full of out-of-town relatives looking to be entertained. Unfortunately, the customer was in the middle of an image-intensive project that was on the clock.
How could the client do the usual rounds with relatives—Disneyland, Hollywood, skiing—while still taking care of business?
It was technology to the rescue. “We responded by setting him up with a log-in to our PrimaryEproof (PEP) remote proofing and approval management system,” Hirt explains. “We’d send him proofs and he’d log on via wireless from the Disneyland parking lot, from Starbucks—wherever he could find a connection. He was able to get his work done while, at the same time, chauffeur his relatives around Southern California.
Who says work and play don’t mix?”
Peter Offermann, president of Fremont-based Cellotape, has the unique perspective of being a former New Yorker now doing business in California. The biggest difference between the two major markets, he says, can be seen in their levels of optimism.
“When I was in New York, someone would ask me, ‘What would it take to have a $500 million business in three years?’ and my answer would be, “Well, you have to start with a $250 million business,’ ” Offermann quips. “Out here, people would say, ‘You need venture capital and a really good idea.’ ”
Offermann also disputes the characterization of the California work ethic as being soft. “I’ve spent a lot of time hearing about laid back Californians, but there’s nothing laid back about the way they do business. They are very aggressive without being personally aggressive.”