DeWese--We Have Met the Enemy
I have an MBA from Emory University, and that, I have learned, will not get me a Grande Double Café au Lait at Starbucks. I tried, and the guy behind the counter laughed at me. My MBA does mean, however, that I am semi-literate financially, conversant with the economics of the stock market and, for that matter, the macroeconomics of the American economy.
My professors at Emory didn't teach me these crazy Internet economics. Oh, I understand: some companies will say they are going to have revenues, eventually, maybe. And when they eventually get these revenues, if they are large enough, they may just have some profits.
Well, you see why I'm on this tirade. I'm sick and tired of people in our printing industry saying that:
1. Sales are down;
2. The Internet is going to kill print;
3. We are a mature industry and are part of the traditional, newly so-called "old economy;" or
4. Real print growth is now slower than the Gross Domestic Product.
Here's my response. If you draw your paycheck from the printing industry, you need to brag about it every day to everyone who will listen. It is a great industry that gainfully employs somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people. It is a people-intensive industry and, because it's growing at more than 6 percent per year, it creates jobs. It's also a materials- and capital-intensive industry, so it creates hundreds of thousands of support jobs. Not growing? Balderdash!
I see hundreds of financial statements from printing companies every year. As a result, I can tell you that 97 percent of them had great years in 1999 and are having better years so far in 2000. I even know some companies in Chapter 11 that are having great years.