You can never get to the Moon if you are stuck in Earth’s orbit!
Lessons learned from Neil Armstrong’s life applied to the A/V Industry
When I look back over Neil Armstrong’s life, I see that he was no different than you or I (maybe a little smarter). He just made a courageous decision back in the 60’s that changed his life and the Nation that he was a part of. When NASA asked him to go and be the first man to set foot on the moon, he could have said “No, I want to stay on earth, raise a family and live a safe and comfortable life”, but he didn’t. On July 19, 1969 when Neil stepped aboard Apollo 11, I would argue that he was prepared to die that day and the odds were definitely not in his favor. It was a chance that he was willing to take to better our world and bring it together for a brief moment.
Lately I have been so frustrated with this industry that I love and I’m not alone. Most other reps, dealers or manufacturers I talk with share the same sentiment. We, as an industry are “stuck in earth’s orbit” but, we want to get to the Moon! There is hope to get there but the voyage to the moon is hard and plotted using Courage and Change.
We, as an industry, blasted off about 20 years ago and went straight into space, headed for the Moon. It was a fun, quick ride and we got out of Earth’s orbit before we truly developed. We were going so fast, we had no time to look out the window and prepare for what was headed our way… a meteor in the form of the Recession that knocked out our engine and sent us tumbling back to Earth’s orbit (reality). We now have to come to grips with the fact that our Moon has changed dramatically since blast off. Back then, the Moon was the top 2 percent of the population that were building fantastic new homes at a staggering pace. Now, our Moon consists of the 98 percent of the population that we ignored when we were rocketing through the atmosphere.
Recent trends in the Custom Install industry have some manufacturers eliminating their independent manufacturer’s representatives. Unlike these manufacturers, Draper is a supporter of using manufacturer representatives. They provide our customers with important information about products, help in training and trouble shooting, and are our eyes and ears in the field. A good rep has both the integrator’s and the manufacturer’s best interests at heart. They are a great asset to the industry. Reps are also a great source of information, not just about product or vendors, but about business as well. I’ve talked with many integrators who have gained valuable techniques that have improved their bottom line. One such rep is Scott Johnson of Precision Sales Group (PSG) working with Draper home theatre dealers in the South (TN, AL, MS). From time to time he blogs at http://friendlyavrep.blogspot.com. We enjoyed his reflections on Neil Armstrong, the moon, and the AV industry, and wanted to share them with you. – Bob Hadsell