Attitudes from the Publisher
Upping the ante of your business, whether it be retailing or publishing, requires relentless adherence to the same basic tenets. The primary objective is continual improvement of product; achieving that improvement involves an open mind. A static organization gradually loses touch with the customer base it seeks to serve. We in the CE industry sing the praises of "getting connected" through products that let us communicate anywhere, anytime. We'd do well to remember that mantra in day-to-day business functions, as staying connected—with customers and sales reps—translates directly into the wherewithal necessary to any thriving company.
And don't forget your friends in the field. First, there's us: the trade magazines. Questions and answers raised in industry publications come from, and speak directly to, the concerns of you and your peers. Take advantage of them. We're also blessed with hard-working partner associations, which act as mouthpieces, libraries and consultancies. Increased participation in trade associations ultimately benefits both individual business and the industry at large. Active association involvement earns you the right to challenge and, hopefully, change what's wrong with the industry.
An all-too-timely example? The tug-of-war between the FCC and CE concerning integration of digital television. While the FCC has called for a stepped-up timetable to integrate digital tuners in television sets, the CE industry continues to struggle with cable companies' lack of a national cable standard. While many cable operators have pledged support for carrying HD programming, the industry as a whole has not yet committed to a national HD cable standard, nor has it developed solutions for "plug-and-play" compatibility for all digital cable systems. Thus far, the FCC has been less than understanding of the CE industry's counter demands, with Powell labeling CEA's response to his original timetable as, "so limited."