John & I had lunch today with John Lucas our #1 son. We talked about his industry; technology, and our industry; printing. John Lucas always asks great questions and soon our conversation veered towards how we were coping in an industry besieged with competition from the internet.
We talked about the misconceptions concerning paper and the blog posted today by one of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin. The idea that most forests are harvested for paper for the printing and publishing industries is completely wrong. Actually the majority of harvested trees are used for energy and lumber. I don’t see many people getting in the face of electronics manufacturers about their green agendas. That would include computers & cell phones, and nobody can be without a computer or cell phone. But don’t argue that it’s about the environment when the facts don’t support the argument.
Most everyone will have an opinion on how they want to receive their news and read their books. That’s fair because it’s subjective and you can make your own decisions, either electronic or paper. But, don’t try to eliminate a billion-dollar industry based on misconceptions. Especially since digital avenues are not always effective. Case in point. John Lucas told us over lunch that a board he serves on has gone back to paper billing through the mail. Why? Well, seems the email for their dues collection had nearly a zero response rate. The traditional form of collecting their dues works. It’s not free, but it is effective.