Feb 21, 2008

Another PMA View

Dennis Conforto of the SMART Group offers his perspective on why PMA matters. LINK. We need a think-tank of sorts to figure all this out. Every retailer and manufacturer needs to be part of it. This isn't about a few people figuring out the "next step" and telling everyone else what to do. It's about opening new opportunities and possibilities to our industry, not about tearing it apart, as Dennis says.

Many retailers are sinking fast and instead of looking for ways to plug the hole and save the boat, they are merely bailing as fast as they can because they are desperate to survive. Therefore, they aren't interested in trying anything new or thinking about anything else because they can't stop bailing. But, eventually, the water wins. Right now, I believe we (the industry) are bailing water. Business owners are often up to their eyeballs in debt and drowning in product. Consumers and retailers alike were sort of doing a collective "YAWN" after CHA. Many said it was just "more of the same". I have never seen such a lack of enthusiasm in the 5+ years I have worked in this industry. When consumers are bored with the offerings, you know we've got a problem. If they aren't excited, they aren't going to buy and the water just comes in faster.

Most people operate under the assumption that "Desperate times call for desperate measures." That's not what I think. Henry Thoreau said: It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. A man name Comer Cotrell said: The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation. I believe NOW is the time for us to be inspired not desperate! But, that might take using our heads and not our hearts to solve the problem at hand.

PMA was a start. Many scoffed at the idea (and many still do), but some of us accepted the blind date and went. I believe that those who attended found it a pleasant experience full of possibilities. I have already blogged about my experience there. But I felt like Dennis' perspective was worth sharing here. He made many good points about the future of our industry and our relationship with PMA.

And, as a side note but not unrelated. My unscientific poll here says that twice as many scrappers cite preserving photos and memories as the NUMBER ONE reason they scrap over those who do it purely as a creative outlet. Creativity is the method most of us use to preserve the photos and stories that are so important to us. But, the photos and stories are the reason we scrap. Interesting...

1 comment:

judylynndudley said...

So where are the people with the new ideas (or new ways of implementing the old)? Surely there are lots of us who will step back and take a new look at things. How about considering all the young (and "old") people out there who have never tried scrapbooking, but would give it a try if they had just a little push? I think we need to bring in some "new blood" as well as jump starting the old.