Dec 1, 2000 12:00 PM, Nathaniel Hecht
I read Future Shock by Alvin Toffler way back in junior high school (I attended a fairly experimental junior high back in the early '70s). The premise is that the biggest shock in our lives is the shock of too much change. Most would agree that this affliction is one that we all continue to suffer with today; in fact, if anything, the level of "change stress" has increased in our lives. In our profession, we must cope with major technological changes as our industry becomes more convoluted. Borders between segments are blurred, computers are more a part of our business than they were even five years ago, and there is a seemingly endless amount of material to master in order to stay on the cutting edge. It is no wonder that the majority of core contractors in our industry still stick to the bread-and-butter install items - speakers and amplifiers - which make up the largest percentage of installed products.
I suppose it has always been this way - too much to learn and do, too much to assimilate in too little time - but make no mistake about it, we really are at a critical period in our history as an industry. With other industrial segments pressing in for profits in our turf, and with a diminishing number of installers entering our business, we are in danger of being regulated and/or legislated into a very narrow vision of our potential future business unless we act now to protect it. We all have to keep learning, and keep recruiting others into our segment of the industry. We must drive our national and international trade organizations to put their efforts into education, legislation and recruitment; and although it seems trite, we must find a way to make our industry seem more "sexy" to younger people considering careers.
Most of our trade organizations have been doing a fantastic job, but they need more of us to support their efforts, not only as dues paying members, but also as aware and involved volunteers. Consider becoming involved by offering internships, becoming an educator or an active spokesperson to promulgate the continued health and vitality of our industry. Our future depends on it.
We at S&VC have also been evolving lately. A quick glance at the masthead will reveal that we have some new personnel. With this issue we welcome two new faces: Elizabeth Price is our new editorial assistant, and Daniel Ari is our new senior associate editor. We also with this issue say goodbye to some old friends. Jared Blankenship, our managing editor has taken a new position managing a new cutting-edge Intertec publication called NetMedia. Cindy Holst, our editorial assistant has moved over to BE Radio, and our associate art director Stephen Laughlin has taken a position at Video Systems. We wish them all success.