Editorial: Generations

I recently ran across a somewhat thought provoking bit of humor about today’s college students. You know—those folks who you could well be hiring in the not too distant future. Some tidbits:

  • Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
  • Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
  • They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
  • Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  • They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
  • They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from.
  • They never heard: “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” or “De plane, Boss! De plane!”
  • They don’t care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was.

That got me to thinking about today’s younger generation in the printing industry.

  • They’ve never cut a galley, waxed type, or done paste-up.
  • They have never seen border tape and wouldn’t know what to do with it.
  • They think desktop publishing has always been around.
  • The only film they know about is what grandpa used to use in his camera.
  • They think the Internet has always existed.
  • They find it perfectly natural to type with their thumbs.
  • Personal computers were always cheap, fast, and equipped with a Web-cam and Wi-Fi.
  • Short-run color has always been affordable and done in-house.
  • They’ve never heard of a Kodak Lionheart.

Of course, those of us who are middle-aged folks once thought that the fax, the handheld calculator, and cassette tapes were cutting edge technology. So we don’t really have a lot of room to talk.

I’m reminded of the Peter Drucker quote: “We only know two things about the future. It cannot be known, and it will be different from what exists now and from what we now expect.”

We are rapidly approaching the deadline for QP’s annual Top 100 survey. What is the sales cutoff for making the Top 100? We won’t know until the results are tallied. Deadline is March 31, and you can download the form at www.quickprinting.com. Here’s hoping we see you on the list.