COVID-19 Update

My Response to the AV Industry: Wake Up!

David Danto wants to clarify a few things about speaking AV, IT, and the future of the industry.

David Danto

Yes, when I presented ideas like these in public before, many were threatened by the message and protested.

Then, when I got off the stage, most gave me their business card and asked if they could work with me. So I’m used to being made the focal point of the message of change. I have strong enough shoulders to take it for our industry if it helps in the long run. No problem, it’s the least I can do. Protest away.

However, don’t write comments and open letters telling me you’re a terrific consultant or excellent programmer. Explain to me and the rest of our industry why, if you hold yourself to such a high standard, that you permit those that don’t to form public opinions about what we do? Do you know bad consultants? Bad programmers? Bad integrators?

Well, guess what – they hold the same certifications you do. How is anyone going to tell you apart from them unless you change? Why do you defend them instead of protesting their poor business practices and the impact those are having on our industry?

Approximately 80 percent of the technology we used to use in our life can now be accomplished by a smart phone. The next generation is no longer buying telephones, GPSs, pagers, televisions, radios, calendars, magazines, newspapers, video games, etc. If you worked in one of those industries you probably could have greatly benefited from a well-timed slap in the face.

However, if you’re reading this, it’s likely you work in our industry. You’re an AV / Multimedia expert. Well guess what – approximately eighty percent of the deliverables you used to provide can now be purchased in a single box. Get angry with me about it if it makes you feel better (as I most definitely have presented the idea more tactfully in the past) but since you haven’t been listening to all those screaming about it ‘till now, maybe this time you will.

We will still need all our expertise to handle the tough jobs like large, odd shaped rooms, auditoriums, stadiums, etc., but clinging to a business model that sells our equivalent of radios and GPSs – where we charge megabucks for “customizing” the radio and GPSs – is sure death.

Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Crestron, Polycom, Smart, Apple and a dozen other firms are selling room AV solutions of one sort or another that require absolutely no customization. They’re wrong and you’re right? Wake-up … please wake up … for the survival of our industry – PLEASE wake up.

Danto’s Original “An IT Guy’s Guide to Talking Legacy AV” Column.