My Response to the AV Industry: Wake Up!

Published: October 29, 2014

When reading the blog on Commercial Integrator about how a “quick glossary of IT terms will at least help AV integrators demonstrate some basic network knowledge when speaking to their clients’ CIOs,” I actually discounted it as just another internet blog in a time when there are more digital avenues than rich content.

However, when people and firms in our industry started retweeting it – lending credence to the idea that firms could just keep on ignoring the approaching tidal wave because they have their inflatable ducky to keep them afloat – well, I replied to one of the tweets:

Commercial Integrator contacted me and said they’d love to publish such a blog, so I wrote one.

Just in case some in our industry – yes OUR industry – think I’m some computer geek who thinks Skype will replace every installation, they should do some research to correct those thoughts. I’ve spent nearly four decades in AV. I’ve hailed the invention of channel load projectors, set-up stacked multi-image slide presentations, spliced cables with my teeth, etc. I may be a consultant on the IT sell-side now, but don’t let that fool you. I bleed AV. I was on the end user side for thirty-three years.

The glossary I wrote stung a few in the industry. For that I apologize. Inflicting unnecessary pain is unwarranted. I should have realized that would be the reaction in some cases and prefaced it a bit more tactfully. Mea culpa. However, the message is valid. In the precise opposite of that book Levar Burton just read on YouTube – WAKE THE ____ UP!

Every single one of the comments I put in those definitions is true. Not in every case – arguably perhaps not in most cases – but true. I’ve personally lived each and every one. If you’re reading this then odds are so have you. We are a poorly self-policed industry that tolerates much more than it should. Don’t think of what I wrote as an insult. Think of it as an uncomfortable mirror … or a slap in the face to wake one up to reality.

When our industry association started speaking “convergence” many didn’t listen. When colleagues said “evolve or die” many didn’t listen. When industry anchor firms changed their business model making custom programming a minority of what they do – many still haven’t noticed.

So a blog that defines the worst of our industry and stings a bit has made you notice – great. Now that I have your attention, the question is why are we letting our industry transform itself (or collapse itself) into the sunset without adapting to the current needs?

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