The Last Accordionist Standing

Some printers balk at investing in themselves because they see print as a shrinking industry, and they chose to ride it out to its soon-to-come demise rather than take a chance spending money to improve their process and become leaders in the field. To those printers, I offer the example of my friend Frank:


Frank was a young accordion player 40 years ago in the Midwest, when there were pretty good opportunities to get regular money coming in playing weddings, parties, and dances. The accordion market was bullish.

But Frank wanted to expand and go after opportunities in a bigger market, so he packed his instrument up and headed out to the west coast.  His timing could hardly have been worse. The British Invasion was on, the Beatles had just come to America, rock-and-roll was in charge, and in California, never a polka stronghold to begin with, interest in accordion music was in freefall from a pretty low starting point.

It would have made sense at the time for Frank to change course, get rid of the squeezebox, and find another way to make a living. Instead, he redoubled his efforts. He invested in himself, became the best, and saw his career skyrocket n what most saw as a shrinking niche.

As other accordion players frustrated with the shrinking market folded up and went home, he found himself getting more and more gigs. The market for accordion players wasn’t growing, and there was no sign that it ever would, but as the overcapacity of accordion players worked its way out through attrition, and his own reputation spread, Frank’s opportunities increased year after year.

Frank started getting gigs that he’s never even tried to get in the past. Instead of  playing dances and parties he was getting calls for recording sessions, records, and movies. He worked on jazz, rock and pop recordings with the leading musicians of the world. He contributed to countless motion picture and television sountracks. Frank became the last man standing by outlasting the competition and investing in his own growth. Frank became accordion player to the stars.

Print may not be in a period of rapid growth, and some players are dropping out, but opportunities remain for those who are willing to step up and innovate, and printers who excel continue to succeed.

A prime area for excellence in is process control for improved quality and reduced makeready. PressSIGN makes it easy to upgrade any press affordably and achieve levels of control never before possible even on the most modern equipment. Contact me, I’ll be happy to show you how pressSIGN can help you to capture the opportunities that still exist in print for the players who know how to meet new needs.

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