It’s time to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead

Not for the first time, our sideways look at Printweeks past, From the Archive, has got me thinking about the rapid pace of change in our industry.

Leafing through the pages of our 2005 Power 100 – while many of the names and faces are very familiar – three-quarters of those ranked are no longer involved in print.

That’s right, fewer than 25 of 2005’s 100 most influential individuals still work in the sector.

Of course, the vast majority of the leading lights from yesteryear have simply retired in the intervening years – a symptom of an industry where the hot seats are typically occupied by, ahem, seasoned veterans of the industry’s glory days when men were men, cars were flash and lunch lasted all day.

But it’s also worth noting that many of their companies simply no longer exist having either hit the buffers or been subsumed by rivals.

But I’m convinced that the vacuum left by those departures of businesses and individuals has created a new breed of print elite, one that is gender neutral, more dynamic, less dyed in the wool and, importantly, one that is used to and embraces change.

And that can only be good news, right?

Just thinking about some of the biggest names in the industry today, many had only just begun, or were yet to begin, their careers in print and the majority of their companies were barely a twinkle in their founder’s eye.

And I think that as we rise to the economic challenges ahead, that will prove to be a real industry strength – and we’ll no longer be wedded to talk of the glories of print’s past, but will instead have a laser-like focus on the opportunities that lay ahead.

Because that’s clearly what the new generation of print power players of today have done, so there’s no reason to think that the print leaders of tomorrow that are already in our midst won’t do the exact same thing.