Their story is probably as close as the industry gets to a ‘Boy’s Own Magazine’ tale of success - two school friends sensing an opportunity in an industry that, they were told, was dying.
Undeterred, with a £5,000 investment, a borrowed office and some desktop printers they went on to build business that a decade later employs 353 staff. A meteoric rise by any measure.
Although, I don’t doubt that not everyone will be all that impressed. As one print boss quipped to me recently: if you gave me £30m tomorrow – I’m pretty sure I could build a successful business too.
Although in that instance it was said with good humour, I suspect that similar things have been muttered by others with significantly less goodwill and not just of success stories like Bluetree.
But is that really fair? Hardly, because, after all, through the annals of print a fair few people have spent significantly more and still their empires came crashing down.
So it begs the question: what is it with print, that we struggle to celebrate success stories?
Yes it’s a competitive market, but what market isn’t? And surely if so many people, even our own, are happy to call it a dying industry, shouldn’t we collectively celebrate the many success stories that the industry has when the opportunity arises?
Because if we want to encourage more young people to start their own print businesses or simply join the sector, we need to start celebrating our successes – not slamming them.