Industry 5.0

July 1, 2018

It was probably a $200 billion mistake. After that, we made a rule: No more meetings in the bathroom. ~Michael Eisner, former CEO, Disney   Recently, my book club was discussing the merits of the book “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid, which portrays the adventures of a couple (and a world) escaping from a war-torn and …

Success: customer-centric innovation

June 1, 2018

If your business proposition is innovative, your ultimate goal has to be ‘The customer always thinks that WE are right.’ ~Richard Branson   Back in February 1997, before my editorial advent at IFAI, the Industrial Fabric Products Review cover was graced with a simple shot of a computer, in ominous dark purple and glowing green …

Tradition and transition

May 1, 2018

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. ~ Gustav Mahler I can’t help but date myself if I tell you that when I started working at IFAI in 1988, staff were still allowed to smoke in the office, we had a fax machine that was so large it had its …

Automation and full employment

April 1, 2018

Pessimists have already begun to worry about what is going to replace automation. ~John Tudor If any of you watched the “X-Files” episode in early March entitled “Rm9sbG9eZX.Jz” and are still happily chatting with Alexa … your intrepid nature is an inspiration. The program basically depicted Mulder and Scully having dinner in a completely automated …

The Vikings, innovation and editorial coverage

March 1, 2018

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein Okay… I guess I have to report that The Curse of the Vikings is still intact (see February editorial). We upset New Orleans well enough that …

Will the Vikings ever win the Super Bowl?

February 1, 2018

Whether you’re a football fan or not, you’re probably aware that in a few weeks (as I write this), Minneapolis will be hosting Super Bowl LII, about four miles from my house (the newscasters don’t always mention that part). Last Sunday, the Vikings pulled off a stunning last-minute victory over New Orleans, sending a bunch …

Corporate social responsibility: giving back to your community

January 1, 2018

Tents on cars. Tents on rafts. Smartfoam helmets. Cool firefighting. Emergency balloon networks. Real shade sailing; working partnerships with architects; creating a welcoming workplace. Novel substrates for smart fabrics; clever cash flow strategies; mountaintop Geofoam. New products. Industry events. We’re starting out 2018 with much the same editorial emphasis as in previous years: to provide …

Marketing to millennials

December 1, 2017

Take two ideas and put them together to make one new idea. After all, what is a Snuggie but a mutation of a blanket and a robe? ~Jim Kukral For years now, I’ve been endearing myself in meetings with manufacturers by asking questions like: “So when will there be an awning that is delivered by …

Manufacturing fuels innovation

November 1, 2017

And I know this happens because I took economics, and I’d explain it to ya, but I flunked that course. Not my fault. They taught it at 8 o’clock in the morning. And there is absolutely nothing you can learn out of one bloodshot eye.   ~Lewis Black When I was in college, I took a …

Disaster relief and rebuilding

October 1, 2017

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~Douglas Adams Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Floods. Fire. It’s only September 18 as I write this, and this month is already on the record books. And, according to today’s paper, the atmospheric parade just keeps on coming, Atlantic and Pacific: Maria. José. …