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Tipping Points

Knowing when to take a leap into something new.

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I’m so glad New Year’s resolutions have been debunked. Are you on this train yet? If not, get there. All your carefully laid plans to eat right and exercise, if they come true, won’t meet fruition thanks to a resolution. In fact, if you want a new habit to stick at all, you’d better devote 66 days, on average, and a prayer.

Actually, skip the prayer – research shows social support isn’t what helps us stick with new habits. Readiness to change and self-efficacy, according to one study, are the true predictors of success. Nagging, as we all know, also doesn’t have much impact.

We’re at the point where most people have given up on their resolutions anyway. That’s kind of a relief to me because watching other people put their resolutions into action makes me a little anxious. I worry I’ve missed my big chance to take up CrossFit and get really ripped by August.

But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

Just as 2013 and 2014 saw a marked increase in new construction and renovation, particularly in print-employing fields like retail and hospitality, I think 2015 will heighten the uptick in utilization of print services.

With print shops scrambling to jump on one of the newest bandwagons – interior design, fabric printing, ceramics, and more – the question becomes not whether to jump, but when. That leap – buying your first fabric printer, or nixing billboard jobs once and for all – that’s the tipping point.

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Any time things make an about-face change, there’s a rush of anticipation, excitement, even fear, as you face upheaval. There’s that first drag-out-of-bed morning when you join a new gym. There’s the grim moment when you realize your car simply won’t make it through one more winter. And there’s that split-second, just as the dentist turns the drill on, when you remember that our ancestors survived for decades without many teeth at all.

Change is scary.

And while much energy is expended discussing getting up the guts to take risks like hiring new staff, buying new equipment, or investing in training, the true measure of your success is likely laid at the preparation phase.

Have you heard of the hundredth monkey effect? It measures how behaviors spread from group to group – think of it like print shop guys jumping on a bandwagon. At some tipping point, a previously new behavior becomes established. The wide-format equivalent would be a market that becomes saturated. (Poster printing, anyone?) And so the trick is not to be the first monkey, but not to be the one-hundred-and-first, either.

This issue tackles one of those up-and-coming sectors (interior design) and continues our tradition of bringing you a rare glimpse inside the minds of suppliers and manufacturers. Not about their products, but about the trends and tides they’ve seen pulling the market. I hope you’ll use them to guide you to – and through – your next tipping point. Good luck.
 

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