Editor's Focus: Oct. 2000, e-Valuating The Future

"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things." – Theodore Levitt

This is really starting to get a little boring, isn’t it? This issue includes our fourth annual State of the Industry Report, and while the strong economy creates happy lawn and landscape contractors across the country, it also leads to some pretty repetitive interviews.

We conducted dozens of interviews for this year’s report, and, to a degree, they could be summed up in one sentence: "Business is great – I could grow faster if I could get the people."

Considerable potential for change and innovation continues to develop on the horizon, however, which could have tremendous impact on the industry. The overwhelming Internet development was obviously THE story of the late 1990s, and we’re all waiting to see where these URLs will take our economy.

Technology continues to gravitate toward the lawn and landscape industry as well with at least a dozen companies having launched initiatives to wire up the buying and selling of landscape products, supplies and equipment.

The potential of e-commerce within this industry is one of the biggest unknowns as we look toward the future. But while e-commerce grabs the headlines, don’t overlook the rest of the Internet’s potential for your business. A Web site offers visitors so much more information than a Yellow Pages ad ever can and e-mail makes communication instantaneous.

As an information provider, we’re interested in the Internet’s potential from an educational perspective. To that end, we’re partnering with RohMid and Golf Course News to produce the industry’s first web-based seminar with noted entomologists Dave Shetlar of The Ohio State University and Daniel Potter from the University of Kentucky.

On Nov. 13, these researchers will each make 30-minute, live presentations on www.grubfree.com and will be available to answer questions from industry professionals such as yourself. Honestly, we’re not sure how everything will turn out, and that includes this program as well as the future. But we do know one thing – today’s technology offers opportunities unlike anything else we’ve had at our disposal in the past. And despite business being as good as it has ever been for us, we know that we must continue to stretch ourselves, try new ideas and even take some risks if we want to stay ahead of the game. That way next year at this time we’ll be able to once again report, "If only we could find more people…"

Wouldn’t that be nice?

October 2000
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