Quality Remains King
The Greatest Generation (circa WWII) brought America to new heights with its industrial might. We were unstoppable, proud of our accomplishments, and professed the quality of American products—none of that cheap made-in-Japan stuff for us. We were in love with our ever-expanding cars and automotive services, drive-in restaurants, drive-in theaters, drive-through banks, full service gas stations, parking structures, and weekend scrubbing and maintenance.
Things began to change. Growing up in America during the sixties was a challenging time for one’s psyche. It felt as if the world was coming to an end. There were riots, daily Vietnam death statistics on the evening news, assassinations, hippies, and stingray bicycles. The first clue that drive-in theaters were headed for extinction came when the movie script, soundtrack, and cinematography quality began to decline.
We survived the crazy seventies, confusing eighties, challenging nineties, and Y2K. There were tidal waves of fads: leisure suits, eight track tapes, Tang, Hi-Fi, penny loafers, Space Invaders, the Macarena, and their knock-offs.
What survived all the forces of consumerism? What did we demand of our manufacturers? What were laid-off assembly line employees worried about?
What I know from thirty-five years of operations management is that quality is robust. Luckily, the customer defines quality—not some fad or cheap knock-off. It is the common ingredient of every purchase that keeps consumers consuming. Without quality consumers might buy once, but probably not twice
Like a heavy weight fighter, every market niche has had to fight with a low value contender out to make a few bucks. In the end, the product still standing has the best value of price and quality.
As a new author, I am riding the tidal wave of authors who are writing, e-book converting, self-publishing, and self-promoting. I know that only well-crafted books are making the bestseller lists, authors with talent are writing a next book, and readers are defining entertainment.
As in the past, present, and probably future, new authors have one, maybe two shots at success if our stories are not well presented. Our characters must be interesting, the prose must be clear, the presentation must be thoughtful, the suspense must be paced, and so on. Regardless of price, availability, print on demand, speed to market, and social media marketing, readers will only purchase once if they are not sufficiently satisfied.
Story + Craft = Success!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Leo N. Ardo: – I am a thirty-five year veteran of small business, and author of the Jon Hersey – Industrial Spy series. I enjoy photography, fly fishing, biking, and embellishing our travel experiences in journals titled Exaggerated Tales of an Ordinary Man.
We call Utah and Wyoming home.
Hoping life blesses you with good stories!