I recently spent time at the Kimbell Art Museum and chanced upon Annibale Carracci’s “Butcher’s Shop”. It’s amazing in a gallery with the Old Masters to see a depiction of skilled butchers with clean white aprons, fiercely proud of the work they do, but not doing anything more than their daily routine. 400 years later, and Carracci and I still marvel at the beauty on display in their shop.
It’s the same devotion to the daily grind that makes AV an art form. The process of pulling wire, managing schedules, ordering equipment with bulk discounts, maintaining client relationships, and working together to exceed expectations is where the beauty and simple joy resides for us AV nerds. Our clean aprons are racks dressed well and flaunted on Twitter for all to see! The sharp knives these butchers used skillfully are the same as strippers, soldering irons, and Ohm’s Law—powerful in the hands of a skilled tradesman.
I would be awfully embarrassed if, in a few hundred years, folks looked back and saw that my work was lacking, just a little short of magnificent. The beauty comes from the details and from the men and women who strive for excellence, understanding the work they do impacts people on an individual level.
My vision is for our industry to look past low-cost solutions that are good enough, to train eager workers into skilled craftsmen, and to provide experiences that inspire the folks that take part in them. The way to do this is to focus on people over profits, and to think further out than what you will be a part of. I am raising my son as if he will own my company one day, because, if he does, I don’t want a spoiled brat at the reigns. So the moves we make with our employees, partners, and clients are all aligned with a goal to create lasting things of value. I guarantee that the butchers depicted didn’t do just enough to get by—that’s not how you get remembered by Italian masters!
By providing value above cost and protecting the relationship with key clients and partners integrators can create a brand that transcends individual projects—and that is how you make a masterpiece!