One last post regarding the recently completed "Supplies-Side Economics" conference, and in this case I'm intending to mean the traditional meaning of "postscript" and not the Adobe Systems definition. During the analyst panel I've already blogged about, a persistent questioner at the very end of the panel (ok, it was me) attempted to integrate previous questions/comments about forecast risk, generational changes in printing habits, and trends in institutions transitioning to electronic processes from paper-based methods, and find out if they'd admit that somewhere there might be a downside for continued paper and supplies usage. Answers ranged from baby boomers still needing and demanding hard copy, to digitization driving more print to "the edges" via distribute-and-print forces, to changing applications taking the place of antiquated ones, but to a person, Lyra staffers Brewer, Forrest, Kasuba, and Lippman all held confident in their beliefs that paper and printing usage would continue to grow in the next five years at at least single-digit percentages.
Recent readers of this blog and/or The Hard Copy Observer may remember I summarized some of my thoughts in The Changing Role of the Printed Page, my June 2007 Observations. I am a strong believer in the axiom of dramatic change often predicted long before it really happens (the demise of Dot Matrix printers and "the year of color" to name two from our industry) but when it finally comes, happening more suddenly than anticipated.