That's an insightful question. Thanks.
"Highly probable (debatable) that people will be searching for new jobs in a new industry."
You are quite the optimist :) though you may be accurate...
Fewer manufacturers and, more importantly, fewer innovative products are definitely bad for IPVM, as it is bad for integrators as well.
There are a number of things we are already doing to adapt / expand beyond covering new products. Specifically:
- Software / Tools: The Calculator, Finder, Comparison Tool, BestMatch, all help integrators and users better select and design cameras. They have been well received and we are continuing to invest more on improving them and adding new ones.
- Online training: We have a unique training offering, with lower costs and easier access than traditional on-site classroom training. They are doing well, the IP networking course phenomenally well, and we plan to continue to invest and do more courses.
- Surveys: This has become a much more important part of IPVM, as our broad reach across the industry has enabled us to gather and reflect the concerns of the industry better than anyone has done previously (e.g., Security Sales Forecast 2015, #1 Threat 2015 - China, our favorite and worst reports, etc.)
All that said, our customers are primarily integrators so if these moves hurt them (and I think it will), it hurts us. In a downturn, we will position / emphasize how IPVM provides a lower cost way to get information, make decisions, learn, etc.
What are your thoughts on our approach?
[note: there was a few joke comments prior to me posting about Canon or Avigilon buying us, but I removed them so I could first provide a substantive answer.]
IMO, as long as the IPVM staff want to keep the product relevant, it will be. You should be even more successful. When I look at all you have offered to the membership in the past twelve months, and then all you have plans for? It is a no brainer. If you think that these mergers will flush out some of your membership to other professions and you will lose subscribers, well that might well be. But others will take their place. There will be other startups, other people. You fill a need, you do it quite well, and at a nice price point. Take some time and name me your closest competitor. Okay, times up. (Pssst.....there ain't one).
I believe you're doing the right thing.
A lot of businesses will need to look at everything on a microscopic level and evaluate everything that is seen and also predict\forecast and evaluate unseen things (creative thinking by creative people).
Seems to me, as the big players gobble up the small and take up more of the marketplace, there's even MORE place for IPVM and their mission of holding manufacturers' feet to the proverbial fire. We regularly see how the big players especially like to fudge specs, charge extra just for the name, suffer from sloppy customer service and support, and apparently figure they can get away with it because f*** you, we're The Big Guys.
As long as John and crew question this and continue to provide extensive real-world test results, their value will continue to increase.
I can honestly say that I have not always been your biggest fan. However, I can say that I am a supporter now ( hence my recent subscription) and I love the direction you are going! Access Control and the latest tools have added significant value to your value to the industry. I now believe you have one of the most valuable sites/tools available to the public in our space.
Keep up the great work and innovation and you should be around until you decide to retire.
In a way this reminds me of the arguments made that now that a Democrat/Republican has won the Presidency, won't Rush be outdated.
I think Rush's history will be the same as IPVM. They have content too valuable to the consumer for the temporary market changes to effect.
Just love IPVM for its unique independent and honest view of products and companies. As long as you continue to innovate and adapt to the market, there's no reason to sell.
Also, the survillence industry itself is changing, just as phones and cars did. I think your reports, surveys and online courses will play an important part in pushing the wheels forward.
I firmly believe IPVM will have nothing to worry about. I have only been using IPVM as a resource for the last year of my 25 year career but find it to be an invaluable source of news and information. I believe that if anything there will be a fundamental shift where IPVM starts to incorporate evaluation on market (consumer) desires coupled with available products and tatical strategies to impliment designs to satisfy these consumer desires.
I do not believe there will be an exodus from the industry by all of the highly skilled and knowlegeable people but rather a retooling of methods and philosiphies which will undoubtedly open the door to new technologies and implimentaion strategies.
I believe IPVM is here to stay. There may be less manufacturers but the integrators and front line staff are plentiful and have come to, or will come to, rely upon the services provided by IPVM more than ever.