The Test of Time
Recently, I ran across an older interview with Remodeling magazine after I presented at their Big 50 event. It was my first “big” speaking gig, and they flew me out to Washington DC to present on home technology and automation to a group of about 200 remodelers. The Great Recession was behind us, and home automation was being looked at as a new offering to bring clients in the doors.
After the presentation, Lauren Hunter, then products editor at magazine’s publisher Hanley Wood, interviewed me, and we discussed connected products and solutions that could stand the test of time.
Fast-forward to January at this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show/International Builder Show. Many of the same products and solutions I spoke about in 2014 were being shown and discussed. Educational sessions and panel presentations were all about the “smart,” “connected” home.
Technology was on display, both to bring people into the booth space as well as embedded into a countless number of products that we all use. Attendees were learning about these products as if magic made it happen! Concurrently, with all of the sessions and learning opportunities, attendees were introduced to home technology professionals, integrators, and the trade association CEDIA. Many were just discovering such resources existed.
In some ways, I am still surprised by the awe of someone just learning about our industry. Having seen a lot of amazing products and technologies throughout my 15 years in this industry, I know I’ve become desensitized to new products unless they are very good, innovative, or greatly enhance an existing product.
What is commonplace to us, however, is extraordinary to others. Seeing this excitement brings it all home.
It ignites the passion to deliver an exceptional solution to someone who has never experienced it before, whether they be end user, builder, or specifier. It fuels my curiosity to ask more questions, consider new designs, and create amazing experiences for people. It encourages me to forever evaluate what we offer so as to not become complacent with our designs over time. It pushes me to do more outreach because every time I do, I see “ah-ha” moments and sparks of excitement in my audience as they learn something new.
Providing professional services, such as design, contracting, graphic art or home technology, can be monotonous if you look purely at the task at hand. However, if you search for what fuels you to stay passionate and curious, you will get better with age.