Most of the people who get RePlay are small businessmen, many of whom started their companies from scratch. Others either inherited theirs or worked their way up the ranks to the top spot and ended up with the company that way. In every case, however, the more successful companies are the ones run by a guy or gal blessed with a creative curiosity and competitive drive to push the bottom line as high as it can logically get. But, the lifecycle we’re all subject to puts limits on just how long anyone can push that hard and for that long before deciding to sit back and let someone else “drive the boat.”
Face it. You’ve got to be super human to maintain a spirited drive forever. Besides old age getting in the way, there are technological advances that need to be studied and implemented. For example, if you don’t personally have a Facebook account, you might want to check out a Florida condo. Understanding new tech is no easy trick when you’re up there facing retirement age. Did I say “retire?” Now there’s a word business entrepreneurs so often do not understand. Just ask Sumner Redstone, Warren Buffet or in our case, Texas operator Ernie Barberio (bless him).
Okay, we really do have retirees, but they nearly always leave the reins of their companies in the hands of relatives or employees they feel comfortable with…folks who know enough to attend the important coin-op conventions or at least send capable people in their place. I always remember asking a friend of mine from the record business why he came to one of our jukebox shows. He said: “Wherever the subject of music is on the table, I want to be there.”
That’s exactly where I’m going with this article. There is a worry that street operator attendance at the Dallas Amusement Expo might be on the short side while people from the FECs will be there in robust numbers. Of course, the FEC folks are more than welcome, but so are the route owners and operators. After all, most companies that belong to the AMOA co-sponsoring association are from that sector.
As they say, all business is local, and the question is: “What’s in this for me?” With a larger number of exhibit booths on tap, it sounds like there’ll be a bit more to inspect that might generate a bit more moolah in the cash can. There’s also a bit more spring in the nation’s economic step to consider. Dallas may not be Paris, but doing a convention isn’t taking a vacation either. Serious coin-op business people know there are only two national exhibitions like this one each year. See you there?