None of us are any smarter than the intelligence available to us – information, data, or systems that offer us an advantage over the competition. In warfare, intelligence – or lack of it – is usually the difference between winning or losing a battle. The same can be said for sports, or landscaping or publishing, for that matter. Knowing more about your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, about the market that you serve, about the versatility of your equipment are just a few of the unfair advantages all of us with a competitive nature want to achieve.
Sometimes this intelligence falls into our laps, but most often it takes a great deal of effort to gather valuable intel. One intel-rich environment for the landscaping industry was the GIE+EXPO trade show in Louisville, Kentucky, in October. For the first time, the two main trade shows for our industry combined forces, and the result was a huge success. As I walked the seemingly endless aisles of the show, it was apparent how technologically driven landscaping has become.
Landscapers from all over the country were seeking every advantage they could find at the show – whether it was a faster, more powerful mower, a more versatile piece of compact equipment, new design software, or simply a gem of an idea uncovered during conversation with a fellow landscaper.
Now comes the difficult part – finishing the job. We must put into practice the information and ideas gathered. I observed many cutting-edge products new for 2008. Even better, I had the opportunity to talk with many of you who make your living in this industry and plan to talk with many more. Like you, I’m gathering intelligence to make myself – and this magazine – better. Those intelligence-gathering efforts introduced me to many smart people in this industry. In reflection, I can only say that their collective enthusiasm and creative vision bodes well for all of us.