Decline of RP - I don't think so (self-promotion)

From: Mark Littlewood (
Date: Thu Mar 11 1999 - 20:49:54 EET

There has been a whole load of stuff on this list about the terrible state
of the RP industry. It almost seems as if this fabulous industry has turned
from being one of the most exciting industries in the world to one of the

I realize this is is in a sense self-promotional (forgive me), but the
point that I would like to make has implications about the state of the
industry for everybody on this list.

I have been working with the American RP Industry for the last four years
and honestly believe that the general mood amongst the service bureaus and
other players is very positive at present. In fact probably the most
positive that it has been since I joined our company. As a publication that
derives its revenue from advertising $$$ from people like you, we are in a
unique position to gage the market. Just in case anyone points out that
there are lots of other analogous magazines out there - none of them know
this market specifically in the depth and for the time that we have).

There is no doubt that there have been a few difficult years for some
people in the industry but we are convinced that the corner has been
turned. The state of this industry, which we should not forget is still
very young, is certainly affected by global economic trends, but it is also
up to the individual players in it to go out and develop new business,
create new applications and new user bases.

This is happening in the best RP companies in the States and Canada, and
whilst everybody is affected by change to a degree, the companies that are,
in my opinion, going to make it and be successful are the ones that have
got good business models.

Most of these organizations all seem to have developed: a realistic
corporate vision with clear and simply stated objectives, a commitment to
their employees and clients which is tangible, a business plan, and
profitability. This is hardly teaching you anything new but then, business
is not rocket science, stereolithography etc...

I am as excited about RP now as I was when I first discovered what it can
do. Working in this industry we forget much too quickly just how much we
know when compared to the outside world, and this means that we forget that
there is still potential for this industry to grow significantly. Success
does breed success and it would be really nice to think that this list had
a more positive spin to its comments about where the industry is headed.

I for one know that it is doing well in many areas. As mentioned before, we
rely on this industry for much of our advertising revenue. Our advertising
revenue is dependent on how well you guys are doing. Our February 1999
edition of the book is 26% bigger than the 1998 version - engineering
industry publishing average for same period is - 20%. (Shrink). This is not
40% year on year but it is hardly to be sneezed at.

Don't forget how exciting this industry is. Thank you all very much for
your support over the past few years and for the friends that we have made
in the business. We intend to continue to grow and hope to help the
industry to grow too. You can work with us and you don't have to
[necessarily ;)] spend money to do so. Just make sure that if you have news
which is good for the industry, particularly if you feel it will increase
the level of understanding amongst the wider engineering community about
RP, make sure that you get it over to us and we will pass it on to the
relevant editor. (Next deadline 3/12/99).

We love your work, we love your industry, we have all had a difficult time
but there are good times ahead. Keep smiling!

Have a great year.

Mark Littlewood, Scott Colman
General Manager, North American Sales Manager

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:51:12 EEST