I have been hanging around in this industry since the very early days. I’ve seen a lot, and even learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve looked around and seen a few industry blogs, but what I’ve read tends to be product-centric and quite self-serving. People can’t seem to resist the temptation to shamelessly self-promote.
Given I spent 20 years writing and editing in daily newspapers before leaving and getting into this weird space, I thought I could revive my somewhat dormant skills and start a blog looking at the industry from a macro level. What’s being done out there. What works. What seems doomed from the get-go.
After a long career in daily newspapers, fed up with head office versus regional bullshit, I went over the wall in 1999 and joined Canada’s Elevator News Network, what was at that time among the most ambitious and successful digital signage networks in the world. I got the company going in Western Canada and then moved east to take ENN through its most aggressive expansion. We added 600 screens in a year, a huge task and a very big capex. I left after ENN was shotgun-merged with Captivate Network of Boston, having been walked off the plank along with the rest of the Canadian management team. I think our US colleagues picked up a few things from us, and Captivate has developed into one of the biggest and most successful players in this space.
I had a brief sojourn with a digital signage start-up, and then started work on what became Concourse Media, an ad-based network with screens positioned through the busiest commuter walkways underground Toronto’s business district. That’s still operating, but a couple of lean years, and kids in high school, convinced me to hand over the keys and get a steady paycheque. In hindsight, we were at least a couple of years early on the scene.
For the past few years I have been developing the business in North America for a couple of the biggest and best digital signage software companies around, I went from one to the other following dollar signs and, in hindsight, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea as the second one seemed to run low on the cash it seemed to have plenty of when I jumped. Anyway, circumstances led me to go in a new direction in Spring 2009. I thought I had a perfect gig all squared away, but that went sideways, quickly, for reasons that will probably have me head-scratching 20 years from now.
More than tired of the vagaries of working for others, I have finally listened to friends and set up my own gig, pressDOOH. In a nutshell, I can do all the writing work that most companies in this space don’t have the time, skills or resources to do on their own. They could hire out to a formal PR firm and spent much of their time getting the firm’s people up the learning curve. Or call me. Unless you are doing something really weird, I already know your business. And quite possibly know you!
My home base is in Burlington, Ontario, aka outer, outer Toronto, Canada, and in normal times, hotels and airports and convention centers.
I do this for fun, and despite the appearance of seemingly dozens of other blogs, because it is needed. I try to stay unbiased, and if I take a shot at a competitor, it is not to gain some advantage. It’s because a competitor is being ridiculous in a press release, and needs a little written whack upside the head.
If the Emperor shows up with no clothes, I’m taking pictures and posting ’em.
Everything posted is my personal opinion and does not reflect on my employers or business partners. Nothing is pre-approved unless I choose to get something fact-checked or OK’d by whoever I am blabbering on about. There are no warranties or other guarantees about the quality of the opinions. In other words, it’s a blog. But I adhere to disciplines I learned and refined working in some of Canada’s better newsrooms.
This (left) is what I look like, and sadly it is one of my better photos (my passport photo is breathtakingly bad, for example).
This is how to find me now:
Email: dave at sixteen-nine.net or dave at pressdooh.com
Having trouble sleeping? Here’s my online resume: https://www.sixteen-nine.net/dh_eresume.html
Want to see me blabber on in an impromptu interview (and go bug-eyed and say “Uh” far too often???)