Signazon Spotlight: Jim Lyons, Print Expert - Part 2
Jim Lyons, Print Expert

This is Part 2 of our spotlight with Jim Lyons. In case you missed it, you can find the first part of the interview here.

Over the past 30 years, Jim Lyons has seen the print industry grow and transform. As an industry analyst, speaker, and blogger, he keeps close tabs on the industry’s latest innovations. And at the top of list are mobile printing and, fan favorite, 3D-printing.

Today Lyons sits down with us to discuss these two technologies and they're are changing the industry and, quite possibly, the world.



Do you believe the progress in mobile printing technology will make it possible for companies, like Signazon, to adopt the technology to large format printers?

This is an interesting question. Larger printers and the industry have always used file transferring from one device to another to print something to paper or whatever media is used. In the simplest terms, it starts with a digital file that is converted on the computer and then is sent to the printer.

Mobile printing shares that capability with the large format world, but I think it will also go the other way as well. Smart marketers and product designers will continue to do well by studying other aspects of adjacent markets and see how innovations can be adopted in their businesses. The differentiating factor is the desktop (or the laptop) will always be best source for the largest files. The amount of memory and the programs needed for high quality printing are best served on a larger computer rather than a mobile device.

BERG Cloud's Little Printer
We really enjoyed the post you have about your “Little Printer” from BERG Cloud, could you tell me more about its capabilities and how a business owner might be able to use it?

The Little Printer has been one of the real printing success stories of the last few years, and it’s exactly the type of product/solution I love to explore and expose to the broader industry, hoping to inspire further creativity. It combines users’ smartphone habits and capabilities with hard copy, and was and is heavily promoted and followed on social media. Your readers can find out more about it from BERG and on my website. This type of technology (micro-printers) is still finding its footing but I believe it is a step in the right direction. Printing a Word document from your phone was a huge step but the “Little Printer” will find its own niche and I think customers will create that themselves.

Could you tell us about your speech at the Business Imaging Expo, on the mobile printing environment?

The best way to answer that question would be to point your readers over to the 2013 Year in Review article on my site. They can find the complete recap there. What I can add to the theme of what that post discusses and highlights is that it is time for the printing industry to stop being reactive to the mobile market and seeing it as one massive homogeneous blob. Let’s be creative as an industry and try to set the trends by creatively understanding user needs, and understanding various segments with unique characteristics and meeting their needs.

Smart marketers and product designers will continue to do well by studying other aspects of adjacent markets and see how innovations can be adopted in their businesses.
—Jim Lyons
Print Expert
Does the 3D printing trend have the capability to become the next big thing that customers will begin to purchase or do you believe it is just a fad that will fade away?

I see 3D printing as something definitely here to stay. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it has very little to do with printing, from a business and marketing standpoint. Why 3D print something when you can purchase the real thing? I have had a chance to see a lot of the technology at some shows and events as it has become more and more popular. There is some really great stuff happening, but printer companies looking to leverage existing competencies will find they will look very hard and may find very little.

As a viable, new business opportunity for the industry, I don’t see it as the next big idea because of the long term research and development needed. It reminds me of HP’s entry into commercial printing and graphics art – though it seemed like a no-brainer to some, the overlap was much smaller than one might imagine. It came out well eventually, but it took much more work and more time than we originally imagined.


If you're interested in learning more the print industry or getting in contact with Lyons, he can be found on Twitter @jflyons and on his blog jimlyonsobservations.blogspot.com.

Images courtesy of BERG Cloud.

Page Authored By Rick Debus

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