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Ray Allegrezza

Does the indusry need intervention?

September 4, 2013

The other day, while flipping the through the TV channels, I stopped and watched a few minutes of a reality show called "Intervention."

The show follows the lives of troubled souls suffering from everything from addictions to compulsive behaviors.
It seems that, regardless of the disorder, the struggling characters know they have a serious issue or issues, but just can't seem to face it, until of course, friends or family show up and hold an intervention. During the process, those friends and family members search for ways to get the struggling person to face his or her issues.

I'll be honest with you - 10 minutes of that drama was all I could take, but as I turned the TV off and walked out of the room, I couldn't help but wonder if our industry couldn't benefit from some sort of intervention.
Here's why: I think our industry suffers from an extreme case of identity disorder.

While we tout ourselves as makers and sellers of fashion-forward, design-driven furniture and accessories, we're the first ones to routinely sell those goods by the pound like some commodity item.

We also sing the praises of innovative design, yet how many true innovators can you point to?

I think we also may be suffering from a somewhat altered state of reality in terms of how good a job we do when it comes to vetting our introductions before bringing them to market or to retail. While I do know of companies that conduct fairly extensive product evaluations with consumers before introducing new products, they are the exception, not the norm.

We also think of ourselves as innovators. But what was the last big innovation in our sector? Motion? Touch lighting? A power strip incorporated into a nightstand? All good ideas, but they seem diminutive when you compare them to consumer electronics, a sector that thrives on "latest and greatest."

An intervention, like looking in the mirror, is not always a pleasant sight. But the happy ending to the story is this: If you don't like what you see, change it.