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How to please everybody - ECN's new Editor-in-Chief

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:54am
David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief

You can’t ... thank you for reading. Before I begin shooting down the theory of every shiny, happy person in tireless pursuit of a society built upon shiny, happy people, let me formally introduce myself. I’m David Mantey, ECN’s new editor-in-chief, and, to exhaust the word in the second sentence, I couldn’t be happier to be here. Throughout my tenure at Advantage Business Media, I’ve served the design engineer community on ECN’s sister publication, Product Design & Development (PD&D).

Throughout my time with PD&D, I have had the opportunity to work with the industry’s most innovative, forward thinking engineers as they continue to reshape multiple industries. The only caveat was that the stories seldom dove down as deep as the board level. In fact, they often began after the role of many electrical engineers had concluded. I’m excited to finally be able to tell the entire story.

Now, back to the inability to please the masses (in my experience with engineers, the industry is sometimes a cantankerous and opinionated lot, so most attempt to please a 51 percent majority). As I’m based out of Madison, WI, I had the good fortune to travel to Anaheim, CA for the Electronics West show held at the Anaheim Convention Center, February 11-13, 2014 — the weather reached 77°F in Anaheim; it made it to 19°F in Madison.  

While the dates mean that most exhibitors, attendees, and speakers have to make a preemptive strike to satisfy the Hallmark holiday (I sent a postcard that arrived four days late), everyone on the show floor appreciates the weather, initially. That is until we all arrive on the show floor Tuesday morning and notice that the air conditioning kicked on at 10:00 am, and the convention center had been baking in the hot California sun for four hours, thus forcing sweaty handshakes and frequent forehead dabbing as we walk through the hot box, well into the afternoon. For those of you who caught up with me in the early afternoon, I apologize.

Despite the temperature, the overall pulse of the show floor was encouraging. Many exhibitors noted an uptick in traffic, and many mentioned how a possibly rebounding economy caused businesses to send multiple representatives to the show. In years past, most exhibitors have excused the slow traffic as a “more qualified traffic,” and I understand the theory. When I write an article for ECNmag.com that doesn’t spike in terms of metrics, I assure the suits that a smaller, but more qualified reader sought out my piece. Yeah, the boss didn’t buy it either.

Palm trees, clear skies, and more bodies on the floor wasn’t enough to keep everyone happy, and I had the opportunity to meet a fair number of naysayers who were disappointed with the turnout. Through my years spent walking through industry events, the one constant is the hot and cold opinions between colleagues.

When I’m walking through cube farms speaking to readers, two engineers will share a wall and nothing else — particularly tool, software, and political preference. Our differences are precisely what keeps this industry interesting and engineers innovating, pushing one another if only to prove the other person wrong. 

As ECN’s new editor-in-chief, I know that I won’t be able to please everyone, but I assure you that I will do my best to keep you informed on the latest news, products, trends, and applications that will help you improve each day. Thank you for reading.

What’s your take? Email david.mantey@advantagemedia.com.

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