First Survive, Then Thrive

After 40 years of publishing, Quality Digest is in a very good place

Jeff Dewar

November 24, 2021

There are many endangered industries today, and publishing is certainly among them. In 2009 we didn’t know if we would survive the monumental changes that had torn through all areas of the publishing world.  

W. Edwards Deming once said to me during an interview, “Pray that your competitors are good. They’ll make you even better.”

To Google, Facebook, and the internet in general, you made us even better. Stronger. And now we use you to accomplish our goals for the benefit of our readers and supporters.  

When advertising revenue dried up in what felt like an overnight genocide of the publishing industry—due primarily to “pay per click” ads—we thought we were doomed. That now feels like the distant past as we look into an enthusiastic future. A future that we built, lacking funds, with nothing more than the creativity and commitment of our team. 

If my father were alive today, he wouldn’t recognize the publication he started back in 1981. Everything is different, from the schedule to the platform, our broadcasting, the array of reporting, and how we offer a connection between advertisers and readers. He would be amazed and proud of our team. Mostly, though, he would be gratified by the commitment to “find a way.” For Don Dewar was not a man to give up.  

Looking forward, we see an increasing number of areas that need the expertise of quality professionals, and we will be enthusiastically covering this. In my 2020 interview with Ann Jordan, CEO of ASQ, she said: 

“The pandemic, as horrible as it is, has put quite a spotlight on how critically important quality processes are. One perfect example is in the development, storage, transportation, and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines. It has been nothing short of amazing how this has brought C-suite awareness of the critical importance of quality processes and the professionals who manage them.”

We’re marking the 40th anniversary of covering the quality world with two special issues, one looking back, and in January 2022 another one looking forward. We hope those of you who have been around the industry a long time will remember some of the things we highlight and that newcomers (who go by lots of other titles besides quality manager,  e.g., “regulatory compliance manager”) will enjoy learning about the history of their industry and profession.  

As part of these two special issues, we’re delighted to have Scott Paton, our prior editor in chief, and later publisher, return to the publishing platform in which he grew up. His article on the history of Quality Digest is not just a journalist reporting on a company; it’s a firsthand eye-witness account.  

About The Author

Jeff Dewar’s picture

Jeff Dewar

Jeff Dewar is CEO of Millennium 360 Inc., Quality Digest’s parent company. During his career he has presented quality-related topics to thousands of people on six continents, all but Antarctica.

Comments

Congratulations on your anniversary

I remember Scott as well, and I am looking forward to seeing his article.