40 Under 40 winner: Don't run from technology
By Ezra Drissman
September 4, 2018 | 12:18 pm CDT
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Many of us just returned from the IWF in Atlanta. Many of my customers missed our booth because they were too busy in the machine area. It is hard to blame them since the technology in the wood industry is changing at a rapid pace. Finding the right tool can make your life easier and make you more money.
The woodworking industry is advanced and archaic at the same time. With a little more innovation and marketing, we can attract young people into our ranks. You may be creating some beautiful pieces, but if Google doesn’t know, it doesn’t exist -- Google makes up 90-95% of U.S. searches. 
So many woodworking shops will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy and amazing machinery, yet don’t have an email program, or worse, don’t know how to send an email. Don’t be afraid of technology. 
Any woodworker will tell you that learning the trade is a process and that you must start with basics. Regardless of the machinery you are using, you must understand woodworking and wood to really be successful. The internet and computers are no different. The basics will help you get to the next level.  New social media channels are opening as we speak - embrace. 
A good place to start is by not being afraid. Instagram is no scarier than a state-of-the-art vacuum forming machine. They both make you more money.
Need help? Ask. We are in this industry together.
Author Ezra Drissman, sales and marketing for Oakwood Veneer Co., has a passion for woodworking, and of course, veneer. He's also a 2018 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 honoree.

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