I sheepishly admit that it took the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain for me to finally put the highly entertaining and informative Kitchen Confidential at the top of my reading list.
As you no doubt already inferred from my opening sentence, I loved it — the tone and style, as well as the funny/alarming/intriguing stories it told. What I most enjoyed about it, however, was his passion for art of cooking and the restaurant business lifestyle that was evident on nearly every page. Even when it seemingly looked like he was tearing it apart — as in the section where he described a typically day that seemed ridiculously chaotic, dangerous, and exhausting — you could feel his excitement through the ink.
While every industry has its zealots, some produce far more than others — Bourdain was certainly not alone in his enthusiasm for being a chef. I feel fortunate that, for the entire duration of my career, I have covered industries jam-packed with passionate professionals — including audio engineers, commercial integrators, and, to no one’s surprise, custom home professionals.
You know you love it. If you don’t, someone needs to take a picture and show you how your eyes light up when you tell the story of how you figured out how to re-wire the old doorbell so it would work with the new Control4 system. Or the smile on your face when you reveal how you finally succeeded in using remote management software to reduce truck rolls. Or record you so you can hear the pride in your voice as you talk about your latest AV installation.
You get the idea.
If you could open another sort of business, you wouldn’t, because what you do is insanely cool. Just ask any non-integrator at your dinner parties. You know — the ones with all the questions for you about today’s home technology. The ones who wish they could do what you do. Or you can ask the people who hire you, but they would probably play it cool.
It is this passion that makes producing content for this brand so much fun. Your enthusiasm is infectious. And it is my privilege to help tell your stories. So thank you for that.
Speaking of telling stories, believe it or not, the end of the year is bearing down upon us. In the December issue and online, we are once again featuring success stories from the current year. Typically, we speak to manufacturers, but this year I want to open it up to every member of this community—from owners to salespeople to installers. I want to hear your top moments of the year. Please send a few paragraphs describing them to me at email@example.com, and I will run as many as I possibly can.
These stories are meant to be inspirational and capture the excitement we feel toward custom integration. We’ll get to the funny and intriguing ones, too— nightmare customers, difficult installs, bad employees — but, for now, let’s end the year on the high notes.
I look forward to sharing your successes.