Time flies when you are getting kicked in the junk. When we were locked down, drinking to-go cocktails out of mason jars and looking at cardboard cutouts in baseball stadiums, time seemed to stand still. This year flew by as fast as a Nolan Ryan fastball to the groin. We barely had time to charge the mound and have Mr. Ryan punch us in the noggin.
The Farm managed to close out the year in typical form, pushing all of our cow chips into the middle of the table and calling the AV industry’s bets. We went all in again, even after many many many blows straight to the junk.
It started in February. We were summoned to a mandatory meeting in Irvine by our biggest factory. It was a two-day training that ended in spectacular fashion. We were told by this factory that we had to choose between them and our other biggest brand. As lifelong farmers, we don’t cotton to being told how to run our farm. And so began the fun. Buh-bye mic brand.
After the notification that our income would likely reduce by over 35%, we figured that this band-aid had been ripped off. Let’s get back to work and figure something out. Then the unthinkable happened. We lost our favorite person in our company to an illness. Our conscience left us. When you start a business, you have no plan for such things. Thanks, 2022. We don’t like you much so far.
Now the supply chain is beating us senseless, Robin is gone, and Shure is gone. 2020, hold my beer. 2022 is here and laser-focused on The Farm’s misery…which is just below the belt.
Then something happened. First, it was QSC (Now Q-SYS). They said, “You bet on us, now we’re betting on you. Go to the Rocky Mountains and serve our customers there.” At that moment, everything changed. Our junk still hurt, but we were certain we made the right choice. Time to push the chips in.
Chip one. We bet on Kelly Perkins…or she bet on us. Either way, win.
Chip two. We bet on Sean Murphy in the North West. OMG.
Chip three. Dana Sanders Nickel bet on us.
Chip four. Matthew Jenson says, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”
Things are getting a little hairy now. How do we afford all these new people after a yellow-card-inducing blow to the nethers?
We work harder. FarmAssist says to us, “Hey rep firm, go ahead and chill out. We got this.” And they did. They took on more work, flew on more planes, and built more amazing systems for our channel partners. They worked more hours in more server closets. And just like that, we were close to getting up off the pitch.
Then came Audio-Technica. Then Draper. All of a sudden it looks good. So we pulled the trigger on purchasing Signal Marketing.
We then added Don Heisler and Patrick Birch.
Oh…and in the middle of all of this, we bought our first building.
Now as we look back at 2022… it might actually have been worse than our first official year in business. We’ve had plenty of practice on being doubled over in pain. When we started, in the first 6 months of our existence, Ramsa went extinct, Allen & Heath got bought by Harman and canned us – and just like in 2022, 30% of our income went up in smoke. We have all kinds of expertise in getting cup-checked. But 2022 came at us with higher velocity and accuracy. But like last time, we took the pain and used it as motivation.
So as much as I am happy to see 2022 leave the playing field for the last time, I realize how lucky we are to have been blessed with this amazing group of people. When we get on a group call or get together in person, it just blows my mind. Each of us contributes in our own way. All of us laugh together and grieve together. It is something special that I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams.
We welcome 2023. This will be the first year with all of the tools in place and our junk still fully intact.
Happy New Year.
– John Hood