Over the decades, we have found a lot of things we can do with cars. Thirty-four years ago, when I entered the industry, we put in cassette decks and expensive CD players, we put in amplifiers and component speaker systems, and we were just learning how to put in subwoofers. Now, we can do magic. We can make things that look better than factory, and sound better than ever.

We have seen adjacent categories come and go – intermittent wipers, CD changers, A/C, and cruise have come and gone. Security systems have seen their best days as a category, and remote start is not growing. We can still get head units into some car, with ingenuity and with interface partners. Radar and laser seem to be doing well at the moment, and that’s good – but it isn’t our cornerstone.

Our cornerstone is great sound systems for music.

The single biggest change to our business over the last 30-odd years is that we as an industry are capable of delivering better sound than ever before. The single biggest disappointment is, all too often we don’t do it. Maybe it’s because we as individuals don’t’ know how, or maybe it’s because our organization isn’t committed to it – but as an industry, we fail to deliver great sound in a majority of the vehicles we touch. And we know it.

That’s one reason many of us are so comfortable with motorcycle audio and marine audio – it doesn’t have to sound great, it just has to get loud and not blow up. It’s financially rewarding, but it’s not great sound.

OK, rock on with your bad selves, put woofers in saddlebags til the cows come home – but don’t give up on great sound, either.

Educar – since the first OEM-integration trainings – has been about the business of great sound in cars. That’s very, very different than great sound anywhere else. We aren’t about competition, we aren’t about “high-end”, and we aren’t about fabrication for its own sake – it all has to serve the business of great sound. We want great sound to be a dependable, repeatable, production process available at shops all over the world.

That means we cover acoustics and audio technology and system design, but also topics like sales, fabrication, OEM integration, and business management. Many of us are not natural businesspeople. We may need to develop our management, sales, and/or technical skills to make our business plan work, so that’s what will be covered regularly in the magazine. In-depth, roll-up your sleeves coverage, too, not glancing mentions. We aren’t going to report “two sides to every story” – we’re going to tell you how it really is.

We aren’t looking for the next big thing. We know what the next big thing is.

Stay tuned.

Ken Ward