The Business of Laser Scanning: Something is Missing

A 411Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE

Talking Heads
‘ve been to a variety of conferences lately, both within the 3D imaging industry as well as other business events. I’ve had the privilege of listening to some very bright minds and overall successful people share their vision and opinions on a variety of subjects. And aside from the predictable selfaggrandizing that commonly occurs, especially in the world of 3d, there have been some valuable messages. But I find too often there is something missing.

In common with the majority of these presentations is the lack of WHY in the message. Why were they successful and more importantly WHY should I care? So let me introduce you to Simon Sinek who’s book (Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009)) delves into what he says is a naturally occurring pattern that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations versus others. And why some simply fail even though they have a good plan – a benevolent objective. To quote Sinek, "…people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it."

I strongly recommend his book for a variety of reasons for anyone in business. One of the examples he uses to illustrate how important the WHY is comes from the story of the famous explorer Edmund Shackleton who in 1914 led an expedition to Antarctica against truly death defying odds in a wooden sailing ship. The story tells of the shipwrecked crew who together survived months floating on ice caps.

They were successful and nobody died because of the composition of the crew and their personalities. Shackleton ran an ad in the paper before the mission to recruit the crew with the proper mindset. The ad specifically didn’t say what the mission was, but stressed WHY they were doing it. It read in part, "…honour and recognition in case of success."

Lost Doctor
As an example, I’m sitting in a presentation by a research scientist from the University of Arizona who spends the next 37 minutes explaining to the audience what they are doing to find a cure for cancer. Incredibly knowledgeable, the doctor cites statistics and shows case study data on their success rate; discusses cutting edge technology; and paints a great vision for the future with his methods that will revolutionize cancer treatment. [Sound a little like the 3D imaging world? In that last sentence substitute the word "measurement" in place of `cancer treatment’ and it’s the common speech you’ve heard.]

The doctor continues about how frustrated he is because while they’re one of the leading organizations in the world, they fight desperately to compete for medical research dollars and recognition with the highly promoted Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Immediately in my head I envision the signage that Banner has posted on bill boards throughout Arizona that shows their logo, that has a giant red stripe through the word "cancer" Banner is effectively . telling me WHY I should care and support them even in their logo, while this doctor is telling me how great he is at research. At no time during the presentation I sat through did the scientist indicate WHY I should care about his cause. Think how much better it could have been if he’d told me WHY I should support him over Banner Medical.

TED Talks
If you’re not familiar with Ted Talks let me introduce you to one of the best video platforms on the planet for inspiring thought and action. It’s a collection of mostly common individuals having completely uncommon lectures on an incredibly wide variety of topics, including our 3D technology. One of the most basic reasons this site is so immensely popular and videos are so often viewed is because they all talk about WHY. Each video has a message that is designed to somehow enrich the viewer and provide you with a message about WHY. And as such, their videos are viewed worldwide. [Check out Simon Sinek’s talks.]

WHY should you care?
So how does this translate into your business? It is going to be easier for you to recruit and retain the best employees if they understand your company’s WHY. There will be a much larger blue ocean of market opportunity in different market segments if you can explain your WHY. It will be far easier to set goals, strategies, and tactical plans in place if you know your WHY. Simply put, it is going to be much easier for you to enjoy a bottom line profit if you are starting with WHY. Offer your clients this clear understanding. An inspired client is far less price sensitive and much more loyal over time. So, what’s your WHY?

Ken Smerz is the President of Precision 3D ( a service provider that travels throughout the nation working with A/E/C and forensic clients. He can be reached at with any questions or comments you might have.

A 411Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE