Printing For Less in the middle of nowhere

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One of my favorite things to do is get tours of businesses. For instance, if you’re ever in Seattle you should head north and take a tour of the 747 plant. It’s incredible.

But most businesses don’t give tours and, even if they do, you don’t get an idea of what makes that business special.

This tour of Printing for Less is one of those times when you can see something special: a CEO, Andrew Field, who loves what he does and loves the employees who work for him.

“Oh, hooey Scoble, every CEO says that,” you probably are thinking, right? Well, have you ever met a CEO that built a successful Internet business in the middle of nowhere? This business is the only major Internet business in Livingston Montana. It’s small town America. Before he started up his business there weren’t any geeks around. There was barely any Internet infrastructure around.

You’ll see why having a dog policy is helping them attract top-notch talent away from far bigger companies around the world. Not to mention their transparency initiatives (every employee knows exactly how much business they all did - up to the minute). They also show off their brand new building and see why their employees love working there. Printing for Less is the world’s largest Internet-based printing company with about $24 million in revenues (all of its business comes off of its Website).

I got a tour, along with a bunch of other geeks, while we were all up in Montana for our Off the Grid camp out. Enjoy and we’ll get Andrew and his team to answer any other questions you might have.

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100 Responses to “Printing For Less in the middle of nowhere”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I must say I enjoyed the video. I tried them out for my first business cards and was quite impressed with the customer service that was given. I even got a free coffee cup a week after my cards arrived. Thank you Silver Team.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Any other formats coming for the videos? I can’t seem to play .mov files on my Windows Smartphone.

  3. Robert Scoble Says:

    Jeff, yes, but not soon. I have to get more hard drives and computers before I can recompress to lots of other formats.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Thanks, I will watch them all on the desktop till then.

  5. Kevin Tunis : Just Watched the Scoble Show Says:

    […] and Tour of Printing For Less . Share this post: Email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | kickit! | liveit! Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 9:38 PM by KevinTunis Filed under: Visual Studio, ScobleShow,offthegrid, Printing for Less, Ruby on Rails […]

  6. Filter 27/9 2006 - Felt Says:

    […] ScobleShow: Printing For Less in the middle of nowhere Scoble has a new show, and goes to Montana to interview Printing For Less. I myself am an expert on generating files for print (ahem…), and agree with Andrew Field on the most common errors people make in preparing their files for print. […]

  7. Todd P. Says:

    The New York Times published an article on these guys a couple of weeks ago. Very smart business model. They mix the old with the new brilliantly. Great story. Good Luck with the new site.

  8. Bruce Curley Says:

    I like Andrew Field’s leadership style and the way he is revolutionizing the ancient business of printing. I plan to show the video to the marketing group where I work in hopes they will use Printing for Less. And having worked at the Solar Energy Research Institute in 1979, it is encouraging to see solar finally taking root in manufacturing. (For more power and cheaper energy, he may want to look into thin film solar such as Ovonics or Iowa Thin Film.) Finally, I sent the video to my son, Josh, who is a senior in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. I recommended that he find an employer like Andrew Fields. Robert…you do great work and these video’s help me have a productive night when I can’t sleep due to life’s machinations. For that, I thank you.

  9. James Corbett Says:

    I’ve tried downloading twice but keep getting the “Error -37. A bad filename or volume name was encountered” :(

  10. Pieter Overbeeke Says:

    I had the same error James, renaming the file into something shorter solves the problem!

    cheers, Pieter

  11. The Bell Curve Scar » The Virtual Business Tour Says:

    […] Robert Scoble is shaking a finger at business leaders again in Printing For Less in the middle of nowhere: [M]ost businesses don’t give tours and, even if they do, you don’t get an idea of what makes that business special. […]

  12. Code Red Says:

    The error is a result of something timing out. I’m not sure exactly, but I received this error several times when trying to download the .mov file in full (non-streaming). I just kept trying and renaming the newer files. Each time I was able to dowload more than my previous attempt…until I had the whole thing. Ahoy…

  13. Maman Poulet » Blog Archive » Links before bed time Says:

    […] Scoble’s vlogging or whatever at Podtech has started. The Printing for Less crowd look like a great company to work for. The little bit of a work sociologist in me is interested in the reasons people move for work and the dog policy.  And what great PR for them. And Scoble is vlogging about vlogging too. […]

  14. Nick Gray Says:

    I wasn’t going to post a comment - UNTIL I heard that girl singing. This is SO GOOD. I loved the tour and being able to look inside a growing, tech-savvy company. THANK YOU!

  15. steve garfield Says:

    Hi Robert,
    Excellent video. I watched it in Democracy Player since FireAnt had an issue with the feed. Looks really great.

    Andrew Field was very interesting and I liked how the interview ran for as long as it needed to. Three minutes really would have been too short.

    The video qulaity was also very good and the sound wasn’t distracting either.

    An all around great job!
    –Steve

  16. guoqi Says:

    yes

  17. Former Employee Says:

    PFL is a great company externally to their customers. But don’t judge a book by its cover. I and many former employees think that PFL has a lot of work to do internally with its employees.

    Where exactly does PFL need the work? With its management. PFL has a very high turnover rate, and its mostly due to the management not appreciating their workers. One specific way is paying them half what the fair market value for their skill set is really worth. Another is by having no accountability! Instead of the managers owning up to their own mistakes, they place the blame on their employees!

    Like I said, PFL is great to do business with, but a nightmare to work for. They only good thing they have going for them is the dog policy. I guess they have that in place to keep their employees from going completely insane.

  18. Robert Scoble Says:

    To Former:

    Interesting. Just goes to show that even a seemingly great place to work from the outside has its downsides. When the camera was off I spent some time with employees there and everyone said they loved working there.

    And, how would you know what your market value of your skill is? Housing is ridiculously cheap in Montana (my mom’s house, with 4 acres of land, and a stunning view, costs less than $300,000 — if it were in Silicon Valley it’d be $3 million, or more).

  19. RE: To Former: Says:

    You’re right Mr. Scoble, even seemingly great places to work do have their downsides. I have to agree, there are quite a few employees that absolutely love to work there. But I know just as many that couldn’t wait to quit there. Just to be fair, no employer is perfect, some are just better than others. Enough about that though.

    There are plenty career analysis tools published out on the web that will tell you fair market value for your specific skill set, based on your location. Plug a few numbers into them and you’ll find what the fair market value for your skill is.

    I found specifically in Montana, that PFL compared to the rest of the state pays on the lower 10% of what other employers offer for that same skill set. That is a pretty low number.

    Housing may be cheap, but you’re comparing one extreme to the other. Yes you can buy a home here with a great view for under 300k, but try finding a job here that will pay for that home. It’s a wash not matter how you look at it.

    Anyway, I really did enjoy your program. I am looking forward to watching more of your work. Thanks for replying to my response as well. So many people these days ignore their viewers. It’s kind of frustrating you know? So keep up the great work.

  20. » Effective Leadership from a Tech CEO … In Montana-Nontrivial Exercises » Blog Archive Says:

    […] I don’t mean to turn this blog into a commercial for the ScobleShow, but Robert Scoble has some simply fantastic interviews on his opening week and a half of his new show at PodTech. It would be a shame not to discuss and point them out. The first show he released last Monday was of a video walk-through of an Internet printing company, Printing For Less. […]

  21. Summit: The MakaluMedia Blog » Blog Archive » Reccomended Design Resources Says:

    […] PrintingForLess.com This printer in Livingston, WY has very smart people, great pricing and does really nice 4 color print work. We’ve seen good stuff come from PFL for several clients and like their approach to business. Robert Scoble did a video walkthrough of their plant which is well worth watching. […]

  22. uranus Says:

    Cool, I was able to watch the video on my treo 700 smartphone.

    thanks

  23. Doug Manne Says:

    Please keep this Private!

    As I would prefer you keep your review of this product incognito and compare this product with the next release do at the end of October.

    The product is Qnext and every release it evolves. Eventually there will be a Qnext Business version.

    Thank You
    Doug Manne UncleDoug

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  25. Studiebesök på Printing for Less i Montanat, USA at ALEXANDRIA.SE Says:

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  94. Service Untitled » Andrew Field of PrintingForLess.com - Part 1 - customer service and customer service experience blog Says:

    […] PrintingForLess.com is an interesting company that I first heard about from Robert Scoble, and then more from Christian Long.  Their coverage sparked my interest and I setup an interview with the company’s CEO and founder, Andrew Field. […]

  95. Robert Gonzales Says:

    I’ve been using a similar company http://sacdigital.com for my printing and I must say that the internet is revolutionizing the printing world. You can upload your file 24-7 and you save a lot of time. Printingforless seems to have a pretty solid business plan and they are doing very well from it.

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  99. Jack Says:

    Robert,
    You your comments at the begining of this entry sparked my interest. While I’m sure your tour of PFL was delightfull you were clearly given the glossy marketing tour. Fact is that Andrew Field is nothing more than a big fish in a very small pond. PFL has a long standing reputation of treating it’s employee’s like dirt. Most employess don’t stay longer than 3-4 years before realizing they are in fact working for a company that has no long term interest in them, despite PFL’s spin on themselves as great progressive employers. Printing is easy. The reason PFL is so sucessfull is that most small to mid sized business people have very low expectations on the quality of their printing and most likely do not care. McPrinting is great.

  100. Another Ex Employee Says:

    Jack,

    You know it! People actually run out the doors when they leave. It’s hard because it is a “good” job to have in Montana, but they overwork you and under pay you. There is only so long that you can expose yourself to such abuse before you either leave or just give up and accept it that your job sucks.

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