This conversation with Ted Marquez.

I got a number of replies to the GBXM retirement/reinvention email yesterday. 

This one stood out. 

Brian,

Your magazine never fell on deaf ears bud. I think your market was appealing to the little guys that loved working behind the scenes, doing what they love, for those small circles of car guys and friends. Although I think we should all know when to “take a step back”, I think the ship has sailed for the now “old school” car guys.

Some of us in our late 30s, catching the tail end of the tech spectrum the big dogs like Buschur, Rau, Shep, and even the big name Honda guys left behind. Basically, continuing to do the work they left behind as they moved onto bigger and better things.

I don’t blame them, as I have found work in the ashes of the flame that once burned inside their passion. Those I look up to seemed to have changed with the times for whatever reasons, whether it be financial (business), part availability, or just tired of dealing with a troublesome customer base, I don’t blame them.

But I want you to realize, what you do is not for nothing. There is still a core group of car folk who appreciate your time and place. I just see our antique ship sailing, and it’s time to adjust accordingly if we want to appeal to the masses. #ForTheLikes

Social media is partly to blame, same day delivery options are also partly to blame, and technology is making our generations into something else. They haven’t learned the once coveted art of patience.

Some of us older folk seem to have also numbed that skill down in lieu of instant gratification or electronic social acceptance. But I tell you, the group of people you appeal to don’t always care for that, and that’s OK.

Once the batteries die, and the power is out, your market will turn to each other and strike up a conversation.

Where can you bridge the gap or find the balance though?

#Beacon

Ted Marquez

NEWSFLASH: It’s already working.

I replied.

Ted “The Man” Marquez.

Now there’s a name I haven’t seen in a while—that brings a smile to my face.

Thank you. Thank you for the thoughtful, heartfelt words on my big day. Thank you for getting it, for putting it into words, for reminding me it was all worth it.

You’re exactly right. And I love the way you describe finding value in the ashes of those who moved on. Much respect, one hustler to another.

You raise an interesting paradigm.

We’ve all got a pretty good idea of how things have changed in our own lives—forums are dying off, social media is eroding attention spans, we’re all chasing an ever-shrinking slice of the pie. I’ve never thought about how the changing digital landscape of the last 20 years has impacted the businesses enabled by the pre-social, forum-driven web.

Like you say, people like Shep and Buschur had to evolve beyond their original, core customer bases. It makes sense to think they’d move into Skylines—but imagine how much of those decisions were driven by necessity versus desire. I mean, you and I know our way around DSMs. We could probably hold our own with any vehicle—but what if we had to base our next projects on market research instead of just what we want (like we did when we got started).

Not saying they struggled with these decisions, but it’s an interesting perspective.

I want to explore this one some more. Thank you for pulling it out of the ether for me.

Beyond that, I’d just like to go on the record that those “little guys” you mention, the OGs, the people you describe through #forthelikes? That’s who TGP is for.

GBXM was, “Hey everybody! This is neat! Check it out! What could we do with this?”

TGP is, “Hey fellow OG! So what if the ship has sailed? We’re gearheads. WE BUILD OUR OWN SHIPS. What do you need?”

Those who speak up are the ones we serve.

So let me ask you, fellow OG—what do you need?

 

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