Time flies when you’re having fun. And for our team at Shamrock, the years have been moving at a fast clip for the past four decades. This month, The Shamrock Companies celebrates a momentous milestone—40 years in business.
An anniversary like this one makes us pause and reflect. We remember the good stuff: the wins and losses, triumphs and struggles, lessons and misses, advancements and old-school practices, long-time customers and new opportunities, and above all, the people and relationships we’ve made along the way that have made it all worthwhile.
I founded Shamrock at my kitchen table in 1982. First a print, labels, and forms supplier, I surrounded myself with good people who helped me as I led the Company’s growth and diversification, molding Shamrock into what we are today, A full-service integrated marketing firm with a national footprint.
While I’ve stepped back from day-to-day operations, I remain engaged with the Company and follow our team’s everyday journey—their commitment to carry the torch that was lit so many years ago. They’ve asked me to share my thoughts about reaching this 40-year milestone. So, here’s my take:
From the archives- Shamrock’s first blog.
Shamrock’s anniversary has us feeling nostalgic. And we’ve had some fun rooting through old photos and files in our celebratory trip down memory lane—some things we’d like to share. Below is my first blog, posted on April 21, 2011. Twenty years later, and its lesson is still relevant today. Read the original blog.
UNDER THE KALEIDOSCOPE.
Never thought I’d be writing a blog. Seems more like something my kids would consider. But there are some new ideas simmering at Shamrock, and I realize the best way to them, and what’s new in the industry, is a blog. Hopefully, this will give us a chance to engage in some problem-solving dialog, answer questions and talk about trends heading our way faster than a high-performance sports car at Le Mans.
A true story.
Recently, I was walking through our building with a customer. He saw several kaleidoscopes on display and asked me why I collect them. I thought about it and immediately realized why I’m so fond of kaleidoscopes. They’re so simply designed that, with a slight turn of the wrist, they create a pattern that pleases everyone who looks through it. A kaleidoscope really is just a simple tube with a circle of mirrors containing loose, colored objects such as beads or pebbles and bits of glass. But when the viewer looks into one end, those pebbles and bits of glass come together to create a whole vision that is complex yet so simple in its balanced perfection.
Essentially, a kaleidoscope simplifies chaos.
Aside from the complementary principles of complexity and simplicity inside a simple tube, what fascinates me about kaleidoscopes is how each particle inside this cylinder works as part of the whole to create symmetry and a uniquely perfect outcome. (Unlike my golf game, which, lately, seems to lack symmetry — or anything close to perfection.)
Our problem-solving process is like a kaleidoscope. When a customer comes to us for help, we gather a group of smart people with individual talents. Think of this group like those small objects in a kaleidoscope, working in harmony. They may use the Raving Fans Theory, plus their combined talents and Shamrock’s cutting-edge technology, to create an individualized solution to a customer’s problem. Not too different from the symmetry inside a kaleidoscope.
One Last Word
In this era of business enterprise where solutions are defined by new technology, we try to remember that it’s the individuality and different talents of the team who solve the problems that actually make the technology work.
And One Final Thought
I’ve heard that the first post is the hardest. I’d like this blog to be about you, your company and what you’d like to discuss. Anything, from innovative ways to use mobile marketing to the latest techniques in digital printing to innovations in testing direct mail. We’ll do everything we can to get answers and share them in future posts.
Here’s where it all began.
When Shamrock was founded in 1982, life looked a bit different than it does today: Michael Jackson’s iconic album “Thriller” was released, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” made its debut in theaters, the cost of a gallon of gas was 91 cents, big hair and mullets were in, and the first issue of USA Today was published.
There’s been a lot of progress between then and now—and these archive photos from Shamrock over the years are proof. Enjoy!
My biggest lesson learned over the past 40 years: People are the most important element of any business. To all our employees and all those customers who have been by our side to share this journey, we thank you and appreciate you. It’s been a great ride so far. We’re excited to see what the next 40 years bring!