It's survival of the fittest.

Position:The view from IMTS 2008

If it's time for IMTS already, then Bill Gibbs is starting to feel a little old. The president for Cimatron Technologies and Gibbs and Associates attended his first IMTS in 1978. At that show, he recalls the showcase piece being a CAM software you could talk to, instead of typing. Of course, that program was a bit ahead of its time: a solution in search of a problem, which is not a great basis for a business plan.

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"Even had their technology been up to snuff, most people can type '-2.4368' faster than they can say 'minus two point four three six eight,'" says Gibbs. "The company didn't last long."

Gibbs mentions all this keeping in mind the current economic landscape: a weak U.S. dollar, high gas prices, tight credit, the housing crisis, and a new president around the corner.

"I'm sure a lot of us stop and ponder how long our companies will be around," he says. "It's not something we should take for granted. The best way to ensure that our companies will be around a while is to do something about it."

And in...

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