Takeaways from a year of publishing in California

By Bart Taylor | May 30, 2018

June marks the one-year anniversary for CompanyWeek in California. It's been a year of exploration, of growth, of learning and listening, and, more than anything, of coming to grips with America's largest and most diverse statewide manufacturing economy.

Here's a short list of takeaways after year one:

  • I lost track of the number of conversations I had with manufacturers who first cited how hard it is to do business in California, and, in their next breath, told me they'd never leave or consider moving. California companies have a torrid love/hate relationship with their home state.
  • Open rates of CompanyWeek's California e-publication have been comparable to those in Colorado and Utah. Click-through rates on stories are slightly lower. I think it's an outcome of California's size -- sprawling urban environments and geographic and industrial diversity. Plus, "local" matters more than ever. It's a dynamic playing out across the business community, notably for us in growth in industries like food and beverage manufacturing. Our goal is to write about companies doing things that should matter to manufacturers across the region. It doesn't always work that way.
  • For us this means reporting on companies across manufacturing industries. The list of most-popular features in California after a year reflects manufacturer's interest in other maker companies regardless of industry -- a dynamic at work across our publishing footprint. It's a cross-industry mix of standout companies.

1. Virginia Park Foods, Riverside.

2. Abel Reels, Camarillo, California/Montrose, Colorado

3. Bishop Wisecarver Corporation, Pittsburg

4. Circa of America, San Francisco

5. Häns Swipe, Santa Fe Springs

6. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Corona

7. Scale 1:1, Los Angeles

8. Scandic, San Leandro

9. Odor No More, Tustin

10. Rosenblum Cellars, Oakland

  • The list also reflects our main interest today in middle-market companies operating within OEM supply chains, and OEMs committed to domestic production. That's not to say we won't be featuring more multinational OEMs like Apple, or automotive OEMs that source globally. But to understand the state of American manufacturing today, look to the companies reinventing what it means to be a true domestic manufacturer. California hosts them in the thousands. Companies within Apple's $55 billion domestic annual supply-chain spend capture our imagination.

As we get underway in Year Two, we'll pick up the pace of coverage with more profiles and industry reports. And we'll bring manufacturers together around funding and financing and to collaborate across industries.

Thanks for supporting our mission along the way.

Bart Taylor is publisher of CompanyWeek. Reach him at btaylor@companyweek.com.