It's a Sunday night and I'm alone at the temporary WJOB studios on the campus of the Purdue University Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center on Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond. It's about to rain so there is no sunset, although it would be difficult to view anyhows since our windows look east. You can tell this by looking at photos above in which I'm wearing sunglasses in the morning because, you know, the future's so bright.
The biggie for this week in local radio is that Purdue opened a big portion of their building this week with an open house shindig. There's two pictures above of Dave Thomas, who donated a million to the center and that certainly gave it the momentum needed. Dave went to Purdue Cal and operates Carlisle Industries and there's a big thank you to him.
That's part of how these big ideas become reality. Rich dudes want to reinvest in their community, college, cause, or whatever. And then big things like the CMEC at Purdue become a reality. For now, Purdue has opened the manufacturing portion of the building where they do advanced, innovative stuff with making things and you should see the equipment and the instructors. No factory look... it's more like something out of a sci-fi movie.
The next step will be the commercialization portion of the building, where you can come with an idea, process, product or patent and have some space and the resources of the University behind you to take your idea to market and make a ton of money, for the university, yourself, and anyone who supported you along the way. That'll come in a couple months. In that grand opening, hopefully, we'll showcase the ultimate home of JED.tv and WJOB in state-of-the-art studios. I'm here tonight looking at what robotic cameras we should try to buy.
Enough. It was another five-day week of local radio. At the open house, which was so crowded it nearly closed down Indianapolis Boulevard, a guy named Floyd Iddings showed up. He's a retired mill guy from Hobart who listens a lot to the show and he stopped me and said something that sticks.
"It's nice to see a vision become a reality. That doesn't happen a lot." That is aimed more at guys like Tom Keon of Purdue Cal and Niaz Latif for their work with the commercialization and manufacturing visions. But one day soon I'll be doing a show from an ultra-modern audio and video studio - just feet from 38,000 cars and trucks a day going by. Where will the reality be going forward?
For me, I dream of this place assisting one industry (manufacturing) and creating another (venture capital). And along the way maybe we make a hub of media innovation that, like manufacturing and venture capital, can provide jobs for educated young people. Good week, nice celebration, the sun is bright in the morning. Quit complaining and get some sunglasses.