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What 500 Episodes Mean to Me

Leaning into your legacy

A number is just a number. Most of the time. Whether it’s age, weight, or IQ. Even episode numbers haven’t ever really impacted me. We hit 100 at year 2; 200 at 4, and so on. This year AVWeek celebrated episode 500, which means 10 years of me saying “This is AVWeek”. Ten years of some of the greatest and brightest audiovisual professionals sitting down and giving the industry their wisdom and insights.

I won’t go into the backstory of how AVNation came to be. Short version, I had a life change and said why not. If you’d like the full story, catch me at InfoComm some time. I’ve been blessed to connect with and interview over 300 different guests. Each one brought a unique perspective and insight.

Hosting AVWeek has been one of the greatest joys of my life. This podcast married my love of broadcasting with an incredible industry I fell in to. It’s allowed me to travel beyond the borders of the US, learn from AV pros in Nigeria, India, Brazil, and China. The world has been brought into the little AVNation studio in St. Louis. And from there, the world has been able to watch me grow and evolve.

Sunday AV Chat with #AVintheAM

Then on #AVintheAM, Chris Neto asks what will your legacy be. Hmm. My legacy? That seems pretty simple to me. I was a part of the group that started AVNation and AVWeek. I’ve been the host for nearly all 500 episodes. So, my legacy is this vehicle that allows others to speak into the AV community. But that isn’t quite right.

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An overarching belief that I’ve evolved into is the idea that we are not the same people from year to year. At least we shouldn’t be. I’ve changed physically, spiritually, and mentally the last ten years. So have you. I’ve learned and grown. Some of that growth has been at the expense of others, I’m afraid. By that I mean, I’ve made mistakes, hurt others, and tried to learn from that.

While the vast majority of these offenses have been unintentional, some haven’t. I can only attribute that to immaturity and ignorance. While at the time I most likely saw myself as in the right, I wasn’t and my actions uncalled for. See, we’re all humans. We make mistakes. Even other people. I know that’s hard to believe. That person who cut you off may be rushing to see a dying loved one. Or they’re just a jerk. The thing is you don’t really know which. If we’re able to allow for the best in others, maybe they will see the best in our actions. Doing so would go a long way in lowering the overall rancor in our world, and our industry at times.

I’m just this guy

Maybe this is my legacy. Being wrong and being open about being wrong. In my 20’s and into my 30’s I thought I knew everything, or at least quite a bit. My personality was tied to how much and what I knew. It was a keystone. The older, and more experience, I got the more I realized how wrong that was. People ask me for a bio or to introduce myself. Most of the time my first response now is “I’m just this guy, you know.” Now, this has two purposes. One, it’s an inside joke pointing to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The other point is to recognize that I’m just a human. A fallible human who has more to learn and is willing to do so.

Episode 500 has come and gone. It’s taken me a few months to really process this and put into words the milestone of ten years. From presidents and CEO’s to some of the best techs in the audiovisual business, you have given me one of the greatest joys. If I could stand in a booth at InfoComm and thank each of the thousands of you who listen on a weekly basis I would.  As we at AVNation continue on with episode 500 and something at this point, take a look at what your legacy is now, or will be. No, there’s no way to go back but you can absolutely begin today and build a story to be proud. Thank you for your time.

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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