How do you think about the future of this industry? How do you think about your future in it?

Before we get to those questions, let’s talk about the past. Drill trainer and The Driller writer Brock Yordy this month talks about change and progress. Resisting change, of course, can lead to irrelevance. Just ask the owner of your local horse and buggy dealership.

Changes happen all the time. Take our publication, for instance. We’ve undergone dozens of changes over the course of more than 40 years in the drilling and water supply industry: name changes, ownership changes, editor and publisher changes. We take pride in the product we delivered at each point, whether that product meant a print magazine or, later, a website, email newsletters, videos and podcasts. You know why? Because The Driller’s DNA includes strong genes for serving the industry, and that never changes.

Where would we be if we went into 2022 holding tight to the brand we were in 1982? In any given month, about half of our web traffic comes from mobile phones and tablets. That part of the audience never got into the habit of print magazines — and never will. As a writer, I’ll always have a soft spot for print magazines and newspapers, but even I hardly read them. I’m a card-carrying Gen Xer. That hardly makes me a cultural touchpoint but, from what I see, folks younger than myself read print even less than I do. We embraced change and progressed.

What about your company? Many of our readers come from multi-generational drilling company families. Think about how the previous generation of your family worked: carbon copy invoices, no GPS, maybe calling the office to check in from a pay phone. If you brought the tools, methods and tech your family business used in 1982 into 2022, you could still make a hole. I don’t doubt that. But how well would you compete against industry peers?

Not well.

Over time, your family’s company has changed and progressed, and so have we. That’s what healthy companies do.

Now, about that future. Here at The Driller, the drilling industry DNA never changed. What about your company? Of course, hundreds of companies in the United States alone share that drilling DNA. But nature and nurture go hand in hand. Think about the changes and advancements your company has made to stay competitive. Coming back to the earlier examples, we could talk about how email invoicing, GPS and mobile phones all make it easier to succeed as a drilling contractor. I could name dozens of examples, big and small, of changes companies in this space have made over the last 40 years to boost safety, productivity and competitiveness. What changes or advancements have you nurtured to help your company survive so that DNA can pass on to the next generation?

Of course, change can prove challenging whether you drill holes or write about people drilling holes. But, like you, we have the long-term in mind. The best companies let go of the past and embrace the changes as they come. Over time, those changes equal progress and, yes, lasting success.
Companies that embrace change — that is, new and more effective ways to do what they do — have a bright future. Companies that do not will struggle as their competitors zoom ahead to build the industry of the future. 

What do you think? Did you take over and modernize a second- or third-generation company? Have you wondered how to get started? Send an email to

Stay safe out there, drillers.

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