Growing Pains

“It was done, the way it was done, because that’s how it had to be done.”

--John D. Rockefeller, “The Men Who Built America”

The gavel came down with a loud “whack,” brought the courtroom crowd to a silence, and damned John Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Company as a monopolistic pariah responsible for much pain and suffering.

When asked about his predatory pricing practices, under-the-table payments to politicians, and other bare-knuckle practices common to the day, Rockefeller said, and I paraphrase: “You call it a monopoly. I call it enterprise. I took a disorganized collection of companies and created an industry. I brought light to every house and jobs to thousands. It was done the way it was done, because that’s how it had to be done.”

As I watched an actor portraying Rockefeller march out the courtroom door in a recent television mini-series and step into the elevator to embark on a future with business rules forever changed, I couldn’t help but smile.

As anybody who’s ever embarked on something new can tell you, the path they chose to launch their endeavor—whether it was a new business, hobby, marriage, child, etc.—was done the way it was done because that’s how it had to be done. It was the only way they knew.

Our first year here at Landscape Architect Business was no different. We applied everything we’ve learned in 14 years of magazine publishing to landscape design and were pleased as we watched each issue outpace the last, slowly growing and gaining traction.

This issue, the one you now hold, is our biggest to-date. It features a host of stories written by your peers on topics they thought would resonate at this time of year.

It also features our second annual buyer’s guide—a print and online resource ( ) you can use year-round to create new places and spaces with as little pain as possible.

And in the end, that’s really saying something. I hope you enjoy this month’s effort.

If you do, or if you don’t, feel free to let us know—your input helps us streamline our process and improve the magazine—so don’t be shy.

And, of course, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Rodney J. Auth