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What Makes an Epoxy Expert?

By Jack Josephsen

Time for a bit of light-hearted thinking on the topic of experts in this serious world of epoxies.

I guess there are a lot of definitions for an expert, but, in a real sense, who and what are they? Why do so many people try so hard to act like an expert? Why do they like boasting about having the same opinion as an expert? I've never really understood what all the fuss is about to tell you the truth.

Why do we think experts are so important?

The classic Oxford dictionary defines an expert as “highly practiced and skilful or well-informed in subject.” Well, there’s no doubt some people can legitimately claim to be that, however the coating industry is unfortunately littered with wannabes. Why? In my opinion, it seems people need to either satisfy their ego or justify their job title. Others pretend because they’d like to help, which is admirable in a way, but only end up making things worse.

On the other side of the coin, some people go to an expert just to get an opinion that supports their own; perhaps it makes them feel important if they're backed by someone with a title. You know, great minds think alike and all that. My tongue-in-cheek response is: “small minds rarely differ.”

I don't know about you, but I would only consult a so-called expert because I wanted to learn and for no other reason. I can humbly accept I don’t know everything and hence I look to be better informed wherever possible.

A different view of experts

A common perception of experts is that they know everything, but I just see them as people that know more about one particular topic than I do. An even better way of look at them is: “An expert is someone that has made all the mistakes in a very small field”. Either way, I would definitely exclude myself as an epoxy expert because I learn something new every day and continue to make mistakes regularly; and, I'm not ashamed to admit it!

I want to learn, seek information, question my beliefs and continue to look for better ways; I want to engage with people who have “made all the mistakes” in epoxy formulating, manufacturing, preparation, application, repair, maintenance and sales, so that I don’t have to.

We're not about experts or egos

While I do not claim to be an epoxy expert and have no attachment to the term, I’ve come to know a lot about certain topics because of my desire to learn off these people and try things myself. This Know How section of our website is all about passing on this knowledge I have gathered as well as providing an environment where other epoxy users can ask questions and, more importantly, find answers. There are no “experts” here...or egos to stroke.

So, if you know more about a subject than I do then don't be shy, get in touch and tell me! I certainly won't take offence because I might just learn something. 

Finally on the topic of experts, when someone wants to label my desire for learning and teaching as being some form of epoxy expert, I cheekily quote the following...it’s an oldie, but a goodie:

Expert (pronounced “X” - spurt): “X” being an unknown, “spurt” being a drip under pressure. Collectively, an unknown drip under pressure! Now, who would ever want to be an expert!? Haha.

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