Few things in the IR function are, to my taste, a bigger waste of time and resources than Annual Reports. This is one those subject that get me really fired up. I mean, here it is this huge effort to come up with this humongous amount of information, text and numbers an pictures and graphs and what have you, all consolidated into this very nicely and professionally executed document, which is either printed with the best quality materials or put into HTML form in a way few other sites even begin to aspire. And yet, its old, stale information, information that nobody reads or cares for.
So, it is quite interesting to notice this trend of people producing personal “annual reports.” As far as I know, this has started with graphic designer Nicholas Felton, which has been putting his own reports since 2005. In his own words, reports “that collate countless measurements of his year into a rich collection of graphs and maps reflecting the travel, photography, music, food, drink and reading contained in the year.” He recently has created a site for people to collect data and create their own personal annual reports.
If this seems to you like a crazy graphic designer with a lot of free time, well, think again. Here is yet another example, this time from the Lynch family.
All this has made me consider that maybe, just maybe, there is something to the Annual Report process that may be valuable. And this something is lost to current form of Annual Reports companies have been (actually or figuratively) printing.
Then again, may be just one of those Internet fads that happen from time to time.