Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Showtime

So we are about to enter the late spring show/conference season and there are three that I have marked on my calendar for importance and impact.  Events are crucial for networking and education, and if you are in the business, you need to make sure you are keeping up.  Coming up on the 29th of this month is the 28th Annual Mid-Atlantic Glass Expo in Maryland.  This event is always packed with the many from the region and rarely disappoints.  Then 2 days later is one that I simply cannot wait to experience.  I am getting to attend the iconic Garibaldi Glass Day on May 1st.  Being a glass geek, I love to see and learn new things.  What Garibaldi Glass does every year is simply brilliant, laying themselves out there to educate the industry and bringing so many stakeholders under one roof.  Being there in person has me excited beyond belief.  The final event on the schedule is the annual AIA Expo, this year in Atlanta.  While I pick on our industries over the top obsession for architects and their approval (we are like that needy child, desperate to catch the attention of the distracted parent when it comes to our need for love from architects) there is value to this show, because of the networking and new products usually on display. 

In the end, making shows or conferences a part of your yearly marketing budget is a must, and that budget absolutely must include GlassBuild America, as if you are not attending/participating in that show you are truly doing yourself and your business a disservice.  Obviously I’ll have a lot more to say on that event as we get closer, but it does boggle my mind when people skip it and then wonder why their competitors are gaining or passing them.


--  Heads up with your e-mail folks.  A very nasty and tricky virus is out there.  Basically you will get an e-mail from a recognizable friend of yours.  It will start off as “Hi, how are you and then ask, “have you seen this” and leave a link.  And that’s it.  That link is a virus to add to your computer.  And this virus is so tricky that you truly think it’s from a friend.  In addition another version has a link telling you to review “an invoice” and that too is bad.  Needless to say you have to be on guard with every e-mail now a days.  If it looks wrong or different it probably is…

--  Tremendous issue of Glass Magazine is out now, and once again the great team led by Katy Devlin knocked it out of the park.  And as I do each month, time to give props to the best ad of the issue and this one was a no brainer.  The new ad from General Glass International (GGI) was spectacular.  Just stopped me in my tracks.  That is what you want from a magazine ad that is for sure.  Congrats to all involved on that one.

--  Also congratulations to Rick Hamlin of Cupples on his new post as President.  Rick is a fantastic person and a true gentleman.  Rick for the last few years has moderated the Glazing Executive Forum’s popular “State of the Industry” panel with great care and style.  So happy that he’s continuing to be recognized for his talents.

--  Last this week, book review… I just finished “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!” by Nicolas Carlson.  It was solid, not quite as good as the last few books I have read, but if you want to get a feel for the way billion dollar companies make decisions, most of them bad, then you’ll want to read this.  There’s also great inside insight on the configuration of Boards and volatile shareholders and that insight is pretty enlightening. 


Divorce papers delivered via Facebook?

Brilliant work by Burger King here.  Smart!

Watch the Iced Tea usage, it could be very bad for you.


Could this be real?  Dog and Child in opposite positions.  And these dash cams are really big in certain parts of the world.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Good News on the Energy Efficiency Front

Since my last post two major energy efficiency efforts received big boosts.  And despite our current comfort with lower energy prices, energy efficiency is crucial to our society and our industry.  First the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings Bill was re-introduced and the odds of it being pushed forward are positive.  If a bi-partisan bill like this can’t make it, then there’s no hope.  Meanwhile the Senate did pass the Better Buildings Act of 2015, which will push commercial buildings harder to be more energy efficient.  More details can befound here, but suffice to say we do have the products to get this done.  And these are examples of why I have been so bullish on the dynamic space.  That product line surely should be in the discussion with regards to these pieces of legislation.


--  Your monthly update on the Architectural Billings Index… the latest results had the index in the positive but the new project score did dip.  Overall attitudes are still very positive when it comes to building and the economy and from my own view I am seeing more cranes and shells of buildings in process than I have seen in years.

--  Folks don’t forget to get your nominations in for the premier award program in our industry- The Glass Magazine Awards.  Deadline for nominations is this week- April 10.

--  Birthday wishes to two cool folks in our industry… Happy and healthy ones out to Lewis McCallister of Coral Industries and Jan Rogan of PPG. 

--  A heads up to anyone who’s into SEO and websites… Google is making some big moves to their algorithms.  And the big part is changes to the coding with regards to location.  Back in the day, a tactic was to list your company and connect with every city you could think of, then just have it link back to your main site.  Well in this new update, Google is devaluing websites that do that, potentially moving them down the rankings quite a bit.  So heads up.  If you need more info, just drop me a note. 

--  The final agenda for Glass Performance Days is out and those of you going to Finland for it will surely experience a serious overload of glass and glazing education.  A few pieces to check out?  The awesome Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning going deep on hyperelastic materials, tech legend Chris Barry on Spandrel Defects (Chris will make serious news I believe with his findings) and the extremely talented Jim Gulnick of McGrory Glass with a solar power case study.

-- And speaking of Mr Kimberlain, hopefully by that June trip he'll be over the Kentucky loss in the Final Four.  The great 1976 Indiana team still holds the mantle of being the last college team to go unbeaten all year.

--  Last this week… one big item I have missed was the growth of Health Product Declarations (HPD) in our industry.  Slowly but surely there’s been a significant demand for these and many in our industry have jumped on board and are able to supply them.  In addition having the document helps in the whole LEED v4 effort as well.  I can honestly say I don’t know the process very well at this point, but I’ve decided to dig in and figure it out… especially with HPD 2.0 now in process.   In any case it looks like this is a need that is here to stay for sure- so be aware.


--  Amazing effort from a 570 pound man running 5K’s.  Great work!

--  The pressure of college… and it may not even be needed for many.

--  Amazing story here- how a guy has to sell his house because he can’t get internet.  Fascinating on so many levels including horrendous service and outright monopolies.


And here are the top news bloopers for the month of March… some good, some bad, some tasteless…

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Good News/Bad News

There was a mix of economic related news that populated my twitter feed this week.  First the good news, where on a link from Conners Sales (@ConnersSales) any initial fears about the awful housing starts number from last month were calmed.  Basically the analyst called it “winter” and said to wait another month.  That’s good enough for me.  Then the bad news came up via Ted Bleecker (@TedBleecker) with a story on the scary debt situation in China.  Surely one to continue to monitor especially since it will have a massive effect on the world economy.  Both items will be big drivers and bear following along.


--  Quick family note… I'm absolutely thrilled about my nephew Josh joining on with the fine folks at Pleotint.  As any reader of this blog knows I am huge proponent of dynamic glazing and its usage and potential.  Great to see Josh signing on to that world and very excited to see what great things they do together.

--  Last week I posed two questions at the end of my blog… one on the upcoming Apple Watch and one on ultra thin glass.  I really was blown away at some of the insights I received and learned a lot as well.  The great Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP educated me on a few things including ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) which is being used in glazing areas on some really intense projects.  Overall on thin glass question, the issue of finding the sweet spot for usage was the theme.  As for the watch, universally negative towards its success.  Apple has not failed with a product launch in a very long time, so we’ll see if their winning streak is up or we’re all missing the boat here.  Thanks again to all who responded!!

--  Congrats and good luck to Margaret Brune who recently joined the tremendous team at SAAND as a rep in the Michigan market.  Once again a good match of company and salesperson.  I’m glad I’m not involved in sales anymore as back in the day I had to compete with Margaret and she crushed me on a daily basis…

--  Over in England there’s a very strong daily blog called Double Glazing Blogger (DGB) and he had a post last week that was very interesting.  The use of quadruple glazing in China, combined with a video of a 57 story building in China going up in just 19 days using the quad glazing system. Just crazy how things get done over there… I wonder will the quadruple glazing run come this way?  Given that triple glazing has not gained as much market share in North America as the experts predicted, I’d guess this one going mainstream is still far off.

--  And while on the subject of China (my gosh, 3 items related to China this week and none featuring me ranting…odd) A good look here at two all glass skyscrapers designed by SOM… the key?  Huge IGU’s but oriented a little differently than we are all used to.

--  Programming note- no post coming from me next week… unless of course big news happens, which right now seems doubtful as its pretty quiet out there.  Next post coming first full week of April!


--  104-year-old woman and her secret to the long life?  Drinking three Dr Peppers a day!  Incredible.

--  A 38-year-old man takes the AP High School history test.  Interesting read.

--  The selfie craze is annoying when people like to be a part of a tragedy or major emergency event.  This one though turned out right if you are rooting for karma.


It is March Madness and the guys from CBS (network that televises it all) had some fun this week making fun of each other and their catch phrases and mannerisms.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Back Into The Swing of Things

After spending several days out of the office, I’m scrambling to keep up, so for this week’s blog, no lead story, but just a bunch of quick hits…

--  The positive trends economically in our industry are still popping along but then again so is the continued tightening of supply and lack of consistent transportation.  Last week I spoke to several industry insiders who told me they are rolling with things the best they can, but its getting tougher every day.  The key?  Planning and communication.  The more you do of both, the better off you will be.

Only in Vegas!

--  You never know what and whom you will see in Las Vegas.  And while I have been there at least 40 times (in my best estimation) I have never run into anyone as epic as Steve Cohen of PPG did last week.  So picture on the right is a glass guy and the “baddest man on the planet,” former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson.  Nice!  I wonder if Iron Mike will now be calling on architects with Steve… could make a convincing case to get products in the spec!  Plus props to Steve for  taking a selfie with him.  Crazy.  Way to go my friend.

--  The most prestigious award program in the industry is back with its 2015 edition.  Nominations are being accepted now for the products and projects portion of the annual Glass Magazine Awards.  For more info including the specific categories please click HERE!

--  Caught a very interesting documentary this past week- Pink Ribbons Inc.  The focus of the movie was about the massive “pinkwashing” surrounding fundraising for breast cancer awareness and more importantly the lack of progress in identifying what causes breast cancer and finding better treatments/cure.  Really intriguing to watch as I have never been a fan of certain organizations jumping on board to help their own image (the NFL every October is one big one) and frustrating to see billions of dollars raised yet no major advancements in place.  Worth the watch if you are interested.

--  Now that BEC is in the books, next up is a couple of excellent regional shows including the always-popular Mid-Atlantic Glass Expo April 29th and then AIA which hits mid May in Atlanta. Before you know it, GlassBuild America will be here and from all indications this year’s event will be very strong.  I’m excited to see how things progress there.

--  Last this week…. two questions I am curious to get your opinions on… one pop culture/social and one industry…

1          1.  Do you think the Apple Watch will make it?  I am torn.  I love Apple products but have not worn or needed a watch in years.  I can’t see the need when my iPhone does everything.  But I’m also old and staid.  Curious for other insights.

2          2.  At BEC, guest speaker James O’Callaghan made mention of the use of ultra thin glass.  There are a few manufacturers who make it (AGC had their Dragontrail on display at GlassBuild last year) but finding that home for usage is still a question.  So do you think that this product will find its way into prominent places in the exterior glass world?

As always feel free to e-mail me, as I don’t monitor the comment section very closely.


--  The bizarre and frightening side to our online world.  Stolen identity.

--  Not sure how they pulled it off.. but woman hires an impersonator to go to a friends birthday party.

--  For the life of me I don’t get why people forget to lock their doors… after all a crook or a cow could come in.  Cow???


Really wild one here… family on safari in Africa- close up to some Lions… and one Lions shows a unique skill!