From the fabricator: Tough loss
Very sad and frustrating news over the weekend, when it broke that solar player Konarka was filing for Chapter 7. Konarka, as some of you may remember, was poised to become a major player in our industry before the adventurous circumstances of 2009 took place. Yes, I am extremely biased, but I really did see a strong potential for the Konarka product in specific parts of the building envelope. And I still do. They had some of the right pieces but just could not get over the hump. I would bet though, you have not heard the last of them or the product they developed. There is simply too much potential.
As Guardian proved at the AIA show, there’s still an appetite for solar material in our world, and work continues all over the place to get more and more products up to speed. So while this is tough news for the movement, I will stay positive.
By the way, I think it is absolutely laughable that people compare what happened at Konarka to what happened at failed solar manufacturer Solyndra. Not even close folks. But because there are some minor similarities, people will run with it… Sadly, that’s the world we live in these days.
- The start of hurricane season is here, and the predictions are for at least one to three “major storms” to hit. With how insane this year has been weatherwise (no snow, but yet Friday night in Michigan it was 46 degrees at my house), anything is possible. So those of you in hurricane alley, hold on.
- And this is the year we will look back on the hurricane that changed the glass and glazing industry. Hurricane Andrew hit 20 years ago this August. That incredibly devastating hurricane helped push and legitimatize the major hurricane codes that many follow today. And with those codes came a new product segment, one that still does quite well, though more saturated than ever unfortunately. In any case, let’s hope that we don’t have anything like Andrew in 2012.
- Very negative moment this week: the depressing jobs report and the entire rancor surrounding it did shake me up. I have been hanging on the optimistic side, but when the construction segment is absolutely miserable in these reports, it can’t be anything but depressing. 28,000 people lost their job in the construction sector last month. Horrible.
- And while we’re all down, how about the story that came out this week that healthcare costs will probably rise 7.5 percent in 2013. Seriously? Here’s the miserable evidence.
- Very happy to see the excellent Glass Magazine “Great Glazing” series give some love to the United Hospital in West Virginia. I know a lot of the people who supplied on that project and I’m thrilled they got some pub. Here it is, in case you missed it.
- Really cool list here: 30 “famous” people with law degrees you may be surprised by. None of them, by the way, are as great as the legendary barrister Mr. Kim Mann or my pal of BEC fame Rick Kalson. Numbers 17-19 were surprises to me for sure.
- Last this week, a happy birthday to my sister, also known as the Queen of Nordstrom. She’s now been out of the glass industry for a couple of years and is still thriving. I think between her and Scott Surma, they are the only two folks I know of who have escaped this world and stayed away…
The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.