Happy 2013! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I have to ask: Did January 2 seem busier and more intense than usual? It sure felt that way to me! I think it was because of the way Christmas fell. So many people were off after December 21 that folks returned en mass on January 2, and man, what a crazy day it was.
In any case, I am looking forward to 2013: Will the ABI be right? Will the economy grow, stagger or stay the same? Will there be more consolidation in our industry? Will there be product breakthroughs? Will new stars in our world emerge? I will address these and other questions here and in future blogs. I, for one, can't wait to get to it!
- I think the ABI is going to be wrong. I will still follow it, report on it, and hope that when it's good, it's right. But I have a feeling it's going to be off. I think the 2013 economy will stay somewhat the same as 2012 but start to improve later in the year. That said, I have no clue what is really happening in D.C. (I chose to ignore the stories the last few weeks of the year. I finally got sick enough of it to just avoid it.) One thing I do know: There is more consolidation coming in 2013. Trulite made the first move (an excellent one by the way), and I think several others are coming from it, and others. If the rumor mill is any indication, I think this has potential to be a very active year.
- Product breakthroughs will continue. I am constantly amazed at the products in development. I am pumped for GlassBuild America as I know a few of these technologies will be on display in the Innovative Product Pavilion. And yes, I believe new stars are being made in our world. I have plans to interview a few of the folks who are really making inroads in our business, and I am excited for the rest of the industry to get to know them too. At the end of the day, I'm excited about the coming year. Despite the economic unknowns, I feel it's going to be a positive year. If we keep creating great new technology, and introducing smart and capable people, our industry will be headed in the right direction, for sure.
- No, my New Year's resolution was NOT to be sappy, but that paragraph above sure was. Ha ha. Actually, this year is "the year of no ice cream." I'll skip it. In 2012, I skipped pizza and am proud to say I made it. Never thought I could. Somehow, I gained a ton of weight becoming the only human to swear off pizza!
- Big news: Right before the break, Guardian Industries announced a new leader and the completion of its deal with Koch Industries. This is a great deal for Guardian, and more importantly, for our industry. Guardian is a massive player and a supporter of so much of what we do, whether it's trade media, shows, sponsorships, education, etc. They are an excellent corporate citizen and are now even better with the addition of a strong company like Koch in their world. To me--as an industry observer--if a company that didn't "make things" like Koch was the investor, I would be worried, but this fit is really good and smart. Congrats to all involved.
- Last, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the change at the top of Trulite. The old me would go on for about 700 words. The new me is more measured, soft and sappy. I will only say that I was actually surprised at the ousting of Jeff Leone. I thought that after all this time in charge he had ridden the storm out. I now look forward to seeing how the new regime does and wish them the best of luck, as there's still a bunch of excellent people in that organization.
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.