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From the Fabricator: 2020 - First Look

Happy New Year! We are off and running in 2020, and I am excited about all to come this year. Each year on this blog I start off with reviewing my predictions from the previous year, and then I go to my predictions for the year ahead. Next week is when I’ll look back, and the week after is when I’ll make my “money back guaranteed” predictions for 2020.

For this opening post, we’ll talk economic forecasts yet again now that pretty much all of the analysts have weighed in. The majority of data points to a similar year, economy-wise, to 2019. Solid but not spectacular, but also not dreadful, so I take that as positive. There is expected to be a lull along the way, and many of you experienced that lull in 2019, so nothing new there. In talking with many glazing companies over the last few weeks, their backlogs are solid and sold through 2020, so work is lined up. Machinery folks seemingly are doing well too, many of which had huge performances at and post-GlassBuild that will pay off in 2020. The overall feeling is on the plus side.

Negatives can be the potential slowing on the residential side, softness on some of the indicators for spending and starts, and concerns in the RV and high-end auto markets. Every item of data bears watching and I’ll continue to monitor and report. The wild card is the presidential election in the U.S. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess on how the campaigns and rhetoric that comes with it with have any impact. All I know is its going to be an adventure with regards to media and coverage. So far, none of that dialogue has touched the day-to-day economy negatively but you never know. Buckle in, and let’s get 2020 off and running!


  • One change to my posts this year, and I need your help! Instead of doing the video of the week, I am doing a “Project of the Week” so I can recognize more greatness from all parts of our industry. Send me a couple of photos and basic details and I’ll line up and feature them here each week. It can be a finished project or one in process: I just want to push that we as an industry do great work! First “Project of the Week” is below!
  • Holidays are over: have you registered for BEC yet? It is in Nashville this year. I’ve been stunned by how many people I tell that and they didn’t realize it. Awesome location, incredible agenda, and off the charts networking.  Be there. 
  • Big news from New York City with the passing of Local Law 97. This law will push for higher performance glass in the right ways versus a “ban” or something silly like that. This also could be a great boost to many of the sophisticated glass products like VIG that have been looking for that perfect home.
  • People news: saw that Linetec is transitioning to a new leader with Jon Close taking over for the retiring Rick Marshall. Linetec is one very impressive company and this smart shift looks like the successes will keep coming. 
  • I am a little late on this one, but congrats to Mary Avery on her new position as vice president of sales and marketing at Tubelite. If you’ve read this blog before you know I am huge fan of Mary’s, and it’s great to see her constantly excelling out there.
  • Also, I was pumped to see that my friend Tim Finley and T.FIN Building Solutions making news again with representing the CGH companies. Love when good things happen good people!
  • I understand a new version of LEED is out there, 4.1. To those of you who follow it better than I do, is there any improvement in the areas of glass and glazing getting more opportunities to be a part of the process?
  • Last this week: new book that I devoured during the holidays called “The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11” was an incredible read. There have been some excerpts out there that got me going but my goodness this is most in-depth and gripping read about the horrific 9/11 tragedy. The oral history style format really works here because that event had so many moving parts and this style was best to capture it all. 

Read on for links and video of the week...


Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein 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. Contact him at