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More Innovation for the Glass Industry

Our industry is one that has been built on innovation. Each year we attend trade shows, excited to see the new tools, materials, and applications that are being offered. We have come to expect continuing improvements in the systems and hardware we use. Still, there are many products that have changed very little (or not at all) for decades. There are, no doubt, ideas for improving products in the industry, but how do suppliers discover them?

Open innovation speeds production

There is a growing trend in product development that is being embraced by all types of industries in the United States and abroad. The ever-increasing pace of change in modern innovation has taken the process of invention and product improvement to a new place. This more modern approach is known as “open innovation” and it allows products to reach the end user much more quickly than ever before.

In times past, bringing a product to market was an arduous task. It involved creating a prototype, testing, obtaining a patent, manufacturing, marketing, and finally selling the product. This process took years and cost many thousands of dollars. Even worse, it wasn’t until the very last stage that it was learned whether the product was even viable. The result: most patented products never come to market at all.

Open innovation, on the other hand, allows an inventor to design a product, create a basic prototype, and begin showing the benefit of the product to companies that may be interested in licensing it. Since these companies are already producing similar products, they have access to the means of production, access to suppliers, and an established marketing network in place. This arrangement allows the product to get to market quickly. The inventor receives a reasonable royalty, and everybody wins; the inventor, the brand and the end user.

There has never been a better time to be developing new products and technologies for the glass industry. Tools that make glass workers more safe and efficient are in demand. Still, many companies are not yet taking advantage of this incredible opportunity to expand their product offerings. If you are someone who is an inventor, or interested in learning how your company can benefit from open innovation, please get in touch. I would love to talk with you about it.


Chris Phillips

Chris Phillips

Chris Phillips has deep roots in the glass and glazing industry. His family featured some glaziers (including his dad) and Chris followed their path into the industry. First Chris completed his apprenticeship in Las Vegas in the early 90’s and worked on many of the landmark buildings there including Caesars Palace, The Mirage, The Rio, the Luxor and more. He then started Showcase Shower Door Co. in Santa Cruz, California in 2005. He has personally installed more than one thousand shower installations in his career with that number being added to daily.