From the Fabricator: World Cup of Glass

Later this week the World Cup kicks off and soccer fans from all around the world will be glued to their TVs and computers following the action. With all the hype around this event, it made me think: If we had a World Cup of the glass and glazing industry, what country would be the winner? Obviously because of homegrown bias, I would probably join many others and say the United States wins that sort of approach in a landslide. But does it? Is the United States that dominant when it comes to technology or efficiency improvements? How does it stack up versus Canada, Mexico, Germany and China (yes China). And obviously Finland, Italy, Japan, Spain and Israel are among countries really active in our industry, too.

So given all of that, which country is the best in our industry?  Over the next month, as the World Cup of soccer is playing out, I will be determining the World Cup of Glass. I’ll be using the parameters of innovation, quality, products and industry support as the guidelines. And let me know your thoughts, too--via e-mail is fine; I always love learning and I’ll appreciate the insights as I determine the champ. And yes, right now I am sure the Chinese contingent is preparing a protest that there’s no way I’d judge them fairly, but I promise I will!


  • As for the actual World Cup, I don’t know enough to say who will win, but I have friends from all over the world who have their rooting interests. And when those teams win, like my pal Joe Staffileno’s Italian team did a few years ago, the euphoria is real.
  • Congrats to my old friend and co-worker Bob Cummings on his new position at Hartung Glass. Bob is one of the best around, classy and hard working, and he’ll do great within that super organization.
  • I had to make a trip to Omaha this past weekend, and while preparing for it I looked at the weather and saw a forecast I had never seen before. It said “Mostly cloudy and humid, storms expected, with large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado.”  Ummm “…and a TORNADO”? That just blew my mind. Luckily that forecast was wrong, but never before did I actually see a forecast predicting one!
  • With Kuraray acquiring the DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions, will that signal the end of the name DuPont in our industry? Will we be living in an industry where the long-time classic names Solutia and DuPont don’t exist?
  • I have to admit I am very bummed that California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown. I am not sure I’ll see another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime.
  • Last this week, AIA is a couple of weeks away. This year it will be interesting to see how the show does. It is tough timing for sure. But it's in Chicago, a city everyone loves to visit, and the trade show scene is very hot right now. Funny thing for me is when I started to research the show, five of the seven largest booth spaces (not including AIA spaces) taken at the show are companies in the glass and window industry. I guess that never-ending desire to gain love and acceptance from the architect continues. I swear, when it comes to this scenario we as an industry act like the awkward boy in high school pining over the homecoming queen. And you know how those stories always turn out…

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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

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.


Max, Although long retired......and I don't like French companies......I would vote for Saint Gobain. Their engineering and tech innovations were the best, IMO. In North America, Guardian by far was the most innovative and forward thinking. For what it is worth ! Gerry Duffy P.S. Happily enjoying retired life, and you should see my new Corvette

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