This week, From the Fabricator turns 10. One decade of posts and ramblings on the first ever glass and aluminum related blog. Please join me please on a run through memory lane.
It all started on Oct. 25, 2005. This blog was launched with a simple 17-word post. The goal was to provide insight to the industry with this new avenue of communication. On Oct. 27, I came back with a post with a few of my favorite subjects: the National Fenestration Rating Council, China and green building. And from there it took off.
I used this space to inform and educate. I tried to rally the industry, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not. But I tried. And, as time went on, this blog became a stop for readers to see what I’d say next. And that was good and bad.
On the negative side, back then, I was pretty rough around the edges. I thought I was bulletproof and pretty much set for life. I had people around me that loved when I threw haymakers, so I did it to please them. But, I also got into it myself, and was too stupid to realize what I was doing. There were surely posts I regret, and ones that hold me back professionally to this day. So, believe me, lessons learned.
On the plus side, I was breaking stories. I was getting leads on acquisitions from all over thanks to this forum. I broke the Oldcastle purchase of Vistawall, and was on top of Pella buying EFCO, which back then were gigantic deals. Companies changed the way they did due diligence and closed communications tighter. As a former communication and journalism person, I enjoyed the fact I was disruptive. And I also got a kick out of making life miserable for the NFRC. Though, in the end they “kinda” won when the industry slept through the process. (I say kinda because even years later their system is not what it was ever cracked up to be).
In 2006 and 2007 as this blog was really growing, we were all busy in this industry. Things were rolling. I joke about it a lot, but no one truly realized things were THAT good then. We were all in a good place P&L wise, but there were always issues and fire drills—things like codes and standards, etc. And if you didn’t work through the 70’s and the recession then, you didn’t know what bad times really were. Then 2009 and 2010 arrived, and we all found out.
Things changed, and changed quickly. I hit a crossroads, and as fate would have it, I had to face some of the same people I was rough to on this blog. My rabblerousing days had me in a bad spot. Somehow I was very fortunate and beyond blessed that Arturo Carrillo looked beyond my past and gave me shot at Vitro America when my previous world went up in sun-ignited flames. Many people inside Vitro America questioned Arturo on why he’d hire the blogger who was a massive thorn in his company’s side. Thankfully he held to his convictions that there was more to me than my writings, and that I had grown from it, and realized what I had done and whom I had affected. But, enough of my personal adventures. (That will be a book someday…haha!) This post is meant to be about the blog.
With a new lease on my professional life, I refocused my energy and passion, changed my style and basically “grew up” thanks to the support and guidance of people like Arturo, Nicole Harris, Denise Sheehan, Greg Carney (RIP), Kris Vockler, and many others. I began a different approach and liked it. I enjoyed being positive, but without losing my eye for things that concerned me. I dropped the attack mode and tried to focus on the good people of this industry who do great things but get little to no recognition. I still call out issues and warn of consequences, but I do it without rancor. (Usually!) And while there’s a vocal minority that implores me to be like I used to be, I’m never going back to that style.
Since I started this adventure, our industry changed so much. Major players at every level are gone. If you would’ve told me when I started this blog that 10 years from now I’d be on my own and that several major players had failed, I would’ve never of believed it. Especially the being on my own fact. That still blows me away.
It’s been 10 years and 538 posts. And I could not of done it without all of you out there. The encouragement, dialogue, support and so on mean the world to me. When brilliant and class people like John Wheaton, Ted Bleecker, Jeff Kirby, Terry Newcomb, Garret Henson, Mark Silverberg, Rich Porayko, Jon Kimberlain, Tom O’Malley, Marc Deschamps, Chuck Knickerbocker, and many many others take the time to drop me notes or tweet my blog out, it blows me away. (I know I am forgetting people to name. Sorry!)
Thank you to all who read this week in, week out and never comment or communicate as well. The fact you give me 5 minutes a week is appreciated. The traffic that I get never fails to boggle my mind, and I will always be forever grateful.
Ten years down, and who knows how many more years to go. But we’re going to keep plugging along. I hope you’ll continue to join me on the ride.
Read on for links and video of the week...
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. 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.