Both ends of the spectrum

When it comes to economic conditions, the past week hit both ends of the spectrum; the spectrum being "hopeful and worrisome" vs. "good and bad."  On the worrisome side was this month's release of the Architecture Billings Index. The numbers were not pretty and indicated that the positive momentum from earlier in the year has dissipated. The most disappointing was the new project score, coming in with its lowest total in the last 18 months. But at the end of the day, the ABI is not the "end all, be all,," and its momentum can quickly swing back to the positive.

On the hopeful side was the news out of Apogee this week that it has a better backlog and expects positive trends as the year proceeds. The bottom line is we knew 2011 wasn't going to be easy and we all hoped for the second half to be the start of a solid rebound. Now, there's evidence of that possibility.


  • And in my own non-scientific poll of industry folks this past week, it sure sounded like places were busy and seeing some nice forecasts. At the end of the day, it's the reality of what businesses experience that really matters, not the reports from the various groups.
  • The guys at Glassopolis are known for creating great ads. Well, this past week, one of the Glassopolis guys had a part in creating something really great. Rob Botman and his wife welcomed their third child to the fold. Jasper joins the team now (love the name!), and I am sure is already working Dad over about what the next great creative campaign will be. Congrats to Rob and family!
  • Not sure if anyone caught the crazy Gold Cup soccer final between the U.S. and Mexico. That's the type of game the casual fan could enjoy. Mexico came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the U.S. 4-2. I believe Alejandro Sanchez had a big part in the win for Mexico, making it the second time this year that he broke the hearts of many Americans. Great game nonetheless.
  • Congrats to the gang at Holcam on the launch of their new marketing initiatives. Very well done and smart to get out there and bang the chest a little bit. They also added some very smart pieces to their approach that I believe will make a difference. Well done folks!
  • My iPod on shuffle continues to be like Tony Robbins. The first two songs on my run yesterday were: "Seize the Day" and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper."
  • And last this week.... I was very honored to get the full transcript of the speech Guardian's Russ Ebeid presented at Glass Performance Days, and I must say after reading it, I am blown away. Just a tremendous piece and tons of takeaways... One of the big ones for me personally was this line:

    "In challenging times and rapid change, companies must be smart, nimble and wise, focusing on their customer's needs. It is not the time to be hesitant or timid – it is an opportunity to prune for future growth. It is time to have the best people. It is time to be the best at what you do and make sure your customers know it."

That incredible and very true line will serve as inspiration for me in my next steps... coming soon.

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

Write Max 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.


hi Max.  Good column.  Think i may use that Ebied quoteon my daily post board this week.  Take care. Cindy 

Morning Max! Speaking of running, I've been doing the "Couch to 5K' app, otherwise known as the 'Fartlick" method for getting ready for a race. It makes me giggle to say it, it's the only reason I did. Running is hard and it sucks, good on ya for doing it though.  Agreed, the market data isn't looking good and from all the reports I've seen, the US is not going to be the next place to pickup. Even if you do all your buisness inside the US borders, one should see if they can find markets outside. They might be surprised. It has it's issues as well, like exchange rates. All-in-all, if we sit here waiting for the US, we might be waiting longer than we want.  Kris

Thank you Cindy and Kris for the comments. And Cindy I love that quote and would be great for the message board for sure! Kris you are very right on the growth beyond the borders. Nothing is gained by waiting, but I do remain hopeful for the improvement ahead.