Evolve or Die. Those words sound so harsh, however time and time again throughout history we've seen this to be true in business. Individuals start companies because they believe they can provide a product or service better, quicker, for less money, or a combination of three. These individuals are courageous and full of life. For most, their plan to revolutionize an industry quickly evaporates. These trail blazers become just another spoke in a wheel, sucked into the trap of just trying to stay alive, some have success and become complacent or some become blind to change. An example of a group who was complacent (some would say EGO maniacs) is Blockbuster Video.
Blockbuster was dominating the video market, crushing every competitor they had. It seemed as though there was a Blockbuster on every corner. Netflix was a much smaller company and were struggling with its mail order video business.
In 2000, the founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, in a very bold move, attempted to form a partnership with Blockbuster. The Blockbuster executives (for visual purposes) laughed Mr. Hastings out of the room. Ten short years later, Blockbuster no longer existed and Netflix was a $28 Billion company.
Was this arrogance on the part of the Blockbuster Board, complacency, a lack of vision, or were they simply not willing to evolve?
Apple is the exact opposite, its willingness to evolve has created an absolute monster in the tech world. From small home computers, it ventured into Personal Music Devices (iPod). Then against all advice, Steve Jobs went into the phone business, making the iPhone the most recognizable mobile phone in the world. Instead of being complacent and settling for things being great, Steve Jobs was a visionary, willing to evolve as needed to remain ahead of the industry.
The glass industry itself has evolved immensely over the years, however glass installation until now has been left out of this evolution. Since the first piece of window glass was installed way back in the early 1800’s, glass has been installed with manual labor. As the size and thickness of glass evolved the installation process did not. Even today in 2019, manual labor is the primary way glass is installed regardless of the size. The reason for this is simple—there was not a machine properly designed to assist with the installation, therefore companies were forced to either combine crews, hire more help (we all know how challenging this option is), or simply refuse certain work.
This is no longer true. Today there are several machines available designed specifically to assist the installation crews. These machines commonly known as glazing robots, vacuum lifters, or glass manipulators are finally giving a multi-century old trade the necessary ability to evolve. These glazing robots are capable of lifting, carrying, rotating, as well as assisting with the installation of extremely large pieces of glass. These machines are allowing glaziers to be glaziers—and young individuals the ability to see glazing as a career without destroying their bodies. These glazing robots are giving the glass installation industry the ability to finally evolve. Although the manufacturing side has a large head start, the installation side finally has a realistic opportunity to not fall further behind.