Volume 11, Issue 2 - March 2010

From The Publisher

Optimistic Overuse?
by Tara Taffera

At the end of every year, various sources come up with their lists of words that are overused. In 2009, it was phrases like “the new normal” and “exit strategy.” It’s always interesting to see which words make the cut. I know this may be a stretch but as I looked at the articles I wrote in the past few weeks in reference to the International Builders’ Show (IBS), one word came up a great deal. The word starts with an O. Optimism. Yes, this seems to be the word of choice to epitomize the mood of the homebuilding industry as we head toward 2010.

I wonder if it is overused. I wonder if the company that had to lay off workers this year is optimistic that things will turn around soon and the company owner can bring some of these workers back. My hope is that he or she is, because without optimism, what do you have?

So, after much consideration, I have decided despite a possible overuse, I will continue to use the word optimistic as long as there are continued signs of companies who show signs of things getting better.

And, while we’re talking about being optimistic, I just have to mention two companies that have received a great deal of press lately.

First, Serious Materials. I think everyone knows the story here so I’m not going to rehash it. But some in the industry, by their own admission, are frustrated by all the national press being given to Serious when other companies offer products just as good if not better than theirs.

Serious Materials has received a lot of positive attention over the past year or so from both the president and vice president. Recently some of the media’s attention has turned to the negative. Some argue Serious received the previous accolades because a Serious executive is married to a top official at the DOE.

So maybe because of this recent negative attention, Serious wasn’t mentioned by President Obama in his State of the Union address in January. But one window company was mentioned—Northeast Building Products in Philadelphia.

How great is it, I thought, that a window manufacturer was cited by the president as proof of the stimulus act at work. But it seems now some people are wondering why NEBP was mentioned. One reader even got this company confused with Serious and we had to set the record straight.

Here’s what I think has everyone up in arms—good old-fashioned jealousy. It’s normal—we all do it, it’s simply human nature.
Numerous companies in the industry have great products, so they wonder why they aren’t gaining national attention.

I say, who cares? If Serious, NEBP or any other company received national exposure, whether it is in a national magazine, or a national news program, or even by the President of the United States, it only helps the entire industry. It brings more attention to the need for highly efficient windows and doors. Not everyone is going to buy from Serious or NEBP, but if you’re ready and you market your products correctly, they might end up looking to you.

So here’s to being optimistic for the future of the entire industry.


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