September 4, 2007

Why the Glass Industry is Better Than Baseball

By Paul Bieber

Ouch, this headline a hard statement to make, especially to me. Here is how I came to this mind-numbing conclusion.

Every morning I go to to read up on my boys loss or win on the previous day. Fortunately, this year we have more wins than losses. Living in New England now, my second stop is Red, which is is also an exciting and rewarding visit this year. But then I look at second place, and while they teams are almost as good, they aren’t in first place. There is a decided difference between being in first or second place. It means more money, more fame, and helps to keep building the ball club. Second place means you are trying to rebuild for next year. Or maybe by trading away top prospects, you can gain one over-the-hill veteran to help make the September stretch drive.

Being in third place or lower usually means you are less than .500 in games won, so you are in the bottom half.

Baseball games also lend this, you are a winner or a looser, there is no middle ground. Each day, you either win, or lose. Winning is better.

How does this relate to the glass industry? I just finished reading about the survey from INC Magazine, listing the top 5,000 growth businesses in the country. AEE Solar of Redway, CA, led the glass industry listings with 846% growth in three years. Next was GT Solar, of Merrimack, NH, with an 801% growth. Third place is Smart Building Systems of Fort Myers, FL, with a 322% growth.

Now this third place is not too shabby!

There are shades of winning and loosing in the glass industry. Having the 10th largest glass shop in the New York area is huge. There are over 1,000 glass shops in metropolitan New York. I bet the first 700 make money and support their owners quite nicely. Can you imagine if there were 700 major league teams, all with weak pitching? With thirty teams spread across 2 leagues and three divisions each, there can only be six winners in baseball.

In the league of the New York Glass industry, probably nine hundred out of a thousand are winners. It’s a lot better to deal with these nine hundred than pulling for the second place Yankees. In sports it is first or worst, with very little middle ground. Glass is easier. We can all be winners.

(To read more about Inc’s list, go to