April 8, 2014

What If Google Really Wanted to Take over the Glass Industry?

By Paul Bieber

They could, you know. They have the bucks to buy all of us.  In fact, so does Apple.  Why is this important?  Google has applied to the U.S. Patent Office to trademark the word ‘GLASS’ because they are calling their new wearable computer GOOGLE GLASS.  Yep, they have stolen our whole industry. 

Their new computer is worn just like a pair of eyeglasses.  It is out in the world in its test mode and they hope to sell it to the public later this year.  It is the hottest topic in the computer industry and has generally received good reviews.  There have been some glitches with certain state governments who are trying to ban the wearing of the computers while driving or being in a movie theater, and there is a certain logic there, but that is not our fight.

Google’s balance sheet shows $60.6 BILLION dollars in cash and investments as of 12/31/13, and Apple’s shows $158.8 BILLION for the same period.  PPG’s market value, as of last night, was $26.7 billion.  While considerable, the computer companies could buy PPG without having to give up their lunch money.  And glass makes up about a third of PPG’s business!

I propose we form a committee to come up with the value of the word glass.  We could have annual meetings, regional meetings, government-sponsored forums that will help us write the standards for how many letters are in the word glass, and then finally set the value for the word glass so the real negotiations can begin.  The negotiations will decide how we divvy up the billions of dollars we will get?  Does USGlass have to change its name to USGOOGLE?  Will the commercials be:  Call Safelite Auto GOOGLE to repair or replace your windshield?  Does a window company get any money; after all, they don’t have the word GLASS in their name?

Should we give up without a fight?  Never!  Or, at least not until we see the green of their checkbooks!

I look forward to meeting all of my friends and readers at the Glass TEXpo™ later this week in San Antonio, Texas.  It looks like it will be a great learning experience and a fun time.  See you there.