The future is bright

It is remarkable how much has changed during the past 10 years

We are in the second month of a new decade, and it still seems odd to me to write the month and day followed by “2020.” I know that about the time I get used to it, it will be 2021 and I will need to start over. As we begin the next 10 years, it’s worth reviewing how times have changed.

In my personal life, 10 years ago I sold my roofing company and was in full campaign mode seeking a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. I was elected in 2010 and began the first of my three terms. The entire time I was there, I served while being part of a Republican majority whose primary focus was trying to curb government growth and spending. Discretionary spending went down for five years in a row for the first time since the Korean War. It saddens me to see fiscal responsibility now forgotten as the federal government has returned to trillion-dollar deficits. Times do indeed change!

Technology has drastically changed, too. In 2010, Apple introduced the iPad. It became so popular so fast it was among the best-selling noncellular consumer electronic inventions in history. Soon, other manufacturers followed, and tablets now are everywhere. More than 360 million iPads have been sold, which is nearly one each for the entire U.S. population.

Crowdfunding also went mainstream in 2010 as Kickstarter kicked off. You now can exercise philanthropy and help others achieve their dreams. Just 10 years after Kickstarter launched, crowdfunding is stunningly commonplace.

Most folks who know me know I am a Green Bay Packers fan as are my two sons and all my grandchildren. Obviously, I have raised my family right! If you were to visit my eldest son’s home on game day, you would see the family room illuminated in green and gold, all thanks to Google Assistant. In most cases, my son now can speak his world into existence by telling his house to get warmer or cooler or brighter or darker without buttons, remotes or cables. By using only his voice, magic happens. This is beyond what we thought was capable in 2010.

Smart homes also feature doorbells and other video security tools that allow you to see the inside and outside of your home wherever you are by looking at your cell phone. And thermostats now allow you to control the interior temperature of your house from anywhere. Our lives are getting better, more efficient and safer by the decade!

Are you concerned about power outages but don’t want to install a generator? No problem. Install a Tesla Powerwall instead. Launched in 2015, the Powerwall stores electricity for use when there is a power outage. Don’t want to purchase electricity during peak hours? You no longer need to. These innovations have all happened within the past 10 years. Change also is happening in the roofing industry. Soon Tesla’s solar glass roofing shingles will have more widespread use. And other manufacturers such as GAF and CertainTeed are providing integrated solar roofing products, as well.

Innovation will continue. As I walk the floor of the 2020 International Roofing Expo,® I am encouraged by the innovation I see. I am encouraged because the industry is vibrant. It’s growing. It’s getting better. Thanks for being a part of it!

Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.

This column is part of News + Views. Click here to read additional stories from this section.



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