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Good, Better, Best: Chalkboards, Whiteboards, Glassboards

If you’re like many of us, when you think chalkboard, you think way back. Like 70’s or 80’s back. Back so far that the early days of MTV, Atari, and big hair were everyday mainstream.

Chalkboards made good backdrops for shows and movies like the Wonder Years, the Goonies and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. We might have outgrown the chalkboard, but its still a nostalgic part of our past.

Whiteboards not so much.

Do you hark back to simpler days standing in front of a whiteboard? Whiteboards felt so transitional. Whiteboards came of age in a time when our world was digitizing. Whiteboards were always just a means to get from point A to point B. Always an afterthought, as more exciting technology proliferated around them. And today, just as chalkboards yielded to whiteboards, so too must whiteboards wave the white flag.

Just as Steve Jobs made his migration from plastic to glass, artists, educators and leaders must make the same transition with their illustrative surfaces.

Glassboards are to whiteboards what whiteboards were to chalkboards. But as a product that lasts a lifetime, not 4-6 years on average, Glassboards are here to stay.

There are several key reasons why glassboards will continue to outpace whiteboards. Like the move to CD from the VCR, it takes time, but the superior technology prevails.

1. Glassboards are more cost effective. With replacement every 4-6 years, whiteboards could cost thousands more over time.

2. Glassboards are cleaner and easier to maintain. Seriously, how hard is it to erase a whiteboard? Not to mention that whiteboards aren’t antimicrobial – that’s not just dry erase marker sticking to your whiteboard.

3. Glassboards are safer. Recent load tests prove that Clarus™ Glassboards can withstand weight of up to 6500 lbs. Whiteboards don’t have that kind of strength.

4. Glassboards are better for the environment. Glass is recyclable. It’s sustainable. Meanwhile, whiteboards are plastic, often toxic and take up space in landfills.

5. Glassboards look better. With no staining, ghosting or smearing, glassboards present a glossy, always-clean surface. Not to mention they are beautifully designed glass and architecturally inspired.

6. Glassboards can be customized. You can’t really order a whiteboard in a custom shape, as a boardroom desk or with a lifetime lasting company logo, can you? And don’t forget, they’re called ‘white’boards for a reason – Glassboards, on the other hand, can be customized for any color.

7. Glassboards make it easier to share ideas. Whiteboards aren’t kind to dry-erase markers, or your work. Glass gets the best out of the marker for all to see.

And the list could go on and on…

Products like glassboards only come around a few times in a generation. But when they do, they don’t just take some market share – they take all of it. In the world of innovation, glassboards aren’t a traditional disruptor – those start at the low end. Instead, they could be considered a ‘Big Bang Disruptor’ as the concept is described in the Harvard Business Review. Whereas low-end disruptors start small and sneak up on markets, Big Bang Disruptors take markets by storm. As said in HBR, these disruptors don’t “cause headaches for [competitors]; they trigger disasters.”

As they say, hindsight is 2020. Looking at chalkboards and their chalky (remember eraser clapping?), messy surfaces now, it’s obvious that they would inevitably give way to an improved surface. And when you look at the value proposition and superiority of glassboards, compared to the obsolescence of the whiteboard, it’s no wonder that history is quickly repeating itself.