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These days, I hear and read a lot about the forces driving growth in the remodeling industry. Many industry pundits claim that the steady increase in remodeling activity over the last decade is proof that bigger — bigger sales force, bigger jobs, bigger crews, bigger marketing budgets — is better, both for the industry and for individual companies. Some even claim that this growth signals a fundamental, historic shift in the industry, a change in the rules that will pressure small companies to "partner" with suppliers to become more competitive with the Home Depots of the world. While I agree that there's a place for this kind of trend analysis, it reminds me of a time a few