Technology, entrepreneurship and marketing: How should you handle the disruptive forces?

Contour Crafting
Can you apply trends in augmented reality, BIM and 3D printing to your design and bidding process?
Augmented Reality (AR) can be a powerful designing tool -- and important construction marketing resource
Augmented Reality (AR) can be a powerful designing tool — and important construction marketing resource

You can read the stories every week: Retailers closing stores, formerly high-flying businesses crashing to redundancy, success turning to defeat as the once leading-edge business becomes a has-been; and not because the failed business has been mismanaged, lacked talent, or potential.

The challenge: Once-successful businesses are sidelined because of technological change, coupled with entrepreneurial initiative among newcomers (and a few successful established businesses which picked the correct path despite often-misleading background information). It can be a brutal story.

The biggest challenges often arise out of left field, or are so disruptive that the entire foundation and business model of the established organization needs to be revised. And this means that architectural, engineering and construction businesses and practices, which might think they are relatively immune from technological risk, could be surprised and up-ended at a surprisingly rapid rate if they aren’t careful.

I’ve recently written a story, From chips to skyscrapers: A review of construction technology, for the Canadian Design and Construction Report ( which outlines what are now considered to be the most significant disruptive technologies in the AEC community, and urge you to read it, and think about how they may impact your business and practice.

Then: The tough part, implementing the new technologies effectively and marketing your leadership in their implementation. This can be much easier to say than to do when you (and most of your current clients) are satisfied with the status-quo and you want to change incrementally, rather than aggressively.

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