Packetizing your Architecture Business

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Reading back my notes from I book I read 3 years ago.

I was reading the notes I took from the book Platform Ecosystems, which I read 3 years ago.

It’s so inspiring to read those notes back again, because it shows you if you’re on the right path, following your own strategy.

Or not…

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One of the main conclusions I got from that book was the Packetization.

If you want to scale your business, you need to be packetized.

There are two statements in this sentence:

  • If you want to scale your business
  • you need to be packetized

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If you want to scale your business

Scaling your business means growing your revenue streams, without spending more resources.

As an architect, you can work on more projects, but you will need more people and more time to produce those projects.

If you’re already busy with your actual projects, how could you even think about getting new customers?

But the main idea of a business is to be profitable, selling more, by doing less.

How is that possible?

That is where the second statement comes in.

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You need to be packetized

Packetization is the ability to digitize “something” (an activity, a process, a product or a service) that was not digitized before.

Anything that can be digitized can be broken into data “packets” and transported quite literally at the speed of light and at near zero cost across large distances.

In other words, break your project into smaller tasks, where you can share and delegate each one to different stakeholders.

For example, when you divide the project documentation into several deliverables and delegate them to other technical agents (architect, engineer, designer…).

You have probably done it before.

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Now, packetization has two consequences:

1. Location independence

First, by digitizing even one aspect of an activity or process, it removes its location dependence.

The packaged activity can be completed anywhere the package can be shipped.

In this case, those technical agents to whom you have delegated would not be in your same office, but in another place, perhaps in another time zone.

Instead of being at the desk in front of you, your new colleague (or partner) could be at home completing the tasks you need to complete your process.

This opens up entirely new possibilities for the division of labor.

The packetization cube framework.

Your architecture business can potentially be decomposed into pieces that can be executed in different places, by different parties, and then be re-aggregated almost instantaneously.

Architects can now divide and delegate parts of the activity wherever the best cost/expertise combination is available in ways that were unimaginable until recently.

Such packetization is creating a vast but largely invisible parallel economy.

Like structure or installation calculations, interior design, scheduling… there are so many aspects that can be packed and delegated.

But remember…

Don’t complicate things unnecessarily.

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2. Specialization

Second, packetization is deepening specialization across all industries and professions.

Especially the architecture and construction industry.

This increased specialization and automation of remote work allows local architects to focus on higher value-added tasks and on more creative work.

With remote work becoming more specialized and automated, local architects can finally break free from the boring stuff and dive headfirst into the cool and creative side of their craft.

AI is also on the edge of transforming the industry, letting the most productive guys lead the industry, while the others are threatened to be subordinated to minor tasks or sometimes abandon or quit the profession forever.

Imagine being able to focus on the juicy tasks that really make a difference and showcase your unique talents.

Specialize, and you’ll have more time to let your imagination run wild.

You will come up with mind-blowing designs that will leave clients and communities in awe.

So why are you wasting another minute on mundane tasks when you could embrace technology?

Be yourself. Use technology. And Specialize.

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What did I learn?

We, architects, are the kind of animals that like and want to do everything.

From measuring a building, sketching, planning, doing cost estimations, and managing different stakeholders.

But sometimes it can be overwhelming, as I mentioned in a previous article.

Since I started packetizing on Bamboo Architecture (local studio) and Global Architect, I discarded the tasks that were not providing value to the company, and delegated them to someone else.

Now, we solely focus on those tasks and projects that can add great value and leave us more space and time to do the creative work.

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My tip

🎓 Understand how you could scale your architecture firm with the Business – Value Chain Challenge. It will help you prioritize which stakeholders or key partners could help you with your packetization strategy.

Conclusion

Packetization allows architects to increase their focus on even narrower aspects of their core competence where they can add the most value, and potentially use a diverse ecosystem of specialist partner firms to provide the other pieces.

Answer the following questions with sincerity:

  • Where do you really provide value? On which step of the Value Chain and actions?
  • Do you really know it?
  • How can you packetize your projects and delegate them to other stakeholders, so you can focus on your valuable tasks?
  • Following the first question, where are you going to specialize?

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I hope you find more time to let your imagination run wild and come up with mind-blowing designs.

I really do.

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P.S.: By the way, for those curious architects, read the book Platform Ecosystem, highly recommended if you want to delve into the concept of packetization.

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Happy packetizing ✌🏼

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Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you with:

1. If you’re still looking for traction in your architecture business, I’d recommend starting with an affordable course.

2. Suppose you want to level up your business. In that case, you can get Full Access to the Global Architect Roadmap, and unlock Challenge & Solutions with all the resources and tools, exclusively reserved for our paid members, by Upgrading your Membership.

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