Packetizing your Architecture Business

Table of Contents

Reading back my notes from a 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 inspiring to read those notes back again because it shows you if you’re on the right path and following your strategy.

Or not…


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:

1 – If you want to scale your business

2 – you need to be packetized


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 projects, how could you even consider 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.


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 across large distances at the speed of light and near-zero cost.

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

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

You have probably done it before.


Now, packetization has two consequences:

1. Location independence

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

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

In this case, those technical agents you have delegated would not be in your 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 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.


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 more creative work.

With remote work becoming more specialized and automated, local architects can finally escape 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 it while the others are threatened with being subordinated to minor tasks or sometimes abandoning or quitting the profession forever.

Imagine focusing on the juicy tasks that make a difference and showcase your unique talents.

Specialize; 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.


What did I learn?

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 tasks and projects that add value and leave us more space and time for creative work.


My tip

🎓 Understand how to 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.


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 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?


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

I really do.


Also, for those curious architects, the book Platform Ecosystem is highly recommended if you want to delve into the concept of packetization.


Happy packetizing your Architecture Firm ✌🏼


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