Online Marketing

Build Your Own Web Portal with OpenStack APIs and Services

Okay, so I guess I’ll start ready: okay, hello! There. My name is machi Hoshino and I’ll, be talking by the title of build your own web portal using OpenStack, api’s and services here, okay, so this will be the outline of my presentation in the introduction I’ll try to explain why I prepared this session today and on The second chapter from a user perspective I’ll try to explain what OpenStack means to us and then why and how we build web portals on top of OpenStack and our future plans and the summary okay.

So Who am I umm again? My name is Michiko Shino on the slide there I believe in pink. You can see for kanji letters. Limit slope is small, but that’s how I write my name in Japanese. If you’re aware of Japan, all countries have meaning they, they mean starfield, truth and knowledge. Well, thank you. I work at a company called IBM systems, engineering, Japan and I believe you all know the first three letters.

But yes, we are a subsidiary of the IBM group. However, usually we are called IFE in Japan because of the first letters of IBM systems. Engineering, my company is located at a pre fixture called Chiba. If you know about Japan, if you’re really familiar with it, it’s actually close to Tokyo and I put a picture of the building that I work at and the colleagues that I work with. So what do I do? In the past? I used to support IBM power systems.

Now I don’t believe everyone knows that, but it is IBM’s proprietary, mid-range servers and I worked in that field for like five years now, I support clients, designing and building cloud environments and although I do suffer a lot products these days, I spent a lot of time. Sporting openstack and I’ve listed the clients that I and we we meaning is II, worked with these clients and vote include mismo bank Toshiba, keyring and Jeffrey steel corporation okay.

So before I really go into the details, I thought this was a great opportunity to show how OpenStack is doing in Japan and last year, 2015 was a great year, as all of you probably remember, we had our last of Miss on the stack summit at Tokyo On October, I was actually there as a listener and I’m very overwhelmed that I’m back here as a speaker – and the second point is that I believe some of you have already got it the certification program.

I believe that community now has a global program, but in Japan we have our own program, which is called opsal, which stands for certify exam for OpenStack professionals, and this was also started at October on 2015 and last but not least, we’re seeing a tremendous growth in The IP market IDC analysis are saying that we will see a hundred fourteen percent per year, growth in the IKEA market in OpenStack, and I put a graph on there.

The last part is 2019, but you can see it’s getting big and you can see that OpenStack is now getting very popular in Japan, so you may wonder what the clients are really getting from OpenStack come on this slide. I’ve listed some of the clients that IBM japan worked with and the outcomes they got from OpenStack Toshiba. They built a service, many on top of OpenStack and they’ve achieved flexibility and rapid deployment.

Cheering and I believe this a very big number, but they have reduced your single server casa on 75 % and JP’s to a corporation they’re, estimating that their system build will reduce from two months to ten days, which is again if you calculate that it’s about. Like 80 percent, so you can see that a lot of our clients are getting positive outcomes from OpenStack, so in Japan, nope mistake is doing great.

I feel that a lot of our clients are really getting interested in this technology. I get a lot of calls. I’ve spent busy weeks I’m very confident that this technology well now, of course not only in Japan, will be widely deployed in this IT industry. So why am I standing here today? I believe because of the my session title. I believe a lot of people are expecting that I’m going to talk about web portals – and I am going to talk about that.

But the real message that I want to share is what’s written about here and it’s a story about what we did after installing OpenStack. As all of you know, OpenStack is now very popular. Clients are getting access to the out-of-the-box OpenStack features, but we have seen that as they float around with those features they start to bump into the question that well, how can we use these features to really get the best out of OpenStack? So today I would like to share my experience, working with clients and really arguing with this issue and the one answer we got, which was to build web portals on top of it.

Ok, so this is what I’m going to talk about today, since it’s already here, but since OpenStack has become widely popular in Japan. I believe that we now need to explore how we can use OpenStack. So in this session I will try from a user perspective. Recap on what OpenStack is and with demos, I will share our motivation for building web portals on top of the OpenStack I’ll, try to explain what that drawing means towards the end of this session.

Ok, what is the OpenStack now? This may become very embarrassing because I’m going to try to explain what OpenStack is when there’s probably a lot of experts in this room, but I’m not going to do this because I feel pleasure of being embarrassed, though, instead of I’m going to do this to show How I understand what OpenStack is and it’ll be a lot easier for me to explain why that led to the idea of building web portals on top of it, since this is very basic stuff, some people may get bored, be patient.

Elves show you the demo. After about like in 10 minutes, okay, so, okay, so what is OpenStack? I believe this is a very simple question, but we have multiple answers for this from the keynotes. I believe that there are multiple perspectives for this question. My answer is: OpenStack abstracts, compute network and storage. That’s it now. What does that mean in the slide? I wrote a layer called application now.

Imagine that this application is something that you want to write to control your IT resources and IT hardware’s. If we have OpenStack, this application only needs to care about the OpenStack. Api’s OpenStack will convert those api’s to the actual hardware api’s opus. That has multiple projects. I believe you know that, but I, for example, know Berglas Neutron. They all provide different functionalities, but what they all have in common is that they let you control your IT resources without caring.

What it actually is, meaning that I don’t have to care if it’s KVM or VMware. So when I explained this to clients, they get the responses on well. Why does that have to be done by OpenStack? Well from an application point of view, I believe there’s a lots of good stops when OpenStack exists. The first point is that OpenStack, first of all provides a out-of-the-box framework for integrating computing networking storage.

If we do not have OpenStack, I have to write every procedure to control their Hardware on the application, meaning like, for example, creating VLANs assigning IP sculling LUNs, assigning those lands, the hypervisors formatting, those lands, blah blah blah. If I have OpenStack, all of that will be merged into a single, simple API which is over boot, and that will save a lot of time building these type of applications.

And the second point is that, since OpenStack is now very popular instead of just having your OpenStack instance on your own data centers, we can have open access to weak, have access to OpenStack for from public services, for example, IBM now has a private Maj cloud service Called blue box so, theoretically, if I once write a application based on OpenStack api’s, I can move this application to any OpenStack platforms and the last point is, since a lot of vendors have helped develop OpenStack drivers with no code change.

We can access proprietary hardware solutions. So what this means is that, with the Nova boot API, I can control KVM instances and para VM, which is IBM’s proprietary, personalization solutions, so you can see from an application point of view, opens that provides a lot of good points. So I talked about the good things about OpenStack. Now I’m going to talk about what we should consider about now when I say OpenStack, revised abstraction to compute network storage, I’m only talking about the core of the OpenStack and I believe OpenStack is not just.

I asked and I brought the big tent picture. I believe a lot of people know this if they have touched OpenStack, but what this really means that when we look that project there is two things. There’s core services in big tent and in the core services are the projects that have a very long history and provide the basic highest functions, which is the compute network and storage. And when we look outside of the core services, we have a world called big, tent and well.

When we look at these projects, as we see like, for example, Sahara, which provides Hadoop as a service and trove as in database as a service. So you can see that OpenStack is now not just a high yes, but so when I explained about the big tent to my clients, I know I’m exaggerating this, but I always get some responses very close to this. So, since OpenStack is very happy that me has a lot of functions, we sometimes assume that well, if we is still OpenStack all the problems we have will magically go away, which I believe a lot of people know that that’s not correct so can OpenStack solve.

Everything. Is there people that says? Yes, I believe who says yes: okay, there’s no one, so the answer is probably no and for a long time. I believe this will be no and why well, because each project have different maturities, I’m glad that the community now provides the OpenStack project navigator. But when we look at this, we realized that projects that have the high majority are mostly the core services.

The big dam projects horizon and heat have high majority, but all the other projects they’re still in the progress of development, and the second point is that not everything is implemented. Openstack, for example, when I talk to clients, they usually say that they want to trace to each user’s activities, meaning like they want to trace. They want to know personally egg build how many VMs on this week, personally Vav you destroy it.

How many beers on this week, I believe, see the mayor is supposed to do that, but I never really got that to work um and the third and last point I saved the clients that opens that cannot solve. Everything is because OpenStack is difficult. I’ll talk to you about the next slide, but so I said that OpenStack abstracts, compute and networking storage. Now, why can that make it difficult? I say: OpenStack is difficult and difficult to the users that just want the services.

For example, let’s say: there’s a user that says I want a WordPress server. I I want to create an awesome web block with using WordPress servers and he goes into his OpenStack server and if OpenStack is really wise and just says, hey here’s your WordPress server. I believe that is easy, but in reality what we really need to do to get the WordPress are working on. The OpenStack is to really follow these princes procedures to really get it, and so what I really want to say is that OpenStack has made things a lot easier.

Then I knew then I started working on power systems. However, it’s the benefit is really for the people that were maintaining and operating the IT hardware, and I believe, there’s still a lot of people that really don’t care about ID hardware. They only care about applications and for those people the OpenStack is too difficult. We need to make OpenStack much easier. We need to abstract OpenStack.

So what is OpenStack whatever I want to say in this chapter is that first of all, OpenStack, abstracts, computer, networking, so storage and, like I said OpenStack – does not solve everything and OpenStack is difficult difficult for the people that just want the services. So when we develop solutions on top of books and stack, these are the things that we need to consider about. Ok, so how do we do that? So I finally go back to my title on building your will and web portals.

So in the last chapter, I’ve talked about the good things about OpenStack and the considerations. Now, how do we overcome that? I believe there are three points for this. The first point is to let’s provide a service perspective web interface, meaning that this is the weapon. I’r talking about, and we really have to care that this is not Verizon. We are not going to show everything. What opens that can do to the users.

We’re just going to use, show the things that the people really care about. So first, let’s provide it weapons. Your face and to when I talk to OpenStack a lot of customers, they tend to use functions that are really instill in the progress of development. So I always tell my customers if you want to start using OpenStack start with the basic functions which are the computer networking storage. I have a customer ID.

I wasn’t involved with this customer, but I have a. I had a customer complaining that he was trying to work a DVR solution which, which only started – and he complained that me that it’s not working, he doesn’t get, never connect connectivity and at the end I told him well, why didn’t you use DVR? He he started using DVR on VLAN, so why didn’t you do that? Why well is it started more easier? So my I always tell my clients that if you’re starting OpenStack start easy start only using compute network and storage, so now, what do we do with the functions that are not computing? Networking storage when we look around this OpenStack is not the only automation tool.

For example, for software installation, I believe a lot of people use chef, puppet estable for project management, maybe read mine. My answer is that why don’t we just combine all these softwares and make it into our own cloud environment? Now I make this sound easy from the keynotes. I was actually very amazed from the ATM tease, but I believe a lot of people are trying to do this they’re trying to really integrate a lot of the tools and make it into a single application.

But what’s when I talk to clients, I believe this is the most hardest part, because now I’m involving multiple technologies, for example in this charm, I’m involving a web application interface and the OpenStack and chef puppet in decibel. So it’s really hard to imagine how this all works together and all the clients that I work with. In the end, we always have to argue to how to combine the things that are not OpenStack so today, to give you a better understanding of what I just explained.

I brought myself a demo application this demo application. First of all, it’s a article, I’m sorry! I didn’t, I didn’t believe the demo gods, but this is a demo application, it’s a article and it was built by my team back in Japan and it is really a blend of all the ideas. We’ve got really arguing with our clients. Now, where you’re, what you are going to about to see it’s not for production, they’re, still funny things about the user interface, but it’s only built by the purpose to be to give you a better understanding of what I’ve just explained.

So, let’s I’ll just show you the article first and go into the technical details later. So, let’s think of a very simple scenario. A guy named member says that I want a WordPress server and he logs into his web portal, and he does his customization. Like saying I want, I wanted to make a scale. I wanted three servers in load-balancing and before he gets his server in this demo, I will have a approver approve his request and after it gets approved, he gets his server okay.

So let me switch to the article okay, so so, first of all, I will login to my web web portal and I’m entering the URL and there’s a screen coli bean cloud. Reassured I’ll! Tell you what this is after the article, but I’m going to log in there and wait. Well. I have an awesome web block plan, so I’m going to get a wordpress, so I press the WordPress request and what happens? Is it’s actually me for some basic informations? I’r just going to drill down this, I’m not going to think too much about this and, as you see now, if I and now it’s asking me me how many web servers and how many database servers I want for this.

So I’ll just say three servers. Add some memory on it and boot has some disk on it and for the database server. It’s asking me for additional disk, so I’ll, just add 100 gigabytes and now press next, and so now we have a page. That’s asking for the attributes for the WordPress server and the database I’ll enter a name kolya c DB and here’s fancy feature it’s asking for the load, balancer configurations and I’m just going to really drill down the choices and – and I choose HTTP and I’m going to Ask hey so, since this is a demo, I’m going to enter a very crazy port number one, two three four: five and 192 168 0.

85 for the external access. Please remember this you’ll see this after and then I think it next and now I have I’ll show you a very fancy feature that says: show heat template now. What that did was actually create automatically created a heat template from the user input. I just did I’ll explain this after this, but you can see that one web server is there. Two web servers there and diddled three web servers, so this template is actually automatically created and then I press request so now I’m waiting for the approver to approve this.

So now now a male goes through the approver. This is actually a mail server but – and he says, hey dear approver, a new wordpress request has revived, please login and so ok, I login. Now I’m going to log into this portal as the approver and then what happens is there’s a box says, claim tasks and I can see the same request that was done by the member’ guy and then well I’ll just say I approve and what happens after this Is now the server gets provisioned, and now I now all, I only have to wait for the servers to get ready.

Well, since there’s a little bit of software configuration I’m going to cut this, but it’s not like an error process. If I could see this ok, so you can see, that’s it only to collect five minutes so and if I click the new mail, it’s telling me that your server is ready and you can see the crazy port number one. Two three four: five that I entered in the screen and if I click that I get my WordPress server now I can create my awesome web blog now.

The scenario ends here in real cases he’s just going to create my blogs with this, but I believe we are OpenStack hacker. So, let’s see what happened in the OpenStack side, now I’m going to log in to Horizon now in real cases. We should not let the user log in, but this is just for demo, so I’m just going to log in there, but this is the IBM version of a horizon. Don’t don’t be obstructive with that? It’s the basically the same thing, but it’s when we log in and there’s an orchestration stacks, and you can see that there’s a staff created there, five minutes and if I look at that, you can see that it created a very complex structure of heat template.

But it’s really the same thing that you saw on the show heat tape, a template button and well. I believe you can’t compare it, but it is the same thing that you saw in the previous show heat template button. And if I look at the events I can see all the events worked. Fine and, like I said I could hear little bouncers, let’s see if it’s working right, so three Webster remembers and so I’m just going to delete two members since I’ve have one member left.

I could I still should have access and I still have access to that. So I’m going to delete the last member and I believe it’s just just a little bit of cash. But after two reloads you can see that the server is now unavailable. So you can see always working nice okay, so let me explain what you’ve just saw that demo was a combination of OpenStack used. As I asked configuration and chef used for software configuration as you have saw, an open stack heat was heavily used for this demo and for the service UI.

I use the proprietary software called IBM cloud Orchestrator now in the IBM we usually call this ICO, but I see there is a great product. It helps you create that type of web application very easily with OpenStack api’s. Now, since we built it on ICO, this demo, application will only work with iceo, but the basic ideas, I believe, will work on any type of web application platform anyway. Some so, instead of the three points to have to get the best out of openness that we implemented, some fancy features to show.

What opens that can do, and the first feature is what you just saw: the automatic heat template creation. Now, for those of you who don’t know like how many people know what heat is. Okay, I believe a lot of people know that so for the people that don’t know what heat is it’s a technology that is used for template based deployments for those of you who know what heat is, how many people have ever write a heat template by theirselves Texted it how many people use text editor just from that? Okay, a lot of people whose text editors so or now, people use text editors for this, but instead in this demo we created a UI template converter, meaning that that template was automatically created on the input of the service portal and for software configuration we use chef And to connect heat with chef, we use a module called cloud config cloud, config um, I believe a lot of people.

Some people know that some people doesn’t know this, but their cloud config has a module that can connect chefs and executes chef’s recipes at default. I believe two days ago, and there was a session called metadata, do’s and don’ts. That was, and they talked about this so if you’re very interested, I believe you should look at that, but and another feature that I’ll talk about is the automatic helicopter.

So what does that mean? I’r the screen that you saw that I the screen that I drill down, it’s actually built by OpenStack api’s and chef api’s. There is no hard coding involved in that. So if I update the OpenStack environment and chef environment that cap, that UI is going to be updated, um so I’ll show you a demo about that. This is a very short demo, but ok! So I’m back to the scene where I entered the first screen and I believe that a lot of you forgot forgot this, but this is a part where I entered a new DB name like I said this is automatically created from chefs API.

So, let’s look at the chef’s server part um. This people who know it’s a chef server web GUI and I place edit and they’re safe. The practice has default attributes and if I did look at that, I see my sequel values with four about attributes on that, and it is the same thing that I see in this screen. So if I update this, I should see the same thing. So I’m going to update a new attribute, that’s called test and give it a default value test and save that value.

And what happens is I go back and reload the screen? I see the same thing so you can see there is no hard calling involved and these features are really created from chef, api’s, ok, and the last thing I’m I want to short share is that, since this demo, application is based on OpenStack and chef api’s, I’m Able to run through alkie, I am able to run this on any environment. If I have OpenStack and chef, I’m going to show you a very short demo of that.

Ok. So I’m back to the part where I approve the request. I press claim tasks and I see the approval again so I’m going to press approve now in the previous demo. I’ve shown you the horizon interface, but let’s go deeper. What hypervisor was I running yet, and I believe this is very rare, but this demo was actually working at a VMware environment. Now I say this is probably rare because I believe a lot of people are using KVM for their hypervisors, but as I’ve explained OpenStack abstracts that if I use if I built this on OpenStack api’s, I don’t have to care if it’s KVM or VMware.

So you can see that well, it’s now actually creating cinder volumes and it’s doing it by myself, and this is the vSphere client. If you know about that I’ve, if you know about BML, I believe a lot of people know what this is but and you can see that it’s automatically creating all the stuffs without any user interactions. So you can see that this demo application can work on any type of hypervisors and it will just keep on going so I’ll.

Just stop the demo here, but okay, so I think I have ten minutes left so on the screenshot. What what is this um? This is a screenshot of a application that is really close to what I’ve just saw shown, but it’s working at a para VM environment. What was that? Okay? And I say this is very close, because this is not for demo purposes. We are actually trying to create this application for a real customer for production use, so you can see it.

It does a lot of complex things than just provisioning, WordPress servers, for example it’s in this application. I can’t show you the details, but it is trying to configure a clustering software using shared disks, and so what I wanted to say is that this technology we can use it on any type of hypervisors and we can use it even on production environments. I do have a demo article for this on, if you’re very interested on you, I can show you through my laptop so um.

Okay. Is it okay? Okay? So this? Let me summarize this chapter. I’ve talked that there are three points to get the best out of OpenStack and that’s what’s written there and with my demo application. I’r very glad if you got a better an if you’re. If you got the highly saying I’m sorry, I’ve read English, but if you got the idea of that and with that demo application, one more thing I really want to say is that.

Well, I get clients asking me: what’s the best thing about OpenStack and I tell them: api’s are the best thing with those api’s. I can really connect these multiple technologies and make it look like a single, unified application. You can see that in the demo application. I really connected OpenStack and chef, so ok, so let’s just go on home, I’m bleep! I have a little more time. So let me talk about what we’re trying to do now and what we are trying to show to our customers on its and then this part is basically about infrastructure testing.

We get a lot of requests from our customers that they want to automate testings. What testing means um, I believe, a lot of people before going on production. A lot of people enter a lot of commands. Seeing that everything is working right and say: ok, now you can go on production. A lot of our customers say that they want to automate that, because their system is getting much more complex and this is taking a lot of time.

So I would like to share my opinion for this, so why do we do testings in the first place? So we do testings, because there is how it should look and how it actually is, and we want to see that there is no difference between those things and maybe advance. Customers are always have already systemize this, but I believe a lot of customers are using Excel. Spreadsheets or Word documents to really maintain how it should look and from those informations operators and rewrite them to commands and execute each command.

So how do we systemize this, and if I can achieve the environment, that I showed you in the previous demo, how it should look like are all in the OpenStack heat templates and chef recipes. Our team back in Japan are trying to create automated test scripts from that information. Here we are trying to use service background for those who don’t know how many people know a server spec. Ok, so there’s a lot of people um server spec.

It was built by a Japanese engineer. It’s this isn’t really used for testing purposes. If you write a spec file, this is written and, oh, my god, I forgot the language. I believe it’s in Ruby if I’m wrong a bit, maybe at some 100 get married. Thank you and it’s really in Ruby, it’s called spec file and it sure respect eats those files and they do test automatically. Currently, we are trying to create those spec files automatically from information from heap templates and chef recipes.

Sorry we’re trying to do that um. I did get reports that some of these are working. Some of these are not, I hope, someday. We are able to show this, but what I really wanted to say that if we can really automate everything for our IT provisioning, we can really make these things work and create all these all and automate all these testings and operations. Ok, so that’s as my session. I think I talked a lot of today, but in summary, what I wanted to talk is that OpenStack abstracts computing networking storage and it does not solve everything we need to build something on top of it.

So we built a web portal to overcome these considerations and, like I’ve said when we really build these type of solutions. Api’s are really the keys with those API, so we can really connect a lot of technologies, multiple technologies and make it look as it is a single application. Ok, that is the end of my presentation. I believe I still have time for questions sure when you talk about the API. Is that are you directly using the REST? Api? Ok, yes, no CL is um.

You see, I means that we’re not using Python key clients. We are using actually in REST, API and the alright, so the list that you saw are really: we are using javascript to really look at those JSON files and the builds are created and parsed from those attributes. Yeah, okay and the other thing is so you know you provide a bed portal, for you know your end users, but is there a need for you providing you know api’s to them for automating their tasks like instead of going through web portal called APN? You know build up spin up a cluster of something.

Oh sorry, the question I believe was so I built a web portal did. Do we need API for that web portal? I do get requests for that. The product IBM Cloud Orchestrator already has that function, so it it does have a REST API interface. I can make it work without and drink those values. Yes, okay. I believe he was first I’m just looking at this. You said: there’s this dependency on the IBM orchestrate product.

Did you consider extending horizon in order to add functionality? Yes, well, so the question was how about extending the horizon? Well, we really when we work with clients, we realized that people don’t use horizon. I’r saying this because to us, I believe, in the room in the room. I believe a lot of people say that horizon looks easy, but clients that don’t know OpenStack horizon is still too hard.

They say that I don’t know what to do with this kind of what I’m driving at right and did you consider taking the framework that was available on horizon and then putting your easier workflows in there with you know the templating, auto defined values and sensible defaults. Okay, so you probably saying that you, but why didn’t you write extensions on top of horizon yeah? First of all, I didn’t know how to do that.

That was a, I believe, there’s a session about that tomorrow. Um the I believe it was an angularjs assessment. So if I maybe if I know about that, maybe I’ll try that alternative, but currently I did it, I used IBM cloud Orchestrator. Thank you for your presentation, I’m curious where your team thinks they can go in the future as far as creating applications on top of OpenStack right now, we’re seeing a lot of things that are still kind of in the analytics orchestration management part of the realm right.

I’r wondering where you see active going in the future okay, so so this is a question about app. Creating applications on top is not the only answer or reason, there’s a lot of things that we can do with OpenStack. Why do you believe that creating applications is the good thing? Is that the question sure okay? So well, it’s a I’ll just go back to a few slides on, so we good slide. Okay. So when we look at OpenStack like I’ve said, OpenStack is only an.

I us provider, so we need to really I mean, and what I see is that there’s a lot of things other than the OpenStack that customers have, for example they want to after provision they want to change some network configurations and networks which does have REST API Interfaces and they want to really connect that so when we have to do that, I believe that we should really connect connect all those api’s, and so we should build a application on top, but really extend it and connect all the IT resources that we have in Our data centers, so I believe, of course, using as it for how to say I’m Big Data IOT.

I believe it’s a good answer, but I believe that building application is one of the key features for IT. Provisioning. Is that yes right? Thank you any questions. Okay. I believe them. Thank you very much. This is ver honor


Online Marketing

How To Market an Architecture Firm – Part 1

This is Enoch Bartlett, Sears, AIA, host of the business of architecture show now maybe you’re a die-hard listener of business of architecture or maybe you’re new listener. I’m going to try something new here for a couple of episodes and I want to see how it goes.

So. Here’s the deal leave. This show a review on iTunes, with your constructive feedback and I’ll read your name and a brief message over the air. Now this will do two things. It will help me make this show better and it will bring you more of what you want to hear now. You can do this one of two ways you can visit iTunes and search for business of architecture and leave the review there or you can go to business of architecture.

Com visit, the show page click, the iTunes link, leave your feedback there and make business of architecture. Yours for 2014, because that’s what it’s about I’m doing this for you and your support is appreciated in today’s episode. We’re going to talk with Kyle McAdams AIA he’s a licensed architect and he is the former managing director of marketing and business development for the American Institute of Architects.

Now, during our conversation, Kyle’s going to talk to us and tell us about the three C’s and the four PS of marketing, basically marketing 101 for architects, listen, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. The information we cover in this in these next two episodes are going to give you the information that will put you ahead of 95 % of the other architects out there. So if you want to get more of the right kind of projects, you want to dominate your local market get out a pen and paper, because you’ll want to take notes.

Here’s the show well welcome back agile architects. Today joining us is Kyle. Mcadams AIA he’s a licensed architect, he’s a former managing director of marketing and business development for the American Institute of Architects, national and in his own words he is an evil genius marketer. So he is an experienced marketing and business development executive and we look forward to talking to him about marketing for architects.

So Kyle welcome to the show thanks it’s great to be here in person yeah and I’ve readed. Many of these things never actually taking part. So it’s pretty cool to be here that you know, and it is an honor thank you for spending your time to come and share your knowledge with with architects and talk about business of architecture and talk about marketing it my pleasure. So in listening. It’s initialling combination! How you you’re licensed architect, but you have the specialty in focus on marketing yeah, tell us how that happened in your career and also just a note there.

Let’s sum move your camera down just a little bit, or maybe your screen, so your heads a little higher here there we go that’s good, so we get you in full. Full frame, yep yep a little bit a little bit back a little exactly there. There you go, that’s good, perfect, all right, good, so trauma patient. You bet so tell us a story so licensed architect to you know. How did you what took you from being a an architect to being the former managing director or the director of marketing and business development for the AIA? Um? Well, I would say: I’ve always been an architect, so once you’re knocked, I think we all believe that once you’re, an architect you’re, always not matter what you’re doing and many of us take some different pads for me, I was a very fortunate coming out of business School, not a physical out of architecture school to go work for the cambridge 7 associates up in Boston and got to work on some really exciting projects with some really smart people who are the Cambridge, and what’s that, what does the Cambridge 7 tell me about them? Their work, Cambridge, is a is a very well.

It’s a it’s a back, forty-year-old, firm in Boston and if you know the New England, Aquarium, Boston or the National Aquarium in Baltimore, those are all Cambridge seven projects. I think in 1993 they won the firm of the Year award so they’re a truly long, well-established firm. In Boston, New England and they’re kind of known worldwide as the aquarium firm, that’s their real claim to fame. I worked there.

I didn’t work on the aquarium projects. I worked on the the ones that made money the the less glamorous. I worked a lot about shopping malls and movie theaters and they were actually really interesting because both of those types of projects when you design you’re, designing with business in mind and a business process and it for this operation – and I was really getting intrigued by it – And loved working with my clients and started thinking about the business side of things and decided to go to business school.

So I went back to business school and while I was there, I really became fascinated with marketing and I don’t think people by helping people who aren’t in marketing always know that it L strategic it is, and I compared it I think. Actually, most architects are probably we could be wired to be great marketers, because it is really about designing a marketing strategy you’re. Just not you know, working with visuals but you’re, looking with understanding consumers and developing a strategy and a product around those consumers.

Much as you would be developing a program around a client – and you know, building a building around a little bit more about that, because you know for a lot of us. Marketing is sort of a different language. So when you say strip being really strategic about us about it, help us understand what you mean by that. What does that mean? Okay, this is the way I think about it. If you ever go through a marketing class, probably one of the first things they’re going to tell you about, is to always remember three seas and the four p’s, and that’s just that’s that baseline of marketing.

I all the thinking goes around those things and the three C’s are the company meeting you, the company, you are what are your strengths and weaknesses? What can you do very well what you not do and you have to decide? What is it I’m going to do? Am I going to make dishwashing liquid? Am I going to make soap and I got the tires okay and if I do make tires, do I make racing tires? Do I make up you know snow tires, I’m a dishwashing liquid.

Am I going to fight grease or make shiny dishes, make your hand saw decide who you are what you do well and don’t try to do all things to all people um. The second C is the customer or the client or the consumer. You can put the seat to any of those, but it’s really who you are trying to serve and you, if you’re going to find a client or a customer. You want to find one that it’s looking for what you need right.

So it’s it’s sort of like a Unity game. They got to go together. You can’t be trying to force-feed the wrong clients, things that you don’t do right. So you deciding what your company is, helps you realize who the customer should be and finding the customers that you can serve best means you’re going to perform best you’re going to be happiness and your customers are going to be just as happy. But that’s a very strategic decision you have to make and I don’t think people realize how much thought and strategy goes into that and then the other scene.

This example: I’m going to pause you right there, because this is such this is great information Kyle and I don’t want. I don’t want you to gloss over anything that, to you might seem second nature, because you’re, a professional that does this and the late delay. People like myself out there who are learning from this process, so you say: there’s a lot that goes into that. You know the second C, which is the client and the first C, which is the company.

Can you sort of give me sort of an example to help me understand, what’s so complex about that, and I guess how to do it correctly? Okay, so let’s say you want to in an example, I I’m going to also be jumping into one of the peas as well there’s the product, so the product is what you are developing for the customer and the client so you’re having to find something that you See people want so you know, let’s say you your Starbucks right and you’re, not Starbucks, yet you’re, just Howard Schultz, right, let’s say architecture firm.

Can you can you switch it and say? Okay, we were an architecture firm right and I have experience with. Let’s say schools. I work I used to work for a big firm and I did a lot of school work, so I know a lot about designing schools and I’m going to start my own firm and gosh yeah, there’s so many things I could do. I think I might you know, want to design a kitchens. Well, I don’t have any expertise in that.

I could develop it, but maybe I get started a lot quicker. If I know I can do schools and if I feel like I have enough bandwidth and the right people to do, schools, and if I don’t, I have to you, know, find the right people and can I afford them all those kind of questions have to say. That’s that’s what I’m to do so. I have to gear up to do that and can I afford you have to do that? Okay, that’s great, but am I in a market where they’re going to be schools right? I am I do I live in the desert and there’s not another city around for 300 miles.

Well, you’re, probably not going to do well design the schools do it. Do I live in a growing community where lots of young families are moving into on that’s going to explode with development yeah? That sounds like a pretty good place to do schools. So those two things are critical. So then you might start thinking about the product. So within you yourself as doing schools, what kind of school are you going to be say this like really well sustainable, sustainable schools? And that’s you know it helps it.

That’s what you get in the past, but you’ve got to figure out what the product is, that you’re going to be making and they’re all sort of symbiotic, they’re, the customer, client and the product kind of all go together and you sort of in you equip yourself To do that, that needs your staffing, the technologies you’re going to be using, but knowing those things you can start to address the other P’s and C’s and that sort of stuff, because it’s ready, you give a very interesting example that made me think about, for instance, When, let’s take the school example, say I’m an architect and I’m wanting to target school districts, would you recommend, in terms of product or service? In our case, would you recommend, focusing in on a tiny little area of the school district needs like, for instance, maybe classroom remodels or maybe a compliance, as opposed to just saying: hey, we’re a school architect and we’ll do anything and everything for schools talk about that, Especially if you’re just starting out right, especially just starting out, find something narrow, the narrower, you can be the more of an expert you can be and the more of a specific problem you can be solving because you know clients don’t mean, I don’t say most clients.

Most clients, most customers, think in terms of needs and problems right. If you are a noted problem, solver and leave FULFILLER people are going to turn to you more quickly than if you are a yeah. I do schools. Eventually, you may be able to step back and say: yeah I do schools. You got to start somewhere solving a problem by doing that, you’re, making it a little bit easier on yourself, because you’ve only got to worry about one minute to get really really good at before.

You expand to something else, as opposed to like trying to be all things to all people. You know 88 compliance. You can say to people. I am the expert about 88 compliance and you have questions about 88 compliance. Ask me whether it’s architectural or not on the expert and so being an expert like that you’re creating demand. Did people have that problem? If people have that need on, you are the solution to the demand they have okay.

So let me just rephrase that, and in my own words, to make sure I’m understanding and our listeners can apply it to themselves. So, for instance, instead of going and saying hey, I’m an architect and I do anything relating to schools that would be basically telling them what we can do, but in terms of needs and solving problems. If I tell them, hey, listen, I’m an expert at a DEA compliance and I can go through your school and if you have any projects that need to be done, I can tell you how much it’s going to work.

You know where you need to put the grab rails where you need to put the ramps and how that’s going to work that that speaks a lot more to the specific problem and needs yeah. It’s worth salient right. You know it’s probably, I think more often uh. The kind of project that somebody needs to be fulfilled is going to really be like building a whole school like it’s going to be solved. This problem, quality and I’ll come back to you getting to solve that problem, but now I have a relationship with you and so yeah you’re an architect right yeah.

I do 88 employees Wow. Could you Doug, you know renovate a section of our school? Well, of course, I can, and you can guarantee it’ll be a DA compliant when I do that, but then you sort of like you got that you’re expanding a relationship. That’s like trying to overlay which need do you have right now right, whether the instead, you are growing out from a service you provided in a a solution you provided in building the relationship from there.

That’s why it’s important one of the biggest pieces of marketing is staying in touch with the clients you had like the ones you’ve already provided services for not forgetting about them and okay you’re done now that you’ll find more clients, it’s equally as important to stay involved And engage with the client you have already solved for even if it’s building a house – and you think well, you know they’re not going to they built the house, they live it and how many houses can you have? Well, they probably have a lot of friends um that will need houses and the most likely person to build a house.

Is somebody either know somebody who has built the house or they don’t want the front themselves. So that’s some of the best spent marketing time and money that you can have and it you can spend – and it’s probably the cheapest, because you’ve already got the relationship you’re not having to build the awareness or build the consideration. They already know you and you’ve already got an ongoing relationship with them and in a building your network and your network is not just you know who I know and you I can call on, but they’re also the people are going to be marketing for you to The public so that you’re building yourself a a marketing network of your very own who hopefully will speak highly of you and you doing work for you, okay, I think that’s something that most architects have is past clients and Givi.

Can you give me some examples of how architects can keep in contact with past clients right uh? Well, you know just checking in say. Okay, if anything needs work, anything needs to be revisited. That’s always it’s a given, but then you can also be bringing more information. So information is power and it it makes you look more and more like an expert so for schools there may be some innovation so or change in codes.

They not may not be aware of a DA compliance. I look like that’s going to change again in the future, but what it does change, that’s an opportunity to go back to all your previous clients say: hey just want to. Let you know about the new changes in a DA rules right begin, so you’re not you’re, not fishing for business as much as you are notifying them of innovation and changes in the industry, so you’re adding value without they have.

You had to pay you for that, but you’re, just really in your own line, your marketing right, there’s, if the opportunity does it right, it’s a chance. Actually, it’s just a chance to have a conversation with them again and add them once again. Look to you as the expert who solved my problem in the past and is letting me know, it’s done me a really big favor of bringing me up to date on some other specific issues.

So you know, innovation is all just letting you know about some other work that you’ve done. Hey just learn the lectures you so use. Excuse me show you some other schools that I’ve worked on and just checking to see. You know if and in you what, if people are happy with you, they’re always going to be happy to refer you you can also, I hate, let me know, and if you know any other, you know principals or school board members or if it comes up in Conversation, I would really appreciate it if you could pass along my name and you need to leave in the stack of business cards.

You may throw them away, but he’ll like remember, or she will remember that you are there seeking their help and if you’ve helped, then people are going to want to help you back. You know I really like that, because I know that a lot of us struggle with, for instance, when we want to reach out to people we want to try to drum up work. It often feels like we’re approaching it from a position of weakness because it feels like we have the need it feels like.

We need the work and there’s almost a little bit of desperation there. So we lack confidence when we make those calls, but I like the way that you’re approaching a cow because then it gives me some ammunition. I can call – and it’s not just hey, I need some work. It’s hey, I’m just checking in, and I want to see how it’s going and hey there’s some changes happen with the new year. I wanted to make you aware of you know what you’re going to be looking at for the next year and sounds sounds like a very effective way to do it yeah.

So it is an easier approach. Right, I mean people like to work with people they like and if you just take the approach that you know, I’m just here to find people I like and stay in touch with the people. I like you’re, basically marketing without feeling like your hard selling or being desperate, you’re, basically building your network and you would hope they’re almost like your friends right. You know – maybe that’s going too far, but I don’t think so because, like I said people like to work with people, they like so that’s a great take away.

So I’m going to challenge any of our audience members who out there wondering how they can apply. Some of this to their firm into their business map out a day, take out your list of old old contacts and just start dialing the phone and just say hey. It’s me just checking in see how you’re going so that’s a way to do it so and if you do that drop me an email or drop Kyle a little a note, so we can know that you got something valuable out of this conversation.

We’d really appreciate that Kyle we’ve so far we talked about two of the seas and one of the peas. Can you run us through the rest? Oh absolutely to the seas, will appease the other sea is the competition right? Ideally, you want to go a place where the competition isn’t, so, if you can so one of the things I think about – and you know I’ve mentioned this to you before – I worked as my very first job in any architecture.

Firm was basically a marketing intern for the summer, for this, a person firm and what they were doing was they were trying to build their practice of building schools as that’s the sample. I was focusing on earlier. It’s because I focused on the before what we found was why state is. This is an Austin Texas. I would need worship, Texas, school architecture, and there are a lot of Architects in in Austin and when you’re looking to do, schools in and around you near into Austin you’ve got a lot of competition, but what we found it’s like.

Okay, when you start, you know doing a 200-mile radius around Austin and start. You know, let’s stop thinking about the University of Texas and the high schools in Austin, but what about Dripping Springs or trainer? Or these places that you know there aren’t any architects and people? Don’t consider architects very often or talk with them very often the competition is less. So if you can decide you know, I do schools and I want to do them in in smaller areas.

I’m not going to focus on universities going to focus on junior colleges. Suddenly you are narrowing your competitive space that you’re playing in and you’re also limiting the amount of work you’re having to you and you get to target yourself in a place that you might have be doing from a position of strength as opposed to up against. So many other important competitors that might have bigger advantages than you so figuring out the competition and – and you know how you’re going to be different right, it’s all about differentiation, so we talked about and once again all of this is symbiotic all right.

That’s all it all looks together right. This is the strategic part. I’m talking about is that they, the customer, the company, the product and the competition, define greatly. It is what you’re going to do an example I like to use a lot is a visual washing liquid um. You know it back in the day there was, you know, joy and Palmolive. He said you may remember some of the old advertising around us joy cleans right down to shine Palmolive mad you’re, sucking it what dishwashing liquid! Oh it’s mild.

Yes, it softens your hand. Softens hands, you know, needs a clean, shine, um. What’s another one. I don’t know if something else, but people were you know, so Procter gamble is trying to think of okay. We got to develop a new dishwashing liquid in this space and we asked consumers. What is it that’s important to you? Well, you know shiny dish and soft hands or important to me and so they’re saying.

Well, maybe we developed something that you know softens hands, but there’s really somebody already doing that. Let’s do some testing, so they went into kitchens and literally read people wash dishes and they were filming it and they would come back in Cincinnati the locations and read these films and some of they kept seeing over and over again was the person put the dishes In and they would put their hands into the water to wash the dishes and they would have this look on their face like uh in they kept saying what is that uh and they started asking the question: what does that scowl? You have with your face.

It’s like I hate going into the grease. Oh the grease, so I get back there. Scientists say hey: can we formulate something that cuts through grease? Why sure we’ve had it a long time? Just nobody ever told us, they wanted it all right, and so they developed Dawn dishwashing liquid, which, which is really is a sentence tone. You know very innate in boring, but in his face of dishwashing liquid dawn is a relative baby compared to each other grant dawn.

Katyn, and probably in the early 80s, some of these other brands have been around for 50, it Burt since the 50s and 40s, but in one year dawn became the number one selling dishwashing liquid in the world because of that differentiation, finding the customer need. That was unspoken that nobody else was uh solving, for they made a product based on those needs in the competition and what they were capable of doing that broke through the market, because nobody had really even thought about it.

So those are the things I’m talking about. They also look together the other piece, okay, placement: where are you going to sell this thing? Um, that’s made it baby seem obvious, but I would say: look at books right. Twenty years ago you sold them in a store. You don’t see bookstores very often, because somebody innovated and sold them online change the whole of spectrum of the business and suddenly you almost have to choose that blog, but because they chose that blog.

That’s what made Amazon a monster right because they were the first to realize we can sell through this blog that nobody’s even thinking about right now. So that’s another big strategic decision, which also said there can be selling to the the smartest people who read the most books because they’re going to be the ones online first right and they they built themselves to do that better than anybody else.

By building the warehouses. They have throughout the nation that they can give you gitche books so quickly, but they had to be able to make a decision. Our company can do that. We’re going to build ourselves to be able to do that, so the blog is important. Now, architects, you know, I I don’t know, maybe some how we can do it virtually well, maybe you know we consider it whether you’re using BIM or not.

Then it’s it’s not an exact comparison, but I think you get the point I’m trying to make here is that you still need to think about it in terms of how much you deliver differently than others in price. Now my the premium price and my Neiman Marcus or not Walmart you’re, going to have to change your practice to be one or the other and if you’re going to be the premium price, whoever you are, you better be delivering a product, that’s outstanding and if you Give me the low priced guy, you better be doing something that has high volume, I think about.

Like I’m an architect, I can do low pricing. If I have something like a gas station right, it’s going to do multiple versions. So I can repeat it repeat: it repeat, and I can you know, make money off a thinner margin than I would if I’m doing in houses or skyscrapers or something like that. And finally, the last P is promotion and that’s actually what most people think marketing is. When you say marketing, everybody thinks that the advertising, the buy-one-get-one-free the brochure, but all that is it’s just the in promotion, and that is useless.

If you hadn’t done the other three P Reese’s, all the promotion is doing is communicating those things. It’s communication. This is what I do and you’re targeting your promotion to the customer that you want to do it to and you’re talking about the price and all of those things have to be put together. You can’t just throw out an ad, so you know this is why I’m different a a Walmart ad will be different than a Target.

Ad Walmart is all about bottom line. Prices target is about design, it’s still affordable, but they’re, not saying we’re the lowest price right, and because of that, I would say they have two really different experiences: two very different inventory and operations around those things to serve those clients better. Your advertiser is much different. So promotion is key, but you can’t just throw it out there.

It had your promotions, communicating all of the other piece and all the other C’s so that those customers that are out there saying well, I’m I’m that customer I have that need that’s who I’m going to go for right on so there it is. That’s the framework of the strategy and there’s you know every every one of those has implications in terms of how you structure your business, which customers you’re looking for where you important how you’re going to deliver.

But that’s what I mean by it being a strategic endeavor and I think you’d begin to see why I believe that architects naturally are really good about this, because we are so good at think about all the various systems on all the implications that every design decision Now requires in what you have to have done before you make those final decisions in terms of the preparation in terms of programming, it’s very similar to just dealing with different aspects, absolutely Wow.

Well, I have this. So I have this long list, Kyle that I wrote here. I have the three C’s I have company client competition. I have my psi got left one of them out. I have placement price and promotion place, price, product and product, of course, because you talk about that with the sees the product. Okay, so going upon, you know just what you what you explained about this framework here. I know for a fact that most people think of marketing as the last step, when we think of marketing, we think promotion to us.

I think that’s what marketing is, but now looking at this list, I’m seeing here that the bulk of the work and the bulk of the effort and the bulk of the reward almost is put into these one. Two three four five six steps before we ever even get to the promotion. That’s absolutely right! That’s where that’s my point is that people think of marketing as some sort of afterthought you know, let’s throw together something to let people know we do work out there as opposed to the final communication of really who I am and what I’m doing strategically to find The right you can you’ve got to find the right corner.

You can’t find a client, you got to find right clients and you have to develop yourself to be able to serve them, and so your promotion is much than anything else. Let’s just say you know why? Don’t we come see me but come see me if you want this and you’re one of these kind of people and have this need, and that also might determine where your promotion is going to be like. You may find that your promotion is sitting in a PTA meeting telling people about.

You know how to make homes more sustainable right and you may not need an ad, but the audience might be sitting right there and your ability to speak and communicate may be all you need, alright, so buying an ad. You know great if it’s an ad in the right place, speaking the right person at the right time, so it’s just one one one, one small part of it, there’s so much more excellent! Well Carly! I really appreciate everything you’ve shared with us today.

I think this is a lot of really good inform so that we can implement and in the second half of our interview next episode, I know you’re going to start to talk about what happens next. So we have the promotion and then we’re going to move into the funnel the pipeline and then how you, how you turn those leads. So this is sort of like lead generation, next episode, just to give them a little hint for what we have to expect.

You’re going to tell us how to turn those people into buyers and clock solutely good in rating fans. I like that even better. Well, thanks for being on the show thanks, Enoch pleasure, okay, dr. Laters and that’s a wrap for another show about the business of architecture. To get more resources about how you, as an architect, can raise your fees, land the projects, you love to work on and get the time in your day, back, join the members on the business of architecture, insider list for free by going the business of architecture comm Forward slash free, enter your best email address there and I will send you instant access to free resources, including my book, social media, for architects.

If you’d like to discuss a thought or insight from today’s show visit business of architecture, comm, slash podcast on that page you’ll. Also find my notes from today’s show and the action items I took away from our conversation until next week. Keep rockin and go conquer. The world he’s expressed on the show by my guests do not represent those of the host, and I make no representation. Promise guarantee pledge warranty, contract bond or commitment, except to help architects conquer the world bump music credit to Ben Folds.

Five. Do it anyway, you

Starting a business is not easy! Think about who will be working on your digital image. Hiring a good webmaster will help!


Online Marketing

310: 4 Steps to Effective Business Development with Amy Franko

This is Enoch Sears, and this is the show where you’ll discover tips, strategies and secrets for running a profitable and impactful architecture practice. Today’s guest is a business development expert and we know this is a topic that I like to bring on experts here frequently onto the show, because, let’s face it, winning the right business for your architecture.

Firm is why you got into the business and probably there’s probably always going to be a little bit of room for you to improve either the consistency of the product you’re getting or perhaps the size and quantity of the projects that you’re getting. Maybe you want to move into a new market sector. In any case, the skill of business development is going to be one of the most important skills as you pursue a consistent path to be able to win the kind of work that you want.

Today’s guest is the author of a book on sales and business development called the modern seller. You can find it online at Amazon. Her name is Amy Franco, she’s, a strategic sales expert and a keynote speaker as a successful leader. She’s worked for business-to-business sales departments with global tech giants, including IBM and Lenovo you’ll, hear about that a little bit of her history. Currently she runs a training company impact instruction group so without further ado, we’re going to jump into four specific steps to business development with our guest today, Amy Franco, hello, Amy, welcome to the business of architecture.

Thank you so much for having me here today. My pleasure. Thanks for taking time to meet with us and we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects, which is business development, among other things, we’re not going to limit it. Just to that, but I’d like to get your perspective for you. What is business development? I would say if I could really simplify it. Business development is helping our prospects and clients solve their biggest problems, and ideally it involves the products and services that we provide, but not always, but we’re thought we’re solving problems in advising our top prospects and clients.

Tell me about your journey: how did you get into this field yeah? So my my road is a bit of a winding road, so if anybody listening here today has had a bit of a winding career or you’re looking at looking at what’s next, hopefully my experience can help you out of it. I got my start in technology, so I the first 10 years of my career, I was at IBM and at Lenovo and I had a pretty probably call a pretty standard sales role.

I was in b2b enterprise sales. I had a defined set of technology, products and services that I sold into public sector and corporate accounts, and I did that for about 10 years and then I got the entrepreneurial bug and jumped into becoming an entrepreneur and started a learning and development company total 180 Degree pivot started a learning and development company, and so now what that looks like today is I work primarily in professional services and technology, and I do keynote speaking and sales training so say sales is my specialty and I focus in professional services.

I just have to ask that that transition going from probably a very comfortable, respected position at a major corporation to jumping out on your own. How did that process happen? Was there some trigger that made that transition easier? I, when I think back on that, sometimes it’s better to know to just what you don’t know is better, because when I left the relative safety of Lenovo, this was in 2007.

So nobody really knew what was coming around the corner right in 2008 or 2009, but had I known, I may not have made that leap, and you know, as a combination of I think, that it’s just it’s in my it’s been in my DNA, a little bit To have leadership to have that entrepreneurial bug that drive, but it was just, it was a combination of opportunity and timing, and so I had the opportunity presented to me.

I was able to get into this learning and development space. I had had full of good years and sales and business development and was able to to have have something to fall back on. While I built a business and then I really just had to make the decision, because I will still never forget calling my leader, it was at Lenovo, then at the time for calling my leader and resigning. My job and I remember hanging up the phone after talking with him and thinking for a little while, oh my gosh, what did I just do I just quit my job and now I’m an entrepreneur and it’s one foot in front of the other, even when you Have big visions, it’s one foot in front of the other? What do you think was key for you being able to just pay the bills and survive during those early days of your business? I think it goes back to your first question in what is Business Development? The ability to do business development and to sell those selling skills sure have served me better, at least in the beginning than anything else when it came to starting a business.

So, even if you’re running a book of business in your firm or you are running a practice or you’re looking to lead a practice, those business development and scout selling skills hands down number one. What helps me the most, so you mentioned that business development is helping people solving problems, and I absolutely love that definition, and so let’s talk about some of the nitty-gritty. How does that play out in an architecture firm specifically that wants to grow their book of business right? You know it’s one thing to say: well, I do business development because I solve problems right.

It’s another thing to have the the process and the framework that helps you identify the right prospects and clients the right problems to solve, so that it translates into business for the firm right one of the things that I have found in this it. This is definitely a professional services, something I’ve seen in professional services, not just architecture but across professional services, for all the rigor and process that we put around the services and what we bring to market we’re very disciplined that what I have seen, though, is an opportunity To build that same type of discipline and structure around how we develop business and how we sell so so to that end, back to your original question, I have a four-part framework that I work through whenever I am looking to develop new business, and I will apply That to any prospect or any even existing clients, but it’s about having the right intelligence about what’s happening with your prospect or client.

What’s the problem to solve, it is the right relationships and the right access to key decision-makers, key influencers, people that are involved in the decision, it’s being able to put together ideas, whether it’s formally in a proposal or an RFP or in some other way, but being Able to propose valuable ideas to that prospect or client and then being able to gain commitment to move forward throughout the process.

So that’s the structure. That’s helped me to actually take that desire to be a problem solver and put some structure and some action behind it. I love that four-part framework walk me through each of these. If you would number one, what are the challenges? How do we go about identifying the right problem identifying the right problems, the key there’s lots of problems to solve, but how do we know which one’s the right problem in, which is the one that our firm is best positioned to solve right? So one of the exercises that I will often do with clients is taking a look at the verticals that they’re serving there.

There are many different ways to get to this, but one of the things I found most helpful is to look at the verticals that we’re serving are we serving the verticals that are the best fit for us? So using myself as an example, professional services is a vertical that is a great fit for me for a number of reasons. So I put all of my outbound business development efforts into that professional services niche.

So you can take that same idea and apply it in your firm. What are the top verticals that we are most successful in to most the best engagements, the most profitable, the clients that we enjoy the most? How can we amplify that so verticals and knowing our best client sets can help us uncover? What are the right problems to solve? Okay, so we know we know our verticals. That would be like, let’s say, for instance, I’m in the healthcare niche or potentially we’re doing community centers for governments, or they were doing hospitality projects.

These are our verticals. How would you recommend like what is the problem, that an architecture firm is solving? What are some? Let’s say with professional services: do you ever see people making a mistake in terms of thinking they’re solving one problem for their client, but solving another one, possibly yeah, so I’m or we’re not clear on what it is that they’re really trying to accomplish. So you could take any one of those verticals that you just mentioned, and two places to be able to start are to make sure that we’re staying ahead of what are the trends happening in the industry.

So, just from a big industry level picture level that big picture what’s happening in the industry that could be creating problems for our clients that we are in a position to solve. Is there perhaps a maybe in the world of architecture? There is a sustainability issue, or there there’s some some type of issue that we are really well positioned to to be in front of so take in that big-picture strategic view.

But then, if you have clients in that space today, what conversations are we having with those clients to understand what problems? Do you see us solving for you and what are you coming up against that we could potentially be a partner for you in solving those problems. I think sometimes we underestimate our current clients and what they’re willing to share with us, especially if we have a great relationship.

You know my audience is they’re very, very smart, I’ll give them that they’re, smart they’re, highly educated professionals, very, very astute, and one thing that I find with architects and in general and I’m an architect myself. Is that sometimes let us say that our intelligence gets in the way of perhaps our ability to persuade to lead and to see things from our other people’s perspectives so constantly when I cuz I’ll, do a thought exercise with my audience and say: okay, what is what Is the problem you’re solving architects many times come back with? Well we’re solving facility needs we’re solving the problem of our client doesn’t have a building.

So if we take that second piece, we’re solving facility needs we’re solving the need that our client doesn’t have a building. That’s the surface of what we’re solving for or what the ultimate outcome will be. The ultimate outcome is going to be if we are going to help our clients design and build a facility or whatever that looks like if you peel that back a couple of layers. What we’ll build in that facility do for that client? What’s the underlying challenge, that’s making them go to market to say we want to find the exact right architecture firm to help us solve and build this build the new facility or what’s the underlying root cause.

That is making them go to market and then going another layer. What will that do for the organization or the individual decision makers that are involved in making this big risky decision? What’s it going to do for them to solve this? Will they grow market share? Will they be able to better serve their own clients? Will there be some kind of social impact in the community? What’s the value of going through everything that you go through to make a decision to build a facility? So if you can get a few layers, deep, deeper you’re going to differentiate yourself more so than other firms that are just looking at well, the problem that we’re solving is we’re building a facility or rebuild we’re building this community center, whatever that is so that’s number One, the right problem, number two and our four steps here – are the right relationships.

Amy. How do we approach that? We now we have a problem. We have a deeper understanding of what the business reasons of our clients are. Where do we go from here? There’s some research, that’s done by corporate executive board, which I believe is now part of Gartner, and this is a broad, broad brush statement, not just specific to professional services or architecture, but in their research. They look at various industries and they look at the decision makers within those industries and what they have found is that for any given opportunity, any given problem that you’re looking to solve there can be upwards of 6.

8 decision-makers in any of these problems or opportunities. So what that tells me is that the more complex the problem, the riskier the problem, the more people – are involved in making that decision, and they may not be directly involved in the decision, but they could be influencing it in some way. The lesson for us is that, when we’re building relationships, we’re really we’re really conditioned and comfortable to build the relationships in silos that the departments that were used to building relationships with the people that may just they may be our peers or they may be end-users within Our clients, but what we have to do is we have to start getting broader across the organization and sometimes we even have to get outside of the organization to be building relationships.

So the right relationships is doing the work to identify who might be making a decision for this work that we are looking to earn this business that we’re looking to earn and do we have. We are we building relationships with them or are we may be missing? Some relationships people are so busy nowadays Amy that often at times it’s easy to say well, they’re so busy that you know how can I reach out to them? They don’t want a new relationship.

Where do we go from there? The first place that I always go is I look at the relationships that I currently have. So let’s say that you are someone that I’d like to build a relationship with, because your organization is one that I might be looking to earn business with. But you don’t know me, I don’t know you and you’re exactly right. We are so busy. We have so many emails in our inbox. We have so many emails and our social platforms we’re hard we’re hard to get a hold of.

So, where I go, is there there are or key groups that I look to make sure I have relationships with the first thing I’m going to do is if I want to build a relationship with you, I’m going to look for someone that we have a common Connection with and that I have a relationship with that might be willing to introduce the two of us. That’s someone, it might be a center of influence. They might be an advocate someone that trusts me enough to say you know what I’m willing to risk a little bit of social capital to introduce, Amy and Nina, and then that that’s always where I start, I try not to do cold.

I try to avoid cold introductions wherever possible because that’s typically, where they get lost in the black hole, but but the for groups to just circle. Back to this, the four groups are advocates: centers of influence, your decision makers and your strategic partners. That’s where I’m looking to build relationships every time within my within my prospects or my clients, can you give me an example of a center of influence? Yeah? Absolutely so I define a center of influence, it could either be a person or it can be an organization.

So either way, but a person or an organization that provides the right access the right opportunities, they might provide the environment for me to meet the relationships, the people that I need to be building relationships with so use it using a using an individual example. So if there is a an organization that I would like to potentially do business with, I’m going to look at who the different relationships are in that organization and then I’m going to look at who I know who might be centers of influence that could help introduce Me into that organization, okay, so we have that make sense.

So we have advocates, we have center of influence, we have strategic partners and what was the fourth? The fourth is decision makers. Okay decision makers. We know what decision makers are, I believe, hopefully advocates. What’s an advocate, an advocate is someone who is willing to use their own social capital there reputation if you will to open a door on your behalf. They have trust in you and so because they have trust in you.

You are credible. You’ve done great work. You’ve solved problems for other prospects and clients. They are willing to open a door on your behalf. They might help make an introduction to a high level person. Maybe they make an introduction for you if you’re looking to speak at a conference, whatever goals you have, those are the people that will help open doors on your behalf and you might be an advocate for someone else.

There might be someone else out there saying you know Amy or Enoch. You are someone who can open a door for me, I’d like to ask for some help, so not to ever underestimate the fact that we could be seen as an advocate in someone else’s eyes, and how would you define strategic partners that was the last one on Your four-part list here yeah so a strategic partner, is I like to think of them as complementary businesses, calm people who are selling complementary products or services so but they’re calling into your same market.

So in your firm as you’re. Looking at your firm who are the individuals or other organizations that maybe do some things that are complementary to you, but they work with the same clients or prospects that you work with when we can identify who those individuals or organizations are and we build relationships with Them that can help open doors. It can help us partner on projects yeah be able to help us bid on projects and engagements that perhaps the otherwise might not be able to do.

But it’s a way of amplifying your relationships makes sense. Number three: our list of our four steps to effective business development Amy, is to propose ideas. They have a way to propose those ideas convincingly. So if you take a look at the last five proposals that your firm did – and I see this very often regardless of industry – the chances are really really good. That the vast majority of that proposal is about your firm and what you do and the clients you’ve served and all the projects that you’ve done.

That is the natural place to go, and those things are important. Please don’t get me wrong. We have to have credibility. What you have to be able to back up our work? We need to have those case studies you studies all of that stuff. But when I’m in front of a prospect or a client – and I have gotten to the point where I have earned the right to put together some proposed solutions to the problems that we’re trying to solve what I’m looking to do, every time is I’m trying to Take myself out of the equation, and I want to flip it, so the focus is on them.

What are the outcomes that they’re looking to accomplish? What is the value that they will get from accomplishing those outcomes, and where does where do my ideas or my solutions fit into that equation? So it becomes about them first and then about us second, and in that process they can start to see themselves working with us, because we are more focused on them, less focused on us, but then, when they do want to know more about what we bring to The table, where have you done this for other clients? What kind of case studies do you have? We absolutely have all that when the time’s right do.

You have an example, Amy of to help us really understand this process of a client firm, someone that you may have worked with in the past that had maybe they had these four things kind of in kind of existing. But when you came in, you really helped them hone them, specifically with the idea about proposing the right ideas and what that transformation looks like yeah. So when I am doing this work with clients, but I would I ask them to do.

Is I ask them to bring an opportunity with them, so whenever I’m helping them work through these four pieces of the framework, we ask them to bring an opportunity so that there’s something very specific that they’re applying all of this to, and so when it comes to The this proposal piece and really trying to flip flip this on its head. What I will often ask them to do is when we look at the problem, that’s trying to be solved.

What we work through is alright. So, let’s talk about the outcomes that they’re looking to get it to it’s, not building the facility if it’s not building the center. Yes, that that is, that is ultimately what they will have. But what outcomes will they get by going through that process? So, and sometimes it takes some iterations to get there because we’re very conditioned to say well, the outcome is the: the outcome is the building.

The outcome is what I’m delivering to them, whatever that happens to be, but really digging into what? What are the outcomes? First and then what value will they get from getting to those outcomes? Will they have better engagement? Will they have better client relations? Will they have better shareholder value whatever? That is so. We really take the time to dig into those, and then we say all right now that we know what we’re trying to solve, for what are the potential solutions that we bring to the table that could match up with this, and you rarely get it in one Shot you have to have to really go back and continue to work with.

The client have some iterations back and forth, and this is where one of those pieces of the proposal process comes into play, which is co-creation. It doesn’t work in every scenario, especially if you do a lot of formal RFPs, so you have to adapt this for your situations, but in any time when I’m able to co-create the solution debate it back and forth. Look at the pros and cons make adjustments here and there they have a hand and creating it, and I have better odds of them, seeing themselves working with me and better odds of them closing that business.

So when I’m doing that work with clients, we actually look at that that co-creation piece as well. Do you have an example of a client that you’ve worked with a company that comes to mind of when they crystallise these ideas and what that looked like for them? Yeah, so so I’m thinking back to a thinking back to a client. It was probably one of my largest clients and they are there in the services space and they had actually put out a really large RFP.

If you have ever been through your fair share of RFPs there, there are a lot of hours that go into it and you don’t necessarily know what is going if you’re even going to be selected. So a traditional RFP process you’re getting selected to a final three and then you have the opportunity to present so anybody listening if you’ve been in that spot you’ve been selected as the final three and now you have an opportunity to be in front of that prospector That client to present, that is, where I’d seen the biggest with the client that I’m thinking of that was where we really had the opportunity to shine and the opportunity to win, because I wasn’t the biggest.

I was not the biggest solution provider. I was definitely one of the smaller ones, but what I was able to do was be more creative, be more nimble. I brought my team with me to the presentation process and I made it a very collaborative presentation and environment by inviting them to ask questions by inviting them to take a look at the solutions and let’s talk through those solutions together that collaboration right there live and In-Person is what I believe led to us winning that business, because none of my competitors did it and the other thing that my competitors did not do in that situation.

I interviewed every person that was going to be in that presentation and my competitors didn’t ask for that access and because they didn’t ask they didn’t get the background intelligence that I was able to gather and use that in my presentation to help show how I could Solve their problems, so hopefully that example helps put a little bit more help. Someone visualize how you might be able to use that in your business development situations, especially when you’re in a presentation scenario with a prospector client.

Okay. So just so I’m clear this was a presentation that you were making to secure business for your company. Yes, absolutely got it okay. So let’s move on to our fourth item here, which is a gain commitment Amy. What are some of the challenges that you see that people have around gaining commitment? Gaining commitment is one of those things that we, you can call it closing whatever we call it, but closing and gaining commitment are one of those things that we tend to think of.

In a linear way, we put forth a proposal, we respond to the RFP, whatever that happens to look like, and we put closing at the end of this linear process, and I think we make it into more than what we make it your deal than it needs To be, we avoid it, we think of it as being aggressive and pushy when, in fact, it should be a natural part of the business development process. So if we can take a look at gaining commitment in closing, business is something to be thinking about.

At the beginning of the client development process, and not just at the end of the client development process, taking a look at the different commitments that we will need to provide to a prospect or client to give them confidence in doing business with us. The commitments that we will need from them in order to help put forth the best solution to solve the problems. When we look at that it from the at the beginning and map that out as best we can – and you know knowing that it changes along the way we improve our odds of putting giving that prospect.

Your client, the confidence in us that we will burn that business and be able to execute well on the engagement, and then it becomes a more natural part of the business development process because we’ve been doing it the entire time. When we do this conversation of commitments. Very interesting and in the architecture industry, I’m sure it’s not too dissimilar from other industries that you work in Amy there’s been a huge slide in the control that architects actually have during the closing or commitment process.

What’s happened is buyers because they they’ve tilted the scale. So much in their power that they want to reduce the buying process to send us. Your list send us 25 products that you’ve worked on where you’ve delivered. These kind of results show us. Your team show us your staff member, then we’re going to go into some seclude a little room, we’re going to run the numbers in the metrics and we’re going to see which firms come top and we’re going to choose between those.

So it’s very different from I know in this industry the way it used to be even 20 years ago, where you know, if you had the right relationship, you knew the right people you went in. You had a coffee, you had some lunch and they trusted you and they knew you’d deliver a good work deal done. Let’s move ahead now, especially working with governments, and a lot of these other clients is becoming more and more this this this game, where it seems like the tables, are flipped and the powers so much in the buyers side.

What suggestions do you have Amy to flip? That table yeah, so so what you’re describing I see it across professional services? I see in other industries as well, and I think some of the irony with that is we talk about how buyers today are they have so much more access to information? There’s so much more well researched and well informed, and I think that that’s true to a degree. But sometimes I wonder, are they getting the information, the right information from the right places and are they taking time to allow experts the right experts to educate them throughout their decision-making process? So I what you just described, I have had happen to me.

I have seen across industries and and there’s probably a couple, a couple different things at play here: more from a strategic just thinking through our clients and our verticals they’re, going to be those prospects and clients that that is what they do and we are never going To work around that process, because that is what they value, and so then we have a tough decision to make as to whether that’s a prospect or a client that we want to continue to engage with, and the answer might completely be yes, because this is somebody.

This is a valuable logo. This is a client that we’ve done business with for a number of years, but it’s just making an informed decision about that. But more more tactically thinking about how, if I’m in the position of being a business developer and I’m on the receiving end of some of these tactics from a prospect or client a couple of things that have been helpful to me. The first is: what unique ID can I bring to the table, and can I find the right decision makers to influencers to share them with one of the biggest difference makers between whether or not someone does business with us or they go somewhere else or they choose To do nothing are the ideas that we bring to the table.

So that’s the first thing that I’m going to do do. I know enough about their organizational challenges, what’s happening in their industries, to be able to bring some unique informed ideas to them and then, secondly, do I have access to the right people to bring those ideas forward. So I’m going to look in my network and, if I’m being, if those things are happening to me, the client or the prospect is going off into a secluded, dark room and they’re making choices.

You know outside of what what I think the choices are. They might want to want to be making I’m going to go into my network and see if I can somehow gain access in to at least have a conversation. So those are two things that I will try to do when I’m on the receiving into that excellent Amy. We’ve gone over four four: very clear steps about business development. What else would you like to add to this conversation when we think about typical challenges or messages? You’d like to get across to our audience yeah, you know I often get asked you know what what’s the what’s, the number-one thing that we should be building is business developers and they eyes has hesitate to just give one think.

There’s lots of things that we can be doing, but I feel like if there’s one thing that I see continually successful business developers in any industry and specifically in professional services and in in the architecture space as well is learning agility and learning agility is the ability To be able to see ahead of the curve to be unbecoming, one known comfortable with the uncomfortable to have a really high figured out factor.

We will often get thrown into the deep end of the pool when it comes to business development and we may get thrown a curve ball by a prospect or client how well do adapt to those curveballs and it all comes down to what’s what our mindset is. We control our mindset and our ability to to learn to be agile to adapt. That is going to dictate so much of our success because we will see we will. We will learn from failure.

We will learn from success, we’ll take it forward to the next opportunity and you master that you will have exponential success. What tools or resources have you found Amy speaking about this idea of mindset and these inner kind of underneath the level surface level skills? What have you found to be valuable for developing that? Because, let’s face it, it’s not like can go to university, I’m not going to teach you how to improve your mindset be resilient right.

So so a couple things that I’ve done over the years is, I have coaches and mentors in my life and I hire coaches to help me with specific things that I want to work on. It might be, you know, I’m in the business development space, but I have hired coaches to help me with sales and business development. I have hired coaches to help me work on my mindset and give me strategies to be able to problem-solve, even if your firm doesn’t offer that kind of opportunity, or they don’t provide the ability to expend something like that.

I encourage you to find it yourself and be willing to invest in it yourself, so I hire coaches. When I need them, that’s one. That’s one tool, I’m a big reader. I am always reading all different kinds of books, all different kinds of genres, so just that that that desire to be learning something new and different. I really think, contributes to mindset, and you know the last one and this one is a huge work-in-progress for me.

I haven’t mastered this one even a little bit, but it’s getting the right sleep and the right amount of sleep. Our sleep does a lot to help us control our emotions, our energy levels, our decision-making processes, our mindset. So this is that’s another thing. That’s if, if, if anybody out there, has that one mastered, I definitely want to hear from you Amy. What have you found to be effective for getting the right amount of sleep? I’m a big believer in this as well.

What have you found to be effective? Well, I find that getting for me getting like eight to nine hours of sleep that the right amount of sleep I’ve found for myself. That’s what I am optimal at, even though I don’t don’t get it on many days of the week and then also I take all the electronics out of my bedroom. Like my phone sits in my office, I don’t leave it by my nightstands whenever I can avoid it.

So if I can get the electronics out and take a break from those for an hour or two before heading to sleep, that right, there usually helps me because it’s a keeps keeps the mind from racing and just how it helps me to slow down a little Bit got it well, let’s face it being an entrepreneur business person like yourself Amy, who has so many great things going on keynote speaking: training, launching a development and training and learning company, not an easy task.

Do you have any rituals or things you do to maintain? The level of energy that clearly you have keep that mindset sharp. I have energy routines, so you might hear that hear them called different things that I call them energy routines and an energy routine is anything that helps you recharge and refuel, and it can be anything from fitness, routine, nutrition, routine, meditation, whatever works for you individually.

For me, it’s my fitness routines, so I I have. I do indoor cycling, I lift weights. I do bar classes, I’m someone who likes to do a lot of different things, but even when I travel I try to fit in some type of fitness. Some type of movement exercise, because that helps me to keep my energy up awesome Amy. If people want to find out more about the wonderful thing you’re doing, where can they go yeah so I’ll point the two places if you’d like to get a copy of the modern seller which is dives into a number of the topics that we talked about today? That’s available on Amazon, so you can just go out to Amazon and search for the modern seller and then secondly I’ll point you to my website, which is Amy, Franko, calm, excellent, Amy, Franco.

Thank you. It’s been a pleasure having you here on the business of architecture. Show, oh, you know, thank you so much I appreciate being here, and that is a wrap as a podcast listener. I’d like to invite you to two free online educational seminars for firm owners. The first teaches you how to structure your firm to avoid the overwhelm and fires that played so many firm owners if you’re ready to move from overwhelmed operator to excited owner visit business of architecture, comm forge slash freedom, webinar to access this free online training.

The second seminar you can access shows you how to attract your ideal clients to your firm, consistently day in and day out, go to architect, webinar comm, to access this training. The views expressed on this show by my guests do not represent those of the host, and I make no representation. Promise guarantee pledge, warranty, contract bond or commitment, except to help you conquer the world, carpe diem

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049: Business Development for Architects with Melissa Woolford, Museum of Architecture

This Wednesday, I will be leading a webinar which will be looking at how three leaders of top UK architecture practices have broke, the mold and grown their businesses from being bedroom practices or working in the spare room to international offices with landmark projects in this training.

You will discover how these architects have gone from very humble beginnings, not knowing where work was going to come from to building these internationally respected offices. With these multi-million pound projects that, in some cases, define city skylines we’re going to look at a number of different things. You’re going to learn the three breakthrough secrets for building a dream practice, how you can master your messaging to attract your ideal clients and also how to define your niche to be able to win work so make sure that you register to the webinar.

I will provide the details in the information below so go along register that and I’ll look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, and this week we’ve got a super interview with Melissa Wolford, who is the executive director of the Museum of architecture and the Museum of architecture? Was a fabulous charity organization that is really facilitating business, development and entrepreneurship and innovative business models and a new way of approaching business specifically for architects.

And so it was really great to be able to sit down and Melissa. Obviously, herself and I share a lot of common interests about business and also being able to empower the architecture industry, and she basically explained how the Museum of architecture had come about how it grew out of her work of the Neuse gallery. Where she started in 2006. And also touched upon her own architectural experience. She’s got a master’s in architecture from the Pratt Institute and she also worked as an architectural designer for Zaha.

Hadid, Architects and she’s got quite an incredible array of knowledge about the creative industries. So this interview is really really interesting. She goes into a lot of the kind of common constraints that she’s seen architects dealing with, and she also talks about the importance of entrepreneurship and business for people who are staying within the employment of an architectural practice and perhaps who are associates but want to get Involved more in the business development and client acquisition side of practice, so sit back, relax and enjoy melissa, Wolford melissa.

Welcome to the show. Thank you absolutely pleasure to have you and so tell me a little bit about your career. How did the Museum of architecture begin so it all started when I got to deeds office after having studied architecture for six years and realizing in my first week that I didn’t want to be an architect read the house. While I was it that was, I mean it’s a fantastic office and I’ve made incredible friends there, so the experience was it was definitely worth going through, but I think very early on.

I realized that actually being an architect wasn’t for me, but I was really interested in helping the industry as a whole. So originally I started a small gallery in the front room of a friend’s flat in Kings. Cross called now scholary with the intention of helping young younger architecture practises, show their work. So we did a series of exhibitions there and then then, in 2014 I was noticing that there were quite a few friends of mine who were going off and starting their own practices, and I also noticed that a lot of architects just tended to talk to architects.

So that’s when I really decided to change the name, Museum of architecture and turn it into a charity and set up the mission of helping the public better, engage with architecture and also by helping architects become more entrepreneurial by setting up MOA Academy as part of the Museum so that so that first period from 2006 to 2014, you was you were kind of doing a zip site activity or yeah, so so from 2006 to 2009.

I was still at da, so I was spending kind of my lunch times and my weekends my evening sort of not having a life, otherwise yeah working on the exhibitions, so everything was done on a shoestring budget and a lot of people chipped in to help. I had friends who helped help me start it Paul Coates and Christian Derrick’s were the original sort of. It was a three of us kind of working on it, and, and so we then started talking to developers who gave us empty spaces.

This was before developers started. Sort of necessarily charging for spaces, so I was great. I really had lots of support in that way and and then in 2009 I was able to leave so I had. I started another business as well on the side called Mouse collaborative and with that I was hired by a friend to help him redesign their office space. So I did the whole concept design for that they ended up not being able to do it, because legislation changed on how that particular type of work was being done.

So so the progeny ver went through, but it gave me enough funding to be able to sort of to two leaves Ahaz and and start start doing different projects. I was also asked to run the architecture competition for wild turkey, bourbon visitor center in Kentucky, which was great and again gave me. Some income also helped me work with brands and look at how brands could benefit from really good architecture, so that particular project won the the most prominent a award for the state of Kentucky that year, which is great because it would gave me a really good case.

Study to be able to go to different people and say look at the value of architecture. They were getting lots of. Press they’ve got a lot of visitors because of that. So it was really interesting way for me to say that look at the power of architecture and what were the? What was some of that’s a really interesting experience, being someone who’s being an advocate for architecture into other disciplines and industries.

How has that experience with news informed what you’re doing now with the Museum of architecture, so what it does is it really helps me identify with potential sponsors? So you know what can we actually do for this particular brand? Who might be interested in sponsoring a project that we’re working on? So I feel like I have the experience, the knowledge to be able to talk about how those particular brands could get involved in the projects that we do so, for example, like gingerbread city, we work with various different brands and it’s.

How did the brands kind of amplify what their what they want to get out of the project, and I can you know from having work with these various other brands? I can. I can help them really identify those just, but people who don’t know what gingerbread City is. Can you explain a little bit about that? This is a fantastic idea champion or karynda’s each year, so gingerbread cities started because I went to an exhibition of sort of just pris — mess time.

It was Christmastime event and I saw four large gingerbread houses designed by Baker’s, and I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing, to have an entire city made out of gingerbread designed by architects and again it really fit into our mission of helping the public better engage with architectures. So so we got in touch with South Kensington estate, so we said: can we use one of your empty shop fronts in South Kensington and they gave us a space and we had it master planned by Tibbals planning and urban design, who have been incredible supporters and Sponsors for us over the past three years, so it started in 2016.

We had over 50 architectural practices participate in that first year, and so the architects respond to the master planning brief. So there’s everything from kind of fire stations of schools and hospitals. Everything you’d find in a real city. Is there in gingerbread city in gingerbread form, so the architects design it they bake it, they construct it and they and they bring it. We give them the particular plot, then they bring it on the plot and yeah, and it’s just expanded so that first year we had about 16,000 people come through last year we were invited by the VNA to host it with them, so we held it with them, Made over 24,000 people, but that’s just because we couldn’t get more people in it, sold out in the first week.

So yeah, it’s really it’s a really exciting project and for us the response has been. You know. This is amazing to see what architects can do, and people have come up to me as well in the exhibition and said, I’ve never really been interested in architecture before, but this has really opened my eyes to what architects do we also have sort of part of It as an exhibition as well explaining the theme for the past year, so we’ve got everything from how do you master plan a city? What’s a future city, an eco city this year we’re going to be looking at transport so every year.

There’s this particular theme that we want to get these messages out to the public and but through the medium of gingerbread, which everyone can kind of relate to, because most people at some point in their life have done a gingerbread house or I’ve helped their kids make One or, if I’m on them with their grandparents, so it’s just it’s really relatable, which are the kind of projects that we like to do, and is this very much part of the mission of the Museum of architecture, is to be able to make and communicate what It is architects, do to a wider audience.

Absolutely I mean we all the projects that we do on the public side have to go through that filter. It’s just going to be accessible in terms of the language that we use in terms of the actual particular projects that we have. We always try and make sure it’s something that people have been exposed to before in another way and somehow architects make it different and how do architects add the extra element, because then it becomes exciting and and to be able to communicate what architects do and what Architecture is is really important.

Could you give an example, some other ways that you do tour, so we’ve done another project called sand castles where we commissioned architects to do two and a half meter high by two and a half meter eyes wide sandcastles and those were through the rbk see through The burro and read one in front of the design museum by asif Khan. We had one in Duke of York’s square by next architects and went up and Notting Hill by V, PPR, so yeah, that was that was great and the one in Duke of York square.

It was, it was really interactive because we actually built a sand pit below the the one designed by the architects, where kids could actually then play and sort of replicate and make the around sandcastle. So again, it’s just about people that sort of happening upon these architectural elements, sort of within their everyday sort of goings on and and then also being able to get everyone involved so from kids through adults through grandparents.

And so so that’s the kind of the public face like interfacing with the public or people who perhaps don’t know or come into contact with architecture on a daily basis. What is it that you do to support the industry or within within the architectural practices? How? How are you yeah supporting those those kinds of businesses sure so the GAD through? So we have a program called MOA Academy, which we started a few years ago, because again I had friends who were starting their own architecture, practices who just are really struggling because they just didn’t know how to run a business.

They were great designers, but just didn’t know how to run a business, and so I thought, how can we help them? Just do that I’d be able to sort of get on with the design side. So we run different courses, workshops that are almost every Thursday of the year and everything from business development to marketing. To accounting I mean all different types of courses and we bring experts in to run those courses who leave them.

We have a great network of consultants that we work with and but then we also have our directors Club and our associates Club, and we started that because we realized that there was so much conversation happening at these workshops. But actually there wasn’t time to really get into everyone’s the way that they, everyone runs their practice, and so the directors Club is meant to be a forum for P to really open up and share their best practice.

So it’s incredible sort of how open these architects of these practices are. We sort of capita about 20 practices per cohort, we’re now in our third cohort cohort, because it’s been so successful at really allowing people to kind of benchmark their own practice and seeing how other people do things differently in order to be most efficient. And the idea is that everyone learns from each other so where one person is good at something the other person might be good at something else, and by sharing that everyone benefits, and because of the success of that, we have recently started our associates Club, which is A bit more of a training course, but we found that a lot of associates are sort of promoted, but there’s there might may or may not be any training for them and to sort of move into this new role.

So the idea was to get the training that they need to be associates, but then also to help them better. Think about what career path they may want to have and how to develop that, but then also being kind of a room for a sounding board. For for it, for these sort of associate level architects to talk about how things are done in different practices, and what might they be able to take to their practice to do things differently and better, so we’re looking at them, then, hopefully expanding that sort of through Every stage of an architect’s career, but those are the two programs that we have: that’s really fascinating, so you actually you’re doing stuff, which is kind of focused towards people running their own practices and also people who are actually looking to progress.

Their careers within larger scale practices, and what do you? What are the sort of the themes that you’re encountering a lot with architects? What other common sort of pain points or the sort of things that come out up again and again and again that architects are experiencing? I think it’s tricky, I think, especially right now. A lot of our kids aren’t obviously sure, what’s going to happen with a brexit, but we just find that there’s there a lot of different waves happening in architecture.

So some architects get a lot of work for maybe two or three years and then all of a sudden, you know there’s sort of a dry spell, and I think it’s part of the reason are. The reason that we see is that architects are so busy running. The projects that they forget to do the business develop inside of it, but then it’s also looking at kind of how the arbitral practice is structured. So just the what you know, what are the different models that are available to people? For example, if you look at math group – but you know based out of the u.

S., they are not-for-profit architecture practice. They work in multiple different sites. They get grants for projects they initiate their own proc projects so as well. For us, it’s also about exposing architects to different ways of working and sharing with them different kinds of practices and how they operate. But I think that yeah business development is always a tricky one for people I think marketing, just knowing how to get their name out there, how to differentiate themselves as well a lot of Architects on their websites.

You know their award-winning practices. Well, most of them are award-winning practices so had beyond that, how do you have you differentiate yourself? How do you write about yourself so again that you’re relatable to the people who might hire you? You know there’s something as we all know that so there’s architecture speak and then speak that sort of other people might understand. So it’s it’s just making sure that they’re writing about their work in sort of interesting ways that people can, then you know, decide that they might want to hire them on based on and one of the kind of common themes that you see occurring in the saya.

The conversations are people working within practices and who are looking to progress their career to that associate route. Is there a similarity between that conversation and the conversations that was happening in independent practices? Yeah, I mean, I think, that their struggles are sort of similar. You know I think time management is always a you know. It’s always a big one and also leadership as well.

I think a lot of associates want to be good leaders. They might not know how they might not know how to sort of deal with different situations. So I think you know those are very sort of similar between the director level and the associate level, and I think quite a few. Those associates probably want to go off and start their own practices at some point as well, so they, I think most associates, probably want to learn a bit more about how the business is run, and you know, depending on the practices depending on the director, there may Be more or less levels of pairen see, but actually, I think for the industry, the more the directors are able to share how the businesses actually run with with that associate level architects.

I think they would just they would really understand. You know why decisions are being made, and you know when mistakes happen. Why what you know – and I think the industry will benefit as a whole because as those associates go off and start their own practices, they’ll benefit from that knowledge and that experience and hopefully not make those mistakes in their own practice and for you? What what kinds of things do you think are interesting in terms of like innovative business models that give architects more diversity or opportunity to you know protect their businesses over the long term yeah, I think, just being innovative in the way that they start their projects.

I think that’s something I think I think a lot of architects feel like they need to be hired by people and actually, I think, there’s a lot of ways. Architects can initiate projects themselves like, for example, if you’d like a studio octa-pie with the Thames bath project. It’s such a great idea and there’s so many so many sort of opportunities there. It’s just trying to figure out ways of realizing that was projects.

Can you partner with various community groups, to see something come to fruition? Can you look at different causes? You know what are what are the pain points for, let’s say people with different medical issues. With you know the people who’ve suffered from strokes from people who’ve suffered from from other illnesses. You know what are ways the architects can kind of innovate to help help those particular people – and maybe there are lessons to be learned about that, and maybe there were certain projects that can come out of those for the benefit of everyone.

So I just think it’s kind of looking for opportunities. I also think it’s reaching out to different industries, so we’ve run two conferences on neuroscience and architecture, so we’re neuroscientists are looking at ways that people use spaces. Is there an opportunity there for architects to do projects with neuroscience and develop things further, whether they’re, just maybe theoretical projects or whether they’re real projects? But I see the I think I see the industry becoming more multidisciplinary kind of as we grow and I think architects have to decide.

You know what industries are they interested in, which again helps them to differentiate themselves from other people and potentially work in different ways and how’s your own personal experience in running a organization in a business? How does that influence? How you communicate with architects, or can like facilitate other sorts of business expertise for architects yeah. I mean, I think, being a director myself and having a team of people that I lead and that I mentor and having could have similar issues of having to bring money in to pay staff patron to pay everything else that we need to pay and and also To support our projects, I think I I have sort of similar concerns and similar issues.

So hopefully I can relate to them in terms of just that there, the business side of of just yeah, just running a business hmm, and how was your? How was your business set up health? He was saying earlier set up as a as a charity. Yes, so we are a charity and they’re. One of the reasons for that is that we just want to make sure that architects understand that everything we do is for them in order for them to to grow, to learn to benefit.

Even the public projects that we do is all about helping the public understand. What architects do in order to hopefully hire architects in the future, so yeah everything that we do is is really sort of for architects and and it’s very much about giving back to the industry. So all the money that comes in goes back out to programs or projects for them. The more that we can do for free the more subsidized programming we can do the better.

So so, what we’re just working at ways of being able to do more, we’d like to become a grant giving body? Hmm so kind of, like the graham foundation, is for the u.S.. We would like to become the grant giving body for the UK and be able to help people do more research, do more innovation and and just generally support entrepreneurship in architecture. So you be actually a body that was able to facilitate grants for architects to about to do their own projects.

Amazing, yeah yeah. We are working so we’re working towards that and obviously having our own permanent space as well. To be able to do have a series of exhibitions constantly running and to be educating people about architecture, and how do you see your relationship with some of the institutional bodies of architecture and do you do work in conjunction with them when you’re supportive, or do you Think that there are things that they, the governing bodies, could be doing better yeah, I mean, I think we kind of we operate very independently of other organizations, there’s so many great organizations out there in the UK, but I really feel like our mission is to educate The public about architecture and just make sure that the programming that we do facilitates that through through doing these projects that exist in public spaces and the Entrepreneurship courses very much about very much about yeah, just generally supporting architects, hmm and where and where do you think, Like in the new experience as an architect and in architectural education, do you think that architectural education there is more scope for entrepreneurship coming in as as at an earlier stage as a discussion, and how could that be facilitated? Yeah I mean, although again it’s it’s.

It’s hard because I think until you’ve actually worked, and you understand what it means to be an architect in practice. I think it’s hard to understand that the business of architecture might be so. I think the schools that have work placements are really valuable because it allows people to get into practice and really understand what it means to to work as an architect, and so, therefore, what the challenges might be, and so in terms of the business side of it.

As well, what what’s going on, but I think I think that the business of architecture should be introduced earlier, and I think it should be something that is more of a forerunner. And I think that our schools do projects that potentially can be lets, say, commercialized or or perhaps you know that there’s some brand alignment. So I think, I think that schools should perhaps explore those areas a bit more and see how the projects that their students are creating, could then go off and either become projects themselves, or they should encourage them to try to develop a bit further, that they can Be realized and then, as soon as they try to realize that projects they will come across these bigger issues of you know how they’re funded, how to organize them.

Project management, all those skills that will benefit them when they become an architect, and so by having that experience, I think that would be valuable earlier on then than just doing theoretical projects, yeah yeah, and so what’s next for the Museum of architecture, what we’ve got planned For 2019, and how are you going over the next over the next few years? So hopefully we will have a permanent space it within the next few years.

We are also launching a school for creative thinkers this year, which is which has come out of all the workshops that we’ve done for our families. So, over the past three years we’ve had 1,800 people participate in our gingerbread house, making workshops and a lot of people say well. What else do you do for the rest of the year, and so we decided to start a program for families which is launching on April 27th and it’s all based on biomimicry.

So it’s looking at how animals build their homes and then how that relates to architecture and then creating projects around that. So, for example, we’ll be looking at birds nests and then we’ll look at the bird’s nest, stadium, the Olympic Stadium and then we’ll have the kids. Do weaving as a means of making and architectural structures of weather that they decide to make it home or pavilion or whatever they’d like to do.

But the concept of weaving is the architectural element that comes out of the bird’s nest. So we’ll be looking at lots of different animals and kind of how they build their homes and and then how that then relates to architecture and getting kids to sort of think in those in those kinds of ways. And so that’ll be our first course and then we’ll keep developing that further. We are also working on our treehouse project that we’re hoping to do next year and that would be five tree houses in a public park.

So we’re just the very sort of early stages of that project, but that’s really exciting and we’ve got a pavilion going on in Kings Cross this year for London festival of architecture, and we are also in our third year of a platform for women to speak. So it’s a kind of a women in architecture conference, but it’s not about women and architecture. It’s just a it’s a platform for women to speak on, based on a particular topic.

So, oh, and we also have a playground going up in Sloane Square and that is a collaboration between an artist and architect, Lily, Jenks and that’ll, be up for the month of June as well. So yeah there’s that’s great. What’s going on and if there are young practices or architects listening to this podcast, how is the best way for them to get involved with some of your trainings or development? Your course is sure.

So it’s they can look on our website, which is Museum of architecture. Org and they can find all of our programming there brilliant Melissa. Thank you so much you so much thanks. So that is a wrap. Thank you for listening. The views expressed on this show by my guests do not represent those of the host, and I make no representation. Promise guarantee pledge, warranty, contract bond or commitment, except to help you be unstoppable.

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