"Lights on a Leash," Song by Civil Civic, 2010
Translated to business, I think scale can be very useful in organizing and managing a company. From the product at a micro-scale, to the distribution systems and partnerships involved at the human scale, and then finally to the financial models at the extra-large scale, each scale of thought and quality of attention is crucial to business success. And each layer of interaction involves craft, tact, and skill. You can have a great, bespoke product - but no scale. You can have a great marketing strategy - but maybe your product is hollow and faulty. You can have the best client relationships in the world - but no innovative service to deliver. You can have a great software strategy - but no physical manifestation of it, to express your values.
I am interested in entrepreneurship because I want to learn how to build a business, not just a building. As difficult as architecture and construction is, the AEC industry is really only a cog in the larger web of industries and business sectors. Ultimately, the decision makers and levers of power rest in the hands of government, finance, and legal sectors, and most importantly the individual entrepreneurs who make things happen. If architects explore spaces with drawings and models, don't entrepreneurs explore time and capital with numbers and ventures?
And, underlying the motivations of both parties, unlocking the potential innate in places, people, and things?
If architects are in the business of optimism, entrepreneurship should be the next logical leap forward.
I wonder if there is a "architectural drawing set" to business success - a series of instructions that guide you, from the smallest details to the global scale, how to put together an effective strategy. What would that look like?
- Site Plan = Mission Statement (Executive Summary)
- Code Compliance = Legal Documents, Incorporation
- Civil Survey = Business Legal Codes, Insurance, Laws
- Floor Plans (Foundation) = Balance Sheet (This is the most important)
- Enlarged Floor Plan = Income Statement
- Enlarged Floor Plan = Cash Flow Statement
- Enlarged Floor Plan = Statements of Shareholders' Equity
- Elevations = Marketing, Advertising and PR
- Sections = "Nuts and Bolts", "X-Ray" of the Balance Sheet (Operational Data?)
- Exterior Details (Front End) = Marketing Coordination, Customer Experience, Branding, Typography
- Interior Details (Back End) = Internal Accounting, Engineering, Services, Technical
- Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP) = Operations, Human Resources
- Fire Protection = Insurance, Business Exit Strategy
- BIM Model = Digital Strategy, a "Simulation" and Counterpart to the physical operation
- Spec Sheet = Payroll, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
- Consultants = Consultants
Most likely, this set is just as messy as the schematic design process, or as messy as the consultant coordination process -- and project completion, or business survival, still seems like a miracle, after all is said and done. But I'd still like to see.