Hi My name is Michael and I am both an Architect and a serial entrepreneur.
Except for a brief four year stint completing my IDP to sit for my architecture license, I have always enjoyed starting up companies and been self employed. Within three weeks of receiving my architecture license, I hung out my shingle and never looked back. In 1998 we launched our architecture firm, Design Studio C, Ltd.
Design Studio C, Ltd. is an unique architecture firm.
Unique is a funny word. I get slammed by my architect partner / wife about it’s proper use. However, I have not found another firm that explicitly caterers to the self made men or women who started their own businesses. Very occasionally will we tackle a municipal or public project. Over the past 15 years we have completed over 1,000 projects of all shapes and sizes. We have designed homes and headquarters, restaurants and man caves - all for people who run their own business.
Besides Design Studio C, Ltd., I also run a not for profit that fosters the promotion and development of real property though creating a vibrant and sustainable economic ecosystem. That is a lot of fancy words to mean: I help people start and run businesses so that in time they can scale up and occupy the massive amounts of vacant space in the Greater Waukegan Area.
So what does an Architect know about start-ups and for that matter business? We know a lot!
In 1997 Business Week had a great article on the subject. (www.businessweek.com/stories/1997-11-02/blueprints-for-business)
“Want to save $250 million over 10 years? Boost employee creativity? Reinvent an old company? Conceptualize a new one? Recycle a factory into offices? Rework how you work? Discover your true corporate soul?
Call an architect. Smart managers already have their number. The folks who used to build monuments to executive egos are now in the business of redesigning businesses. If you want to work in a dynamic, creative company trying to embrace out-of-the-box thinking–and who doesn’t?–then you want your culture to be embodied in your architecture. Architecture can be a powerful transformative agent that helps solve two key problems facing today’s businesses: cutting costs and boosting productivity and innovation.
Safe to say we know a lot about business. We also know a lot about running companies. We like to say there is a time to work on your business as well as work in your business.The big thing is balance.
So why blog?
At this time both the Not for Profit and the architecture side are taking off. Both projects are consuming too much of my time. All in all, I am working 60 hours a week on the NFP and an additional 40 in architecture. I am not in balance.
I thought that I could use this space to chronicle how we are re-initializing our architecture business systems, as well as re-booting the organizational structure of the NFP. The goal of all of effort is to get me back on track to a four hour work week.
It will be up to you to see how you can apply these strategies to your world. I hope to hear your story.
BTW, If you have not read the book, it is a better audio book. I recommend it to anyone with a long commute.