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Part 10: You—12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

May 22nd, 2012 by

Welcome to this final installment of 12 Factors that Can Make or Break Your Design Business. (I know this is “Part 10,” but we really did cover 12 factors; I doubled up in Part 5: Politics + The Economy and Part 6: Social + Cultural Trends!) This post addresses your company, or should I say […]

Part 9: Stakeholders—12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

May 15th, 2012 by

An interesting dynamic characterizes the design world: while the client may foot the bill, a long list of stakeholders—from users to community representatives to neighborhood opponents—shape the project. Ultimately, these stakeholders can significantly alter a project’s final outcome. For this reason, stakeholder groups comprise an important piece of your competitive landscape puzzle. In recent news, […]

Part 8: Technology—12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

May 8th, 2012 by

Technological advances, in the design industry as well as those in seemingly unrelated industries, have a major impact on your competitive landscape. Let’s begin with an example directly related to the design and building world—the development of mass-producible structural steel, a material advance that forever changed how we design and what we design. Before the […]

Part 7: Materials—12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

May 1st, 2012 by

“I’ve got one word for you, Benjamin. Just one word. Plastics.” For this post, I’m revising this classic line from the 1967 film The Graduate. Today my one word for you is “materials.” New materials offer an amazing opportunity for competitive positioning. Jumping decades and genres, you may wonder (a la Tina Turner), “What’s ‘materials’ […]

Part 6: Social + Cultural Trends—12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

April 24th, 2012 by

Social and cultural trends present an amazing opportunity for you to excel in your competitive landscape. In this sixth installment of 12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business, I’ll show you how one guy turned a trend into an empire. Thirty years ago, the environmental initiative was little more than a social/cultural […]

Part 5: Politics and The Economy—12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

April 18th, 2012 by

With this one post we’ll cover two factors that can make or break your design business: politics and the economy. Politics and the economy affect everything we do in our businesses, often in ways we don’t even consider. But before we look to a specific example, I’ll clarify what I mean by “politics” and “the […]

Use Competitive Intelligence to Transform Your Game

April 12th, 2012 by

How do you play the A/E/C Game? Do you follow the rules and hope for a win? Or do you recognize that success isn’t only about the rules but rather about how the participants play the game—their strategy, their skill, their positioning, the amount of risk they take? In all cases, winning comes down to […]

Part 4: Collaborators —12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

April 11th, 2012 by

Can Barenaked Ladies help your business? Yes, but not how you may think! Aside from the name, the Canadian alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies (BNL) is not in the least bit risqué. I love this group—they are witty, amazingly entertaining, and wonderfully talented. And the history of their band offers a great lesson about collaboration […]

Part 3: Market Research —12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business

April 4th, 2012 by

Market Research forms a valuable piece of the competitive landscape puzzle. The problem with market research is that all too often companies rely on it without taking the big picture into consideration. This post, part 3 of 12 Factors That Can Make or Break Your Design Business, addresses how market research, when viewed out of […]

From Indirect Competitors to Allies: What Shipping-Container Clinics Could Do For You

March 31st, 2012 by

In an earlier post I discussed the idea of indirect competitors, and how these unknown entities can sneak up and eventually replace an architect’s services. An article recently published by Fast Co. Design, “How G3Box Turns Shipping Containers into Clinics,” provides a perfect example of how knowing about an indirect competitor could create a major […]