"...pause and ask, are we doing the right thing?” ~Paul Doherty
As published by Forbes as “Changing the World”, seen on Bloomberg TV and reported by CNBC as one of America's Business T...
“...pause and ask, are we doing the right thing?” ~Paul Doherty
As published by Forbes as “Changing the World”, seen on Bloomberg TV and reported by CNBC as one of America's Business Titans, Paul is a Registered Architect and one of the global Industry's most sought after thought leaders, strategists, and integrators of process, technology & business. Paul is the Founder & CEO of The Digit Group, Inc. (TDG), a leading Smart Cities design, build, operate, and solutions company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. TDG's Smart Cities are being showcased as an example of leading design during the Venice Biennale Architettura 2021. He is an author, educator, analyst, and consultant to Fortune 500 organizations, government agencies, prominent institutions, and the most prestigious AEC firms in the world. Paul has spent the past 30+ years in the industry after graduating cum laude from the New York Institute of Technology and graduating from the Career Discovery program at Harvard University’s GSD.
His past successful ventures include Revit (Sold to Autodesk 2002), Buzzsaw (Sold to Autodesk 2001), and TRIRIGA (Sold to IBM 2011). He is a prominent and top-rated speaker at industry events each year and has been appointed as a guest lecturer at leading universities around the world. Paul has been on the Board of Directors/Advisors of numerous organizations, including the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) where he is an IFMA Fellow and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. Paul holds both European Union and US Citizenship, is the co-founder of the AEC Hackathon, Widely quoted in the mass media, Paul is also a contributing author to multiple sections of the AIA Handbook of Professional Practice, the Interior Design Handbook of Practice, the McGraw Hill Graphic Standards of Residential Construction, 3 whitepaper contributions to the McGraw-Hill Financial Global Institute and author/co-author of 7 books and over 250 published articles. Paul is currently writing his 8th book regarding Smart Cities for publishers, Quality Press, due in 2Q 2022.
Connect with Paul via
Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pauldohertyaia
LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-doherty-aia
Today’s episode is sponsored by Bosch RefinemySite. It’s a cloud-based construction platform. Bosch uses Lean principles to enable your entire team, from owners to trade contractors – to plan, communicate, document, and execute in real-time. It’s the digital tool that supports the Last Planner System® process and puts it all together in one simple, collaborative ecosystem. Bosch RefinemySite empowers your team, builds trust, creates a culture of responsibility, and enhances communication. Learn more and Try for free at https://www.bosch-refinemysite.us/tryforfree
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Felipe Engineer 0:00
Paul, you are the first ever pirate to be on my podcast. So I love that. There's so many cool things we want to dish into Paul. I want to respect your time and dive right in with you because your story needs to be told to every single person in the designing construction industry. Without exception. We need to hear what's going on. It's time for us to wake up, Paul. And I think you're just the right one to splash just the coldest amount of water. It's not quite freezing, but the shock will get us to pay attention.
Paul Doherty 0:52
Hopefully, you're very kind you're $20 check is in the mail for saying omens nice things. And you know, I loved when we were coming onto this Riverside FM studio because it said you know, please check your hair, and I have exactly one hair. So it was a perfect way of just introducing entire conversation when these guys get it.
Felipe Engineer 0:55
Welcome to the EBFC Show, the easier better for construction podcast. I'm your host Felipe Engineer-Manriquez. This show is all about the business of construction. This episode is sponsored by...
BoshRefine my site is a cloud based construction collaboration platform that applies Lean principles to enable your entire team to plan, communicate and execute in real time is the digital tool that works in tandem with your last planner system process and puts it all together in one simple collaborative ecosystem. This easy to use platform is available in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and French and can be used on desktops, tablet and mobile devices. According to Spencer Easton, scheduling manager at Oakland construction, "Refine my site, in my opinion, is the best cleanest tool on the market the last." Here's what our users have to say. We've looked at three other digital scheduling platforms and none compared to the straightforward approach refined my site takes from milestone planning all the way down to daily tasks. This program gives every general contractor and their trade partners meaningful collaboration, accountability and KPIs. Register today to try refine my site for free for 60 days.
Felipe Engineer 1:30
Today's episode is also sponsored by Construction Accelerator...
The design and construction industries come up with and build great things. But we also build in waste in how we do those things, in our interactions in our contracts in our logistics. So what does this do for our bottom line, or our next project, the best firms maximize their value by removing that waste, and only doing what's essential to the work what makes them money. Construction accelerator will train you to see the waste and give your teams the lean tools and experience to remove it immediately. All online construction accelerator is made up of three to nine minute videos that can be watched again and again, in the field, at the office and at home. All broken down by topic. You need to learn pole planning, we have videos on the process, how to set up a room and how to kick off a team need to set up a target value delivery project, we discuss all the aspects of TVD especially cost. Or maybe you just need to brush up on five as well. We have videos on that as well. You can download and print reference materials to use on site to immediately translate watching into doing subscribe today at tri ca now.com. Let's build an industry, not just a project.
Felipe Engineer 2:00
Today's show is also sponsored by the lean construction Institute LCI is working to lead the building industry and transforming its practices and culture, its vision is to create a healthy and thriving industry that delivers outstanding project outcomes every time for everyone, check the show notes for more information now to the show!
Paul Doherty 2:24
Thank you for the opportunity just to contribute to the overall conversation that what I love about not only this time, but the marrying up of so many different great technologies to get the word out, right, because it was one of these things where, you know, way back in the day when when I was a pup you know, the only way to get the word out was to either write for, you know, Chapter newsletters in association, industry associations, right, baby attend a chapter meeting, or maybe get lucky enough to do a state presentation or maybe the national, you know, convention. And it was a very slow and arduous process. Now a thought comes into your mind. And it's instagrammed out it's tweeted out it's done. And it's like the the velocity of information is great. Now, here's the key though, how do you filter out the stuff that's useful for you? right because what may be really interesting to you know, a sole practitioner architect in Kansas City is going to have a lot different Meaning when you're talking about the large, you know, engineering firms, like, let's say in Saudi Arabia, right? So so there's this amazing time of have a skill set of how to filter not just the marketing hype, and the sales hype on, on on, you know, tools that can help us with our digital transformation. But how does that filter affect me? And that's really where we're at right now. And, you know, throw on top of that, you know, our, our latest little issue of a pandemic globally.
Felipe Engineer 4:49
Little tiny, minor inconvenience.
Paul Doherty 4:51
I tell you, it, it's now doing two big things in my mind, right. Number one, it's allowing us to think more strategically, because bc before COVID, we had this...
Felipe Engineer 4:59
Before COVID ever Paul, there you go. So that one BCE love that.
Paul Doherty 5:04
I'm stealing it. So that, you know, we were so busy, right? I mean, great times to be in the business. But it was Attack, attack, attack attack, you know, there was really a lot of folks then that were questioning, you know, what we're doing it and we're making a lot of money, but are we doing the right thing? And that's what COVID brought to us is, are we doing the right thing? Like, let's take a pause. And that's where, you know, the second big thing that came out of it was this, this idea of not being afraid to use newer tools. Right, and some of them are digital, others are process driven. And those are much more difficult, you know, as you know, but when the two come together, that's where magic happens. Because, you know, having been on the side of the software, development side of things, you know, sometimes I would go in and go to, you know, a customer, and be amazed that they're using the technology that way. I'm like, we didn't think about that. It was a discovery session, like, like, we thought Ben was supposed to be used for this. But no, it's being used for that, you know, so, yeah, it's quite the journey. But what a time we're living in Felipe.
Felipe Engineer 6:00
My background, originally, I went to school for computer engineering before y2k. And then I was in school. Luckily, I had no chance of graduating before in y2k happened right in the middle. And I watched hundreds of 1000s of people lose their jobs after y2k pivoted, because there were no more jobs for computer engineers at the time. And I went into electrical engineering, I had all of this computer science training, you know, in programming, and all this heavy, heavy technology. And yet I went into construction, and and really did not know what to expect, a friend of mine had took me on a job take took me on a job, I got to see what they were doing. I saw the little bit of technology there. And I mean, it was a little bit, it was a little bit of technology like the, you know, computers were probably the most expensive thing on that project. But the job itself was a medical research building. And I was just it was fascinating to see what's going on in the medical research building on a university campus. But the technology you come out of that building, and go into where the construction is being run. And it's like going into a time capsule, there were big giant prints of paper with schedules, they were out of date, the second they were printed, there were people standing at fax machines waiting, there were stacks of paper, of people doing handwritten daily reports, and there's just so much stuff happening in a very slow and unnecessarily painful way. Just did not, it didn't line up with what it was at the time. I was just so in it. Like you said, Paul, without a pause for reflection. You just have to hurry up and go to work. You just have to get the work done. You don't have time to think about and pause. as horrible as COVID is it also caused me to pause too. And I would have met someone like yourself had not been for the pause. So I appreciate that. There is a bright side to it, ladies and gentlemen.
Paul Doherty 7:47
You know, and I think that that's where, you know, we've got to move forward, right? The virus has not gone away. If anything is mutating yet. There's this optimism again, because of you know, the idea that many people are choosing to get vaccinated, which is creating now in a very interesting, you know, way of trying to manage this thing. So, you know, we, we were stopped for a few days actually, once lockdown happened we had to figure it out because was global lockdown. That has never happened in the history of the planet Earth. Okay, so when they say honor presidented Yeah, you may see, say I'm presented, but COVID said hold my beer. Holy shit, right, because now we're in this, this world where we have to be out on the site. That's what we do. Right. And you had this uncertainty. Now the thing that I love and welcome to the dark side of the construction industry. It is definitely a wild and woolly place. But having pushed the boulder up the hill and so my career, right, more or less on the Don Quixote type of quest, you know, a noble quest, but we're fighting windmills. Because when you're not showing the value of how that helps that individual, not the entire project, because really the only person that cares about the entire project or a handful of people, everyone else, to your point comes, I want to do my work, grab, you know, get home, grab a beer and watch the game. That's what I want to do. And, and...
Felipe Engineer 10:30
Or the Cubs game? I mean, that's what I would do.
Paul Doherty 10:32
Yeah. Right. So so like, everyone has their focus on on what they want to do yet. There's this orchestra that they're playing in. And the best program and project managers that I see, understand that you must focus in on the areas that may be weak, and maybe the wind section, maybe the percussion, it may be the violins on that particular project on the next project. You can have the violins being virtuosos yet, you know, the wind section may be sucking it. So it's that constant balance of people skills. And when you start to take a look at it, when things you know, lock down, people's skills went through the roof, right, because you had to allow people to understand that some people were scared, others were saying, How do I start to get back to work, others were saying, If I get back to work, I'm going to bring my this virus back to a family, it was just this immediate shock to the system of going right. And once the dust start starting to settle, we also realize the variances, because you know we have a global footprint. And how we work although we're a boutique firm, we have a pretty broad reach of, of how we operate, what we came screaming at as was that this is going to be something to be managed on a micro basis, this isn't going to be Hey, we're opening up as the world and everyone's going to get back to work. Because look at the report India right now they resisted for so long, and then suddenly the virus hit them, you know, and this is where I think that you know, our industry has a real opportunity to take a mirror to itself for the first time in a long time because we are doing more and more sophisticated type of buildings and infrastructure because the demands in the market with less and less skilled people with budgets that are not improving. And you throw on top of that, that we are responsible in a way for our spaceship called Planet Earth, right? I mean, think about it, just like the way that I love what's going on with the privatization of space exploration, right, where they're now affording people to really take a higher view that we are on a very fragile spaceship, hurtling through space, to who knows where, because if people think we're just static in space, and we're just revolving inside of our universe, that's not true, that universe is hurtling through space. So we're literally on a ship, where we don't know where the destination is, if there is a destination, right? Which means that when we have an actor, come into our spaceship, and cause chaos, we must come together, right? Because this is humans against the virus. This isn't, you know, ideological crap. And people are, you know, coming up with conspiracy theory type of stuff, which is the other edge of all this great technology, right, which can exacerbate bad ideas just as fast as good ideas. And what we're finding is that it's helpful for us internally to constantly remind ourselves that what we do every morning when we wake up is very noble. Because we're on a spaceship, and the spaceship has to be taken care of when people are saying we have to save Planet Earth, Earth doesn't give a shit. Earth will always be Earth, Earth is going to do what it's going to do. What we're worried about, which is actually a good thing is we got to watch out for the human species of making sure that that environment of the spaceship is good enough for us to continue on as a species. So this isn't about environmental mafia. You know, I don't hug trees because they don't back. You know, this is about trying to do the right thing. And when I was going to school, architectural school, right, I love how, you know, everyone also became woke, and everyone has to have, you know, 15, you know, letters after their name, because they understand that they have to, you know, protect the environment. What were you doing before that, when I went to school, that is called good design, putting on a superman cape and having a lot of letters after your name doesn't mean that that anything that I mean, the best thing that the Green Building Council did with LEED was that it got the average business person to understand that there's a value of what we do is as an industry, which means that there are four things that we have to take care of as humans to survive one fresh air, clean water, safe food, and shelter. So as if you are a plumber, so practitioner, plumber, to the largest mechanical contractor in the world, to people that develop for a living to exactly what you and I do believe if we can, if we can wake up every morning and just understand, look in the mirror that what we're doing is a noble cause to keep our species alive. That's a higher calling and it's not To get on a hyperbole thing, because you can then start to take action every day. Without thinking about it. It's it's instinctual, you know, it's about keeping your job site clean, because you're the subcontractor on there. And guess what? The reason why we put in the contracts that you should leave it at least swept clean, we mean it. Exact Exactly.
Felipe Engineer 15:20
And, and and it's a great incentive, Paul, for getting people to do what's helpful to them. And that's, you know, let's reward it's that whole idea of rewarding good behavior. Yes. And I love that analogy you gave the spaceship that we have, and, and our spaceship is a convertible, it's got like a skin thick layer, there's not even a hard outer shell on it. And you're completely right, the people on the planet Earth sometimes get swept up into an idea, because unfortunately, Paul, sometimes bad ideas propagate without good curation of the data and information coming at you, you can get swept up in the noise and get far, far away from the signal was telling you something, we are all on one single planet, we do all have to cooperate to survive, and living is a choice.
Paul Doherty 16:05
So you're bringing up something that that resonates here, right, where we have a responsibility as a as a company with Tdg. With with what we do, yeah, we use a lot of magic and flash to make urban environments magical, right? The average person does not care how the mechanics of this thing works. All they know is that they want to have a conversation or nowadays, they want to be able to text message, right. But that, but that's the usefulness of the phone, but the technology behind that. And the absolute chaos that was made on chaotic so that a person could could have a conversation on a piece of plastic is unbelievable. Right? That really is magic. If you brought anyone from the past 30 years forward, they are going what the mic laptop doesn't do what your phone does, right. So I think that the ingenuity, the innovation of where we're at right now, as an industry is one of the greatest times ever be alive in our industry, we literally have an opportunity to not have the inherited conversations of the past, control our future. And I think that's a really important thing about that inherited conversation, because people will say, Well, we've always done it like that. Well, what I love about this generation coming up, is that they holistically are questioning things, to say what if, and I think that's the art of the possible that our industry is now walking right through the threshold. They're not running because we're still conservative, as a as a holistic industry. But I'm watching enough Don Quixote is now attacking those windmills where I don't think the windmills stand a chance.
Felipe Engineer 17:41
I don't think so either. Paul, last night, I had three students from San Jose State University, keep me up until past my bedtime, asking me questions on a zoom call about where do I see the industry going. And they're gonna have me come talk to an AGC student chapter group, as part of what I do in my volunteer work for Bill California. And the I told them, I said, the enthusiasm and excitement that the three of you have for coming into this industry is infectious, and it's necessary. And I said, when you come in people, some people are going to discourage you from asking a lot of questions, questioning why we do things the way we do. And I said, You call me any time you have a day where somebody discourages you. And I will re encourage you, because that's exactly what we need, if we're going to survive and continue to be useful and relevant, like you are in your industry, as an architect and designer, and ahead of what a lovely boutique company. I love that description for the digit Group, a boutique company that's love your marketing skills. Paul, our next level, when I'm going to learn from you, I'm gonna steal that I'm gonna say this is a boutique podcast for people interested in making things better. And I think you have to drink your coffee with your pinky out. Here, watch and see if I can. My luck. There you go. You got it down. You see, right. Look at this. And there's the product placement, Paul said you see and now now you're teaching me Look at that. Yeah, you got to be ready. I've got that. That's the on caffeinated. And then this is caffeinated didn't just you don't know what this is Paul. You're double probably. That's that's probably alcohol.
Paul Doherty 19:21
This time of morning sometimes needs it. So, you know, one thing that being a realist right, and having been a builder that became an architect, okay, which I think is the proper format of how to do it. Because you how do you design if you don't know how it goes together? And...
Felipe Engineer 19:36
That's been my question for 20 years. Yeah,
Paul Doherty 19:38
I mean, I came out of out of school immediately. I was involved as partner in a design build firm. I mean, I just thought that that was a natural way of going. But we realized that you can go through a five year professional degree as a as an architect and never have stepped foot on a job site. Okay. Seeing issues right from the beginning. last big project of Where I literally had my boots on and my hard hat on everyday was in the South Bronx and Mott haven. It was a project that was funded by the New York Yankees, which I was very happy about, because they got the approval to move Yankee Stadium across the street, but money had to be given back into the community. So I was responsible for putting up at the time, the largest, both budget wise and size wise High School for the school construction Authority of New York, and I took it with pride, right? First of all, it was Mr. signwriters money, so always respect the capital, right. But number two, it was a very, very complex budget, because it was four different high schools chartered high schools. One was for the arts, one was for STEM. And you know, it was on a campus that was raised up above the Metro North tracks of coming out of the subway of Manhattan to go up into the suburbs of Westchester mainline, I had to raise the foundation, or actually the start point, up to the level of the Grand Concourse because I went down 40 feet. So I had to build a series of trees. These were mentioned. Well, that is that the complexities of just that. And this is, you know, pre having anything out in the field. I mean, it was a big deal, getting a fax machine out to the job trailer, right.
Let alone you know, the stuff I was talking about. Right? And the practicalities were this when you're in charge of large project like that you have so many different moving pieces of sequencing in the scheduling, watching the budget, watching the quality, the different teams that these companies would send, you know, you knew immediately if you have a bunch of rookies, you know, especially when you're pile driving, you know, because they're asking you questions, you really you should be asked me those questions, right? So automatically you get like these, these flags let go of because you have an instinct because you've been seasoned, right? And that's the big thing about the industry, you have to get people doing it doing it doing, you're doing it. But here's the problem. So the processes, if I had the budget to actually do a process diagram of every single trade that entered onto that job site, I'm not talking about scheduling, about the actual process diagrams, the amount of rework redundant work work that was used to sabotage either their own work in order to get more hours or to make sure wink wink the guy, you know, beat behind me, we're in cahoots together, because he's a painter. I'm a drywall guy. And I know that the drywall up, you know, where I'm working on the upper floors, because you build up, as I'm coming down and the paint jobs being done. If I happen to scrape the paint, quote, unquote, by accident, well, that gets more work for my painter. And that's a nice change orders. I mean, the stuff that you see out there, which is almost kindergarten level, you literally have to be half dead mother, half parent, half buddy colleague, I mean, you have to wear so many hats. And that's just one project in one geographic location. And now on the owner side of what we do as a developer, I'm watching it worldwide in their own way inherently, people are going to protect what they feel is their gravy train, which is where people going, why hasn't the industry digitized? Why haven't we gone through that transformation? But the bottom line is, have you asked the people if they want to change? This is a pizza? Right? Yeah, you'd rather have you know, you know, coming right out of school, never swung a hammer, and I got this really cool app. And, you know, and and they try and shove it in front of, you know, venture capitalists, and they think they're going to be a unicorn become Procore, you know, like, overnight, and you're going to have any clue what you're doing. Except I could criticize that. But you know what I'm doing. And it's I don't know, if it's just old age or whatever. But I'm encouraging everyone. Because just the fact that you had three students that that were inspirational that provided their own energy and, and their own sense of wonderment of, well, why hasn't this been done, and we could make that difference. We need more of that. We need that sea change in the industry. So that that boulder that I've been pushing up the hill, I want to be like Indiana Jones running away from that boulder as it's chasing down the damn Hill. That's my dream in my career. And the more that we can encourage folks, not just to say like wagging the finger, like this is an industry about experience. Because if you don't learn from experience, you can either get hurt for real, die hurt, right? Or financially hurt or not do the right thing for the planet Earth, which is do the right thing to make sure that that edifice that you're creating either civil infrastructure or vertical buildings is the best you can do because you're putting something in place that's going to outlive you, what's your higher calling, you know, is it that you cut corners, and you're able to buy, you know, a little extra horsepower in that new car because you got over on the on the GC? I mean, think about what you're doing. Right. And I also don't mind the fact that we are hurting right now when it comes to qualified people working in the field. I think it's almost like a forest fire. It's getting rid of a lot of the bad wood and you're hoping that this next generation that does come in like the three students who were talking to you become that you growth that do have a different value of ethics and morals in that space? And also have a sensitivity about it. Right? You know, you know, there were certain times when, you know, I was an intern architect were to go out in the field and literally volunteer with some of the local trades just to learn, you know, framing and painting and all this other stuff. And it's amazing to watch the mental abuse that goes on in our industry. And it's one of those things a lot of people don't talk about the bullying, all that type of stuff that, you know, and a lot of it was attributed to Well, these are the narrative wells, that in high school, they weren't going to go to college anyway. So why not get a job in construction. So we were a dumping ground for so many years. We can't be that anymore. The sophistication level of again, more complex buildings was, you know, same or limited budgets, not enough people. So the time scrunch, were demanding a lot of our workers and we, you know, there's projects that can't afford, and I'm even talking about kitchen blowouts in a sub, you know, suburban area, take those kitchen blowouts, guess what the number one thing that they use? Would you know what, I have to specify 24 karat gold because it's cheaper than wood today. So you so you can imagine, instead of two by fours, I'm specifying 24 karat, right?
Felipe Engineer 26:23
I got a friend I can't even get their friends fix that flew over in a windstorm, right after Wait, like, they don't know if it's three months from now or six months from now.
Paul Doherty 26:31
So I'm in the Memphis area, right, right smack in the of the country because of a lot of stimulus and, you know, pent up demand. People are, you know, extending decks and putting in blowing out kitchens and putting second floor dormers and doing all sorts of things because they have the money. But the big thing here is either work has stopped, especially with the newer construction with new homes, right. And there's a lot of that in this area, because FedEx and whatever where I grew up area, it's amazing to watch these these exposed structures, that for weeks, the workers aren't there because they can't get the deliveries of the supply chain, you know, this would stick built structures. But the big thing here now is that if you do get a delivery is that if you're in the security business, you're doing really well, because there are armed guards watching the wood. There was so much theft, going from one place to another because of the commodity price going through the roof. I'm like, wow, humans are still humans, aren't they? So...
Felipe Engineer 27:30
I feel like we could we could take the we could take Paul out in New York, but we can't take the New York Yankee fan to see now. So I mean, it's gonna happen, you have this philosophy about you wear these hands. And these human experiences are the only way to really learn for real. And I think that it is so simple of a detail, but it's elegant. And I just want to just pause and just let there be some space for that. Because people undervalue firsthand experience so much like we have, you know, even people coming in with excitement into the industry, or people that are already in the industry that that haven't developed themselves in a long time, because they have no rival syndrome. And they think that they're at the epitome of the top of where they're at, which is false, you're not at the top, everybody can learn and firsthand experience is priceless. So I just want to thank you for for doing that. If you don't mind giving a longer introduction of who you are. I think it's going to blow people's minds. And they'll have the same respect and appreciation that I had for you. 10 seconds of listening to you speak.
Paul Doherty 28:34
I'm a licensed architect, not a software architect, I'm a real one. I can still get sued, still hold my license. And but I did my work. I did work study in college, meaning I took off a semester and worked in the field and then went back to school. So I took a little longer, but I thought that that was a better pathway for my skill sets. Because I did my work study at IBM. And IBM was the only technology company in the world that really touched the consumer for years and years and years. So I'm really dating myself here, but I had the opportunity and I was blessed to be born in New York City where I could went to work for any of the big architectural firms being interned and done bathroom details for for years, right. Or, I chose IBM where I was the chief designer for setting up the tradeshow booths. Oh, cool, right. And back then it was like in a PS two architecture and oh, s warp O's to warp rs 6000s. As for hundreds, token ring networks, I mean, everything that's now defunct, I touched so that could be a really good measure that whatever I touch could go, by the way, the dodo bird. But what I've learned, though, was from the systems engineers and the computer engineers at IBM because Armonk was was my home base headquarters, right? And I was setting up these tradeshow booths where I had to learn all This technology from the inside out. And I was really curious. I was like your students, right? Like, I was like, this is really cool. This is like building a building. Right? You know, like you have the framework rack and the hard drive and the motherboard. And, and I learned it, because I was being taught by the greatest of all time, the IBM engineers, right. And the fact that they, I used to do it after hours, right, because I was going to school, then I go into the carpenters unions. Factory. And these guys would come in and from IBM and teach me while they drink beer, because it was easy for them. But they Oh, yeah, just do this and do that. And so I had to learn the software and the hardware from scratch. And I looked at it like looking at the suites catalog going, Wow, you know, I need a door, I need a window need Foundation, I need this I need a roof blah, blah, blah. Same thing with a with with computers. So I've never differentiated between the two. Actually, what was really frustrating was going Why do I need to put this into a chassis rack? When I could stick a hard drive into the wall and my memory board could be the ceiling like I could never understand how come we weren't building computers into or the computerization into the built environment, right? The Smart buildings. So long story short, that taught me everything I needed to know. Because at that point, technology became a fourth utility to me plumbing, electrical and mechanical in it. And I felt that my career. Yeah, I dropped out of school for a while. Because I'm actually keyboard player by professional pride. And we got signed to Warner Brothers records in the 80s. We were the house band at the China club in Manhattan. We were fixture down in in Greenwich Village, please like the bitter end and Kenny's castaways and all these places. But we we made a record that did extremely well in Europe. And I got to play with some of the greatest musicians in the world. David Bowie's band came down one night, and I got to jam with them. Of course, them being all African American and me, the white guy, the one song they chose was play that funky music white guy, true story.
And I got to play with, you know, some some other artists that I would never have had the chance and I'm in like my early 20s. So we did extremely well. Like I said, we were part of neat Records, which is a, we were distributed through Warner and we kind of made it I decided to go back to school, when things started to slow down with the band. But that experience of being out on stage as a professional and really making it we were up for best music, night 1987 and 288. We were for best band of the year Best Male Vocalist and Best Song of the Year, we lost to Billy Joe, They Might Be Giants and Taylor Dayne so so we were close, right. And as an architect, it was just so cool, because my thesis at school was architecture as frozen music where I took the ratios of how you can move through music, either through time, you know, three, four time, four, four time, and then the elegance of the spatial relations of how you can move between treble and bass clef. And what I did was I use those ratios, and I studied the Baroque period using Baroque music. And then the architecture of its time, the ratios were perfect. We then went into the turn of the last century using the Rite of Spring Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and like a BGA. And they were perfect. And then we fast tracked it to Richard Myers, work. And we tied that together to Talking Heads. And it was perfect that music architecture is frozen music, it's just about how you express it, the movement through space, the movement into spatial relations, which leads to you know, a fast track where because of my computerization stuff, I knew how to write code. So that helps with music because I was involved with MIDI, which connects everything together on stage. I then transpose that when I went back to school and graduated, and started working with design build firms. And we, we were a web based organization, web based organization in 1994. out in Long Island, New York, because of the traffic, I use compact locals and use Lotus Notes at first to connect my teams together. Instead of me driving out to the places right now we got FaceTime, you know, it's easy, but back then that that was a heavy thing to try and do, except that I discovered the web browser. And I taught Lotus Notes out and we were web based in 1994. We had some architects and some influential architects on Long Island, take a look at what we were doing as a design build firm and they encouraged me to start talking about it. AIA conferences, things like that. And I got to write a book. This one called cyber places that I got pulled into a little company called Revit have created this thing called building information modeling. We then also created a web based project management system called buzzsaw. And then we created a facility management package called try Riga. Between those three, we made for investors a little under a billion dollars through acquisition. So Sand Hill Road loved what I was doing. Plus, I was a book author plus we were doing something really cool, right? So my career fast tracked. I did do some time because I wanted to polish where became a fortune 500 officer for a company called K. Hovnanian homes, where I really learned Polish about how to be a corporate understanding Wall Street, which then gave me the opportunity to pull that together, I just spent 12 years ago to create Tdg, along with just an amazing cast of characters because of the success we had. One guy is my chief software architect, his name's Remy are no, he's the guy that helps me through thinking through the strategic vision of technology. But his claim to fame is that he was the he was the developer and founder of a group called intrinsic that was part of the keyhole roll up when they were acquired for Google, you know, it is Google Earth. So the father was my chief software architect, is incredible. So just to tie this up, and why it would be important to hear where we're going from here, we decided that because we sold Revit to Autodesk is so bizarre. Autodesk is so try Riga to IBM, my friends at IBM again, right? We're onto something big with for me, I was living in Shanghai at the time, because we had a really good 3d visualization company. And they're really good in China with doing that type of stuff. photorealism, that type of thing. And I wanted to take it to the next level by not just having it as a point like in 3d Max, where you just fly around in space, but I wanted to have it geospatially perfect a latitude and a longitude somewhere on a digital globe. Right? Because we were being hired by groups like the Chinese Olympic Committee, I was looking for marketing material of flying through Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. Then we also got contacted by the people that were operating the the World Expo in 2010. In Shanghai, they also wanted to have marketing materials of because our stuff is so visually stunning. And the way that we could produce it, where we weren't putting a camera on a hyperactive dog, like most architects and running around like a bunch of lunatics. We actually had Hollywood folks that knew how to produce. So we came up with this really cool thing called a gaming engine 2008. So this is pre unreal and pre unity. And we did it ourselves. And I said, Whoa, whoa, because I was pulling in Revit models and not one, but 1000s with zero latency. And I'm going, Oh, this is fun.
Felipe Engineer 37:36
Anybody that's ever touched a model is drooling right now to latency. It's like a dream.
Paul Doherty 37:42
Well, this was it. And we had a big choice, we could either create a proprietary application, not even an app, or we could use the browser. And the thing was Remy, his other side job is that he runs a standards group out of Silicon Valley called khronos. Group, the people behind culatta, Web GL all these standards, to make the browser the true interface and start the standard process so that manufacturers then can, can compete on speed, and just all those things that go on in the browser world, right. But this whole world was then opened up to me, and I felt Well, I could barely move the needle again. I mean, we're trying to move the needle and try and make a difference with all these tunes that we've created for the industry. Yet to this day, the majority of people still use BIM to create 2d construction documentation, but the what, what do we do with them?
Felipe Engineer 38:27
And they print they print it out to our paper?
Paul Doherty 38:29
Well, okay, with certain people, that may be the thing that you have to do. But you're right, that is now the thing that is very frustrating. So we did two things. Number one, we decided to keep it as a proprietary technology, and that we would go headlong into being a real estate developer. And that then turned into us finding a lot of great innovation. Because we were doing things differently. We just weren't about taking dirt and moving it was about taking that dirt and enhancing it with innovation. And that's where the word Smart Cities came from, because we partnered up with IBM, again, where they had a program called the Smarter Planet, Smarter Cities smarter building program, that then turns into us being introduced to their friends over at Cisco, that were also on a rampage of the smarter communities. And fleep. If I had planned this, I'd be a genius. But I'm just Irish. And I'm lucky. Because this has been a tidal wave like I've never seen before of the urbanization of the earth, coming together with the starting of this generational change of digital transformation where people are understanding instinctively, that it's about the data, not the software, that people also sensitive at this time to the human centric needs. And this is where I have a challenge for every designer out there. I'm hiring these designers now the largest names possible because I'm on the other side of the table. We are very, very fortunate to have a 5050 partnership with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund. So we're able to pick and choose our projects that have impact on either parts of the planet earth or the human culture and species holistically by proving an example, in a step by step manner. This isn't about setting my finger and saying how great we are. and The Wizard of Oz is behind the curtain. We're very transparent about how we're doing things. But I am an absolute stickler because I've been in the in the foxholes, with subs with GCS with other types of stakeholders, especially the financial folks that think, you know, surety and bonding and all that stuff. No, no, no, no, no, no, let's have a conversation. But where I really have an impact is with the designers, both the engineers and architects because I can speak their language, I also understand their frustration. But I also understand that they have been practicing wrong, their entire career, all of them. And the reason why is because they're not designing with all senses, they're designing for visualization, the fact that we're still talking about digital twins, and visualization of going, that conversation happened in the manufacturing industry, like 2030 years ago, just because you discovered it doesn't mean that it's a new thing. You know, let your ego go with the door, because all you're talking about is visualization. As a real designer, the next level of how you design is sound, how come we have not created multimedia BIM at this point is just beyond me, it's a natural course of action, because there was a great exercise that one of my architectural professors gave, when he was at school where he turned off the lights during one of the sessions in so close your eyes. And at the time, we had a cassette recorder. And he played different sounds, and one of the sounds was, you could hear, you know, clicking of heels as it came closer to you. And he goes to find where that is, I raise my hand and said, sounds like a European Cathedral. He goes, why? And I said, the hard surfaces, the volume and the space. And he goes, you're exactly right. He goes, design involves all senses. So when I go to a ribbon cutting ceremony, here's another sense that just baffles me, you may have won all these awards, and you're there with your wing tip shoes, and you're all fully yourself, because it is a good design visually. But functionally, when you start walking through the space may not be 100%. But okay, it would look really good for that architectural record, you know, your cover photograph, but when I'm sitting there and in your snipping, the you know, the ribbon cutting, all I'm doing is I'm choking on the voc is because the off gassing in the carpet hasn't stopped smell smell is the strongest trigger from memory. And all I remember from these grandiose places is it smells bad.
It's like, why don't we designed to smell not to say that we have to pump in artificial smells, but understand your materials for smell, understand your materials for sound understand spatial relations for visual? And how can we have not put that into our computers to allow the computer to do what it does best, which is compute and give us those alternatives, including text, texture, touch, you know, the fact that we have crash bars, for exits for emergency exits, and they're all based on metal? Is that the right material? Who thought about that? Is it just for durability? Are you thinking just with ease? What are you thinking? We got to start designing holistically. And not just about, you know, some crap about the next checklist of isn't sustainable or not? Guess what? How much sustainable have good quality design, you know, before you start saving the spotted owl start saving this for the human species. I think one of the great things that's come out of these pandemic is certain certain firms response and one of those is group called Delos. They're the ones behind the wellness Institute. And what's amazing is to watch the money that they're getting from investors were like on CNBC, and Bloomberg and all these business TV shows at least once an hour, I see these celebrities like Lady Gaga and other notable figures that are endorsing buildings that have the wellness sticker on their doors, because they've gone through the process of understanding indoor air quality, safety factors, those type things that it's safe to come into this building. And that's what i think you know, where we're going, I think it's so clever, what timing for those people, right? Because scientific, yet you're hitting the basic need of do I trust this building? Or is the building going to harm me? And this is well beyond Legionnaires disease and all this other stuff. This is this virus, and it's mutating strains and other pandemic type of things are going to reside in our urban environments and inside of the spaces that we create, because they will find their way in again, they've invaded our spaceship. So it's up to us to better understand how do we start to make sure that our mechanical systems are not the same old, same old. It's not like the past building, you don't do save as you've gotten a taste. You can't do that. You can't do that because here's a for instance. So we did a study because of indoor air quality, because it affects us, right? I want people back in my buildings, I have to create a trust relationship. And sometimes you have to be very transparent about what you've done. And what we did was we took a look at some of our buildings that are in downtown areas. And then we took a survey of the downtown area.
What I discovered, and this is something for every architect engineer to think through from here on out, I don't know how we fix it, but most fresh air intake is at the street level. And you wonder why your buildings sit by 2pm, the amount of carbon, the amount of toxins in the air that's been sucked into your fresh air intake, I don't care what you have, in your air handling unit, you're poisoning your building, just by the simple placement of your fresh air intake. So let's be smart and put it up with the pollutions not and maybe that's step one. So baby step, you know, who am I? But yeah, baby steps, there's a lot of things that I think we have. We don't have any time for improvement. But but it has to be done. So we can't look back and start, you know, shaking hands going, you know, okay, Boomer, bad Boomer, you did bad design all this time. Or we can say, you know what, here's your here's the cards that we've been dealt, let's move forward. And let's start, you know, just cutting this thing down, because we're on cow paths right now. Yet, the world is expecting a motorway. So we got to quickly get up to speed. I think, you know, people like yourself that come from outside the industry are invaluable, because you bring that different perspective, that concrete a fusion of a collision of industries, rather than a catastrophe. And I liken it to where, what we do, and we do it all the time that how we explain to either our investors or our customers is that when we create our urban environments, we look at all of our innovations, be they digital innovations or not, they can be processed, they can be piece of equipment into that type of thing, we have a cupboard full of those, our job is to have the proper sous chefs involved to pull the right types of ingredients to create the recipe and not just for one table in the restaurant, but make it a cuisine, so that we do have the ability to constantly have a continuous innovation cycle that continues to populate or to improve those ingredients. So that we can have a French restaurant, an Italian restaurant, Mexican taco stand, if you want. So there's different ways of creating those recipes that you never do the same recipe twice, because every one is unique. And it's based on the human way of looking at their issues as a systems approach. So we like to use terms like heterarchy ease, which are taking a visual look at different layers of need, in certain cases, it may be education is the lead could be healthcare, it could be safety. But as you start to prioritize those layers, they all have to work together. And that's where the magic happens. And that's what we do, which is we created an ontology, which is a way of connecting vertically, those, those those horizontal systems. And that's where the magic happens. That's why, you know, when I was living in Shanghai, right after Chinese New Year, there was always a big influx of farmers, sometimes with their families that would come into a big city like Shanghai looking for work, because they are continuing to mechanize their food supply chain for safety and for quantity in such a great way that they don't need as many farmers, but people still have to work and make money, right. So you have these people literally coming from rice paddies out in the western provinces to the equivalent of New York City in Shanghai. And inevitably, they would be future shot. I remember one family of four, staring at this modern entrance, where people in suits would walk and the doors would magically open and then close behind them. And they're like, how does that happen? right to you. And I that's instinct was, of course that happens. It taught me a lesson about you know, you can bring enough magic in place to not Future Shock or, or scare people where they don't want to use it. Here's a case in point we designed and we developed an implemented series of autonomous vehicles for public transportation. It's it's implemented in China. And what we're doing there is testing out the different behaviors because we have a very simple level one autonomous vehicle program, where we use the equivalent buses, but they're gorgeous. And we use 20 meter bus for longer, like almost like suburban commutes. We have a 12 meter bus, which is what everyone has today in downtown areas, but also beautiful, the other ones are ugly. And they are ugly, or they mean buses by themselves. And like what like like, didn't ask a designer to come?
Felipe Engineer 49:36
And I tried to avoid them because of that.
Paul Doherty 49:38
Yeah, it's awful experience. But then we also had these two meter personal buses, which gives the last mile first mile solution which is really, really cool. So we layer those. What we found is people love the little personal parts, right? The two meter because reminds of being on a Disney ride. It's fully autonomous. They feel like they're in control. This is cool. The 20 meter bus, no problem because do you really Ever See a train conductor ever? No? Right? So they just think it's like a train people freak out on the 12 meter bus because it's open, right? Like, like, everyone can see everything and they didn't see a driver. And how is this thing moving? It's 12 tons of steel. And we literally, and we made factories in Beijing with our partner photon photon had to put a fake steering wheel. And we had to hire a fake driver for 12 buses. You know,
Felipe Engineer 50:28
it's I think it's the same thing happens on the BART system in San Francisco, there's a conductor on the train because people complained about the eeriness of getting into this metal box racing under and tunnels and above ground and don't freak out. And when you get on the bar, and you don't see somebody, don't freak out. I'm like, I see all these other passengers. So they can't, but nobody's driving. The train is like, Oh, my God, nobody's driving.
Paul Doherty 50:52
But then again, you know, when you're a Disney, who's driving the monorail, right, right. So...
Felipe Engineer 50:58
It's our expectations, totally different ball, you are running at hands on the skin in the game. And you just said that we're doing continuous innovation. Whereas most design and construction organizations out there, including on the owner side, I mean, people that are people spending over a billion a year in capital construction don't have a focus of even a 1% on innovation and change. And just going into like, is my cupboard of tools fully stocked? Can I make something that people actually want? No, they're just doing, rinse and repeat, as if that's all that we need. And now in the pandemic, yet you saw a lot of organizations are rethinking their, their corporate offices. They're rethinking how we deliver health care. They're even rethinking how we deliver schools and you still see some, some holdouts and with huge pressure from all over the place people making decisions, not because it's the right thing to do, but because there's pressure to just revert back to how we used to do things. Yeah, no, once you it's like, once you experience that pod, or you've gone to Disney and had that, that ride, now coming to your city and having that pot experience, like you can't go backwards, right, the genies out, now it's become a luxury, it's table stakes now.
Paul Doherty 52:15
That's right. You know, it's so really, really interesting door that you're opening there. So there's two big things that we are focused in on as an organization globally, that we feel needs to be number one addressed. And I'll touch that one first. But the second one needs to be community owned. And this is an opportunity for everyone listening because of all of the macro, micro internal and external forces. Sometimes, certain ideas take off faster than others, I was part of the design builds committee, the motion of architects for many years, led it up as their president of the committee that they're actually called pi A's or professional interest areas Back then, I always thought it should have been professional interest groups, but then we we'd be known as the pigs could be appropriate. But you know, but then we were called the professional interest areas, and that's a pain in the ass is pi as right. So leading up design build during those times, I was considered the Antichrist. You know, you're talking about contractors controlling the futures of architecture, guys, you know, just have a Snickers bar, hang out, chill. That's not what we're talking about. You know, it's like, you know, what we're doing is designed lead design build that there are architects out there that are good businessmen, there are few far between, but yes, they're out there. Right. And trust us, we know what we're doing. And what we did we lead by example, that delivery methodology right now accounts for what 16 70% of all deliverables in the United States under contract. That's huge, from zero to that amount over a 30 year period. And that delivery model works with certain types of buildings. A perfect example would be, you know, data centers, you got to do design build, right, because it's so intricate. It's so integrated, all that stuff. So building types actually drive a lot of that a lot of civil is designed build, right, it just makes sense. So when people are trying to force down because they in their ecodistrict office is saying, I think we need another acronym, and they come up with IPD and Kumbaya and all this other bullshit. No, that's not that's not the show, right? You're trying to force an idea onto something that it won't find its time because you don't understand the real, localized way that this works. That's why it doesn't build worked construction management that grew out of the architects cow telling to the insurance companies and lawyers saying that we want to give up our rights of site supervision that did not, though, give up that the owner still needed those eyes, thus construction Management grew up out of the 1970s changes to the AIA contracts, right.
Felipe Engineer 55:05
So they rise to the whole inspection arm third party inspection, Oh, God, yeah, came out of that same thing, like were the inspectors trying to act as if they are the designer. And it's just not the same, because the incentives are just totally different. The quality in that system Paul has not gotten better like and those types of structures built in that different mindset, where I'm talking like Hammurabi is code, where the architect, if you're building the designers building failed, your first child would be put to death. Like that type of skin in the game. I mean, it's extreme skin in the gap, but but people came at these things in such a different way. Well, just look at those.
Paul Doherty 55:45
They were, but most of them are Medicis, right? And look at the Medicis coming out of the dark ages, about how they inspired great design, and it was expected. You're right. And you're right, you're throwing your firstborn into the fire because you made a mistake, you're going to pay attention a little bit and and start to challenge yourself and, and the norms. So that's why when I'm looking now at the reemergence of this idea of offsite construction, for all the intro, extra reasons that have been talked about and talked about and talked about, I've been watching it have premature growth, and then go back down, you know, the mobile home market. Okay, you know, it's there. And, you know,.
Felipe Engineer 56:29
Worker, just just jumping over that one, Paul, like the mobile home market.
Paul Doherty 56:34
But you know, it's legitimate, that's part of our industry. Right. It's like having the redheaded stepchild. They are part of our industry. We're putting that on the planet Earth, and it's a magnet for tornadoes.
Felipe Engineer 56:44
That's what I was just I was thinking that as soon as you said it, I'm glad you said it out loud because I was gonna go Paul.
Paul Doherty 56:50
So yeah, but well, just like Mater said, right? in cars. I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park. So now, nothing more trailer parks, and I will back off that statement, because of one big thing. It shelter, there's still a noble cause to that. And you cannot discriminate that if people do not have the socio economic beans, they still have to have a sense of pride of where I live, it's my home, and people make the home that designers don't, and if that is something that we can, not poopoo and, and I will apologize because you know, it's not about glossing over, it's that that's what that delivery mechanism was known for. It's now being challenged again. And I love the fact that because of lack of labor, because of different organizations trying new things, just look at Turner, Turner actually went through an exercise and turn is a great poster child for this because they're an organization, high quality that has been that were known, especially in New York area for 10 and fit out work. So it's a great place to get your career started as a onsite project manager, that type of thing. You know, as we talked about, that's where the noise The Turner tots, right? Because you came out...
Felipe Engineer 58:01
I used to be one certainly wearing a blue shirt right now just by pure x. And for those that don't know, like, we joke in the industry, there's even LinkedIn groups for Turner alumni, because every third person you meet in general contracting at one point in their career worked for Turner.
Paul Doherty 58:17
And and it's a graduation ceremony. Yeah. Yeah, it's part of the education experience, right. But they actually pushed into high gear over the past, I'd say 1520 years where they are doing the superstructures they are doing the meaty, meaty, meaty work, not just ti. What's good about that, and that growth trajectory is that they've also integrated technology into the conversation at a very high level. And they got some great great tech teams that were involved in and leadership over there. What has really impressed me, though, is that they took the time just before COVID hit to start to address the nomenclature of Well, we know that we are working with hotels, let's say right and the hotelier that they're working with, we're asking them to look at the DFM a process or design for for manufacturing and assembly, right? Because they wanted to look at certain types of off site construction, you'd be a prefab modular, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. So they chose the term offsite construction, which helped them internally start to group together people going, Okay, I know what you're talking about, because I didn't have to think well, he seemed prefab but that's really this is. So they formed the definition first, and then they went from top down and bottom up. In order to get the buy in. We did something very similar. And what we're looking at right now that with our projects like neon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the largest project in the world's $500 billion budget to start, that's phase one, right? And we're building a new country from scratch right now. I'm gonna be going from zero to 8% of all deliverables in the next 10 years being dfma. You think about that on that project? That's huge, huge shift in a very short amount of time. And a lot of that has gone to challenge our industry, you may not think that you're going to be affected by it, but you will, it's not so much that you will be doing factory work. It's that you are where you are with your stake in your role in in the process of delivery, you will be affected either through labor be through contract cost, be it through actually taking in product. So what we're doing is we're going to show that we're entering two markets after leaving the Chinese market with our factory in Shanghai, we were manufacturing today and 50 square meter homes approximate 2500 square foot homes that were absolutely aesthetically beautiful finished flatpacked not volumetric, because we joined it in the in the field, we found that when you do not projects for products, you have to have flexibility for the field. So that's when we felt the flat pack was the best way of going, which means that we have to have the best joining systems in the world, which we found. So it takes about a week to put these things up. But we were manufacturing finished product zero defects, zero waste in Shanghai under seven minutes, seven minutes cycle times.
Cycle time for the house, right. And that's the big thing I hope people take away from this show is you better learn the term cycle time and own it if you get involved with DFM a, because the only thing that counts is cycle time and the reduction of that time, because that's how you make your money. It's not you have to stop thinking about the amount of projects you're going to get, like let's say you you buy a piece of form, you're going to put up 20 homes, that is not how you get into dfma because your homes are going to be stuck. You know, depending on the sales of those lots, you're waiting on the market, when you productize our industry, you have to make the market. So what we're doing is a two fold attack. Our project, our our company, which was led by David Payne, my my Aussie friend, we had a company called concept modular, which is actually the company that did this, it got taken over by a state owned enterprise out of Beijing to take it over because it was too successful. So when you talk about, you know why we a trade wars, a prime example of number one, we were caught in the middle of all that, but we have, we still own all the IP outside of the domestic market of China. So we're looking right now at setting up in Dubai, we're finalizing some of the location issues at the port of Dubai, because we need to have supply chain in for everything because Dubai doesn't have anything, turn it around inside a tax free zone productize it and have those products then shipped out as finished product tax free. That's a great power. Plus, we're in the middle of a high growth area of the Middle East, North Africa or Mena right, we can actually also hit it. We're kind of like this about it, Eastern Europe if we wanted to. And of course, you know, India, but actively now, finding the exact location is probably in Central Florida. Because of the high growth of Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami, it creates a perfect triangle where we be producing out of Orlando, all the way from Cape Canaveral into Orlando, and right into Tampa would be our our sweet spot. But we're not going in delivering homes, we decided that in the US market, instead of taking money out of GCS pockets, how about if we put money into it and get market adoption? I like that concept. So. So what we're doing is saying that everything's modular windows, bathrooms, kitchens, just to name a few. And that if we productize this properly in a lean in a lean cycle time, and we get those markets and specific general contractors to say I'm going to take a chance in this I could sell my customer on this, that we would have generic components of kitchens and bathrooms with different configurations, of course, right because it's all done through BIM, and it's drives our CNC machines pretty cool. which becomes a digital asset, right of exactly what's been installed. We also sell them on the concept that it's we are doing a fourth utility of it. And that is built into our modules, which means that in essence, these people are creating massive fullscale echo dots, because as long as I have my it in there, I can have Alexa be the command for the entire home. Alexa, do I need to change my airfilter? Alexa, I have a leak? Who do I call that building as a computer? It finally came true for me from the time of IBM as a student. Why is it integrated into the home where they are? Now here's the big prize of...
Felipe Engineer 1:04:20
You got the hard drive in the wall. Good job. Oh, finally. Yeah.
Paul Doherty 1:04:24
I just hope I haven't created an Etch A Sketch because it's a little hard to shake the house. Because it's so so what we're doing right now with these components is that we're addressing the local market, both from a subcontractor with certain sub contracting with modules along with the GCs to say you could also offer fashion modules, what would happen if we contract with a starchitect? like Frank Gehry, say, Frank, give me eight different layouts that you feel are the best of kitchens, we will manufacture those and be kitchens, by Frank Gehry the collection, the GC could come in, put in to that kitchen blow out a Frank Gehry kitchen for fraction of what he would usually charge still charged to now put money in his pocket. And guess what he's differentiate himself in the marketplace to his customer, the customer gets eight starchitect Designer kitchen, which increases the value of the home where he could never afford to hire Frank Gehry.
Felipe Engineer 1:05:14
Right, that's the mall. And it comes defect free, defect free, frictionless design and construction satisfying the customer at such a high level. Paul.
Paul Doherty 1:05:24
It's gonna be so cool. So we're really, really pumped up about this, plus the Florida market, we're looking to explode even more than it is, especially the Jacksonville area, we're taking a keen look at the mouth of the St. Johns River mayport. That was at one time the jewel, we're looking to actually then take it into the next level. It's an opportunity zone. But we're looking to bring back the mayport Jazz Festival start getting to what the essence of what every place is about. Look at that, like what you've said the elegance of community and understand that putting up housing is not the answer. You've got to create the community around that that people value. And that doesn't mean that you create stage sets I've been lucky enough to work with What does Imagineering is an advisor for years and years and years and years, we actually have a few former Imagineers on staff working on our virtuality theme park right now in Qingdao, China, which is such a cool project. But what we're finding is, these spaces have to be inspirational and delightful if you can, if you can create delightful space, you've done your job, because now it has a legacy to those 150 200 year old buildings that stand the test of time, fashion is fleeting, but when you actually do good design, it will stand forever, and we are in the business of forever. You know, the, our ability to be a disposable industry has to stop because we can't afford it anymore, which is why this idea of modules being at least as a pathway forward of being able to reuse those modules so that I get a return on investment is real. So with neon, one of our suggested paths forward have a demand, because we're building something and hoping they will come right. But you've got to match certain things like healthcare to the need, or the journey mapping of patients, right. So right away, we have to have some sort of medical facilities for the workers because people get hurt. But as population increases and needs increases, that's when you go to like more of a Regional Hospital than to a general hospital. But that's going to take time. But what we figured out is that through offsite construction and modularization prefab, we're able to take certain components, and reuse those and reuse those for a lifetime. True lifecycle. Now all of a sudden architecture and the definition of fiscal assets changes because your ROI isn't, you know, taking a lifecycle approach where you design a building, and it goes all the way through decommissioning that's like so 2019. You know, it's about what would happen if we can take those components and convince the owner that your return on investment goes on and on and on. It's a never ending return. That is speaking the language of business is speaking the language of finance, which we better get really, really good at because the markets asking for I'd mentioned about the digital asset about how we create these almost digital birth certificates both for buildings and components, where we're focused in on right now because we have the good fortune to have people that have great amounts of, of portfolios of real estate, like our friends in the Middle East with the sovereign wealth funds. What we're going to be launching it looks like it's going to be either the second or third week in September is the world's first market for fungible tokens on the blockchain that tied together to physical real estate, the intrinsic value of a $10 million building, I can actually create a securitized fungible token, not on aetherium and not on Bitcoin, because those are failed attempts, really good pioneering attempts, but they're too damn slow. So the reason why Ilan even goes, I'm accepting Bitcoin takes five days for the transaction to go through. Because the way the architecture is set up, there's not central servers. It's a decentralized node network, where everyone on the node has to agree. So if you have 21 million tokens, with all these miners involved, you're talking about hundreds of millions of computers that will have to say yes, in order for the transaction to go through who thinks that's a good idea. Now, if you understand that blockchain is built upon a gaming metaphor, and as long as you play the game, like a pinball machine, in an arcade, you get more and more tokens or points or it's like going to Chucky cheese. You know, the more tickets you get, you get that stuffed animal. That's, that's the basis of blockchain. When you tokenize something, you can have it as non fungible token which everyone loves because it's easy to understand. You can take things like this. These are baseball cards for buildings with stats, Pretty cool, huh? We call them remarkable. Architects. We have the entire city of San Francisco with every one of the iconic buildings done like a baseball card. We have a also for let's say this is rtkl. We also have SLM HDA 25 years ago we did this we were way ahead of our time, because what we're doing now is making these digital which means This becomes digital art, right? with the idea of not just having one sponsor like Lee's carpet or the AIA. This can be on demand. So it's already paid for. Plus, how cool is it to have your building as a baseball card, right? And we're actually now thinking about do we get as almost like a Pokemon type of thing, where because it's gonna be a digital app, you can actually walk a city. And we'll have easter eggs and QR codes. That'll make it a game, right? And we're having a ball with this thing. But we're making the most of our money. People want to own this digital version through an NF T and I'm going, you really want to you want to give me money for that. Okay. I'll take it. But what really switched my mind out of the NFT, which is kind of legit, just like a made up world of collectibles, right? is what happens when you tie that together to real real estate that have real value that I'm now tying it together to the digital asset that securitized and certified by the securities exchange commission, we've done the SEC has now approved our tokens to be securitized. Why, because I have a value asset of that $10 million that give it a baseline. So my building information model is now worth $10 million on the blockchain that securitized now, what do I do with it? Well, let's take our friends over at Epic Games, they have a really great billion dollar company, right? I am growing by the month. Why? Probably because of my son with V-Bucks in Fortnit.,
Felipe Engineer 1:11:25
And my son too, I can't tell you how many expenditure transfers I have to make to Epic Games.
Paul Doherty 1:11:31
Right? Right. Well, they've got to figure it out. They have it so talking with with their folks, they've actually done this collision of industries, hollywood with the Mandalorian and their sound craft volume stage, right using the Unreal Engine, then using unreal behind fortnight, but watch the constant unreal. So what unreal does is that it has a Cronos space standard across the bottom. And what we figured out is that every one of our either pre manufactured components, or offsite modular buildings, or traditional buildings, and infrastructure that we now own, as the owner, when we request from our architectural and engineering friends are our vendors. I'm not looking for BIM, just for facility management operations, I want the entire boatload of ownership of the digital asset forever, you were hired for an instrument of service that was to procure and deliver a physical building, but I'm being a savvy owner, I'm saying and I want the digital rights, I don't want you to own the digital rights after that in some services done. Because now what I can do with it is I can now go to Epic Games. And imagine in Stevens, season seven, when my son and and your and your children are flying into, like parachutes into fortnight on because every adventure starts that way, right? But before that, in the lobby, what are they doing, they're looking at skins, they're looking at weapons, they're looking at all these things to be the cool person on that team to have their adventure. Well, what would happen in that adventure that you're not flying into fortnight Island, but you're flying into Time Square Tiananmen Square, Trafalgar Square, your neighborhood, based upon the digital assets, that we have now licensed to Epic Games, as a form of V book transaction, another revenue stream last year, so it's right last year, in April of 2021, fortnight cleared revenue wise revenue $1.2 billion in vblock transactions, it's only going to grow from there.
So I have a $10 million valuation on that one asset, I'm now licensing it to the number one gaming platform in the world. And every time it's used, it's like, it's, it's like every time a song is played by The Beatles, The Beatles, you know, company gets gets a penny, we're using the same model, the intrinsic value of the digital asset over time will have more value than the physical real estate itself. Let me say that, again, to all the architects and engineers out there, and all the contractors, digital representation of the physical asset itself will have more value over time than the physical real estate itself. We're talking about infinite growth, as opposed to God only made so much dirt on the planet Earth. So you have a finite resource and an infinite resource tied together through the blockchain. Now what gets really cool about this, and this is where my head starts to spin are virtuality theme park in Qingdao. We're now basing a lot of the transactions for food and beverage and merchandise, because that's where you make a lot of money and theme parks because you have a captive audience. We're taking the same model from Disney dollars from back in the day. And with Disney dollars, what they accounted for. And then the numbers are in and around. People who spend 13% more on food and beverage and merchandise by using Monopoly money, right? Because it's not real, and they don't want to go through the process of transacting back to real American dollars. So they'll just spend it as they're leaving the theme park, right on stupid stuff like sombreros, stuffed animals, all sorts of things, right. So we're taking the same model by saying we Want to create an electronic currency digital currency that represents the RMB, their Chinese, you know, dollar. And we will increase benefit and beverage and merchandise, but we're going to base the value of whatever we're going to call this thing. Based upon real estate, real estate back digital currency. For the first time, we have the control to do it, we got the approval from the government, we're going to see how it works. If this works, the way that we think it is, Bitcoin Dogecoin, which by the ways that boaty mcboatface, of currency Dogecoin, all this stuff goes away overnight. Because my mom, who's an immigrant from Ireland understands real estate, you buy it at a certain price, and hopefully you sell it for a higher price, real estate one on one, she can understand your central currency when it's tied to real estate. And that's the big picture about what we're looking at that architects and engineers need to think yes about all the senses for the physical design, but your physical design. If you're really going to do a digital twin, you better start thinking about how people work inside of the matrix. Because what works in reality may not work in the digital world, you may need to rethink how the physical worlds architecture is actually delivered. Because it works better with more people walking through your design than anyone ever would through your physical design. So you're being challenged now that your design is no longer about this earth. It's about the metaverse and the fact that epic figured out that they could cook together Hollywood to gaming, and now with us to real estate that tied together is all based upon those standards. And those standards can create a federated metaverse, meaning that every one of our projects now can be tied together so that you seamlessly walk from experience to experience digitally. This is the first termination that I've seen for real tied to real real estate that is creating the equivalent of the Oasis out of Ready Player One or the matrix. And we're right there. So this federated universes, metaverse is really where I think we have a threshold that we need to sort of lock arms together and go, let's hold our breath. I don't know where the bottom of the pool is. But holy shit, is this fun?
Felipe Engineer 1:17:12
Yes, absolutely. Paul, I love how comfortable you've become with being uncomfortable. If people are listening to this, Paul and watching this, where is a great place for them to go to learn about all of these concepts that you're dropping down on them. That might be the first time What do you recommend to people to learn more? Or to get in touch with you?
Paul Doherty 1:17:28
Oh, well, yeah, to go to get in touch. It's just the digit group comm the digit group it stands for. That's what TD g stands for. It's a poor man's version of a website. And I purposely do that if I spent...
Felipe Engineer 1:17:40
More time it's designed, designed in Nashville. Is that right?
Paul Doherty 1:17:44
Yeah. Yeah, that's, although live in Memphis has spent a lot of time in Nashville. We're very close with the leadership there. And he will be one of the highest growth. urban environments on planet Earth, still, to this day is just remarkable what's about to be announced. I'm not sure if it's public knowledge. So I may get in trouble. But you know, that's my middle name. Sometimes. I'd rather ask for forgiveness than permission is that Oracle is about to make their announcement that they're moving all of their operations to downtown Nashville that complements the 10,000 job move by Amazon out to Seattle to Nashville, this whole thing about HQ to it's all bullshit that's just suits, you know, and marketing people where the real work is happening. And we're talking about Amazon Prime, Amazon, Alexa, Amazon logistics, they just, you know, Nashville airport just doubled its size because they need to compete against Memphis, because Amazon's going after FedEx, they're making a big play where Oracle now is moving into an opportunity zone that right smack in the middle is where the Tennessee Titans play football, they're going to surround this campus around the football stadium. So God knows. But that's, it should be a lot of fun. But just those two companies, Oracle and Amazon, you know, they're what's great about them coming in from a humanistic standpoint, or humanitarian aspect is that they're putting, you know, upwards of $100 million into the public education system. And it makes all the sense because if they're moving their families there, they want to have a high level of good quality education. So it's amazing when you start to see these revitalizations and in the case of Nashville, changing its stripes from being a two dimensional place where you went for Honky Tonk and country western to now a major place for tech for other forms of entertainment choose to have an NHL team in downtown Nashville hockey. like wow. So you know, it's it's a changing generation. I'm liking these, this 2.0 look at an urban environment specifically here in the US, because we don't have to, again have that inherited conversation that everything is designed around the automobile. The reason why we got into the the public transportation business as a real estate developer is that I went to the large Evie manufacturers, you know, the Tesla's gm dolmar or Toyota and I Ask them, you know, do you have a fleet system that we can choose from, that will eventually become autonomous? And he said, Well, you know, we got to drive this car, you're not listening, you know, you're only exacerbating the problem. So, you know, this reimagining of the pop up cities that make up north america is really heartening. We do have forces of evil out there, that do not want that they'd rather see us go back to, you know, being more like the Amish, which would be fine. But you know, it's a place in world for the Amish to, but in the, in the order of progresses, as human beings. And the, and the handing of the torches to these younger generations that are like your three students that are really thinking through this and getting emotionally involved, is going to come down to trust. And that's a very, very difficult thing to give to someone. And it's another thing to also easily be taken away. Sometimes we think of trust, why we put contracts in place, and that's what our industry is all about. It's why we have general contractors, right? It's all that the contract, even those are being reimagined. Especially when you start seeing things like aetherium that is based upon smart contracts, right? And how the IF THEN statements make a lot of sense, inside of our industry to create more transparency, but what you're going to get the biggest pushback is are the people that are making money or are inefficiencies, and they're not doing it on purpose, it's just the way their dad, their granddaddy did it in today's world, you know, things are shifting, and that's part of the digital transformation where people that thought that they had it made by doing things a certain way, all of a sudden, you know, it's the equivalent of no one wanted to put the guy that was shoveling coal into the look motivated business, but it happened. So I expect in this next generation, entire sectors of our industry that just become irrelevant. Not that they don't have work, like I said, so please, some worldly Amish to it's just the trends are going to pass by them. And sometimes that's a good thing. I think our forest fire is well underway. A lot of the old burning right going away. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and, you know, and part of that's also nature, right? I mean, you know, God bless some of the people that I've known through my career that helped me, you know, Harold Adams, art Gensler, these amazing figures that brought us to this stage, I can guarantee you, they're looking down from heaven on us and saying, Now, what's your return? What are you going to do with it? Oh, man.
Felipe Engineer 1:22:23
I love the sky to say one more time. Paul, it's been a pleasure having you on the show. Thank you. Thank you. Very Special thanks to my guest. I'm Felipe Engineer Manriquez. The EBFC show is created by Felipe and produced by passion to build easier and better. Thanks for listening. Stay safe, everybody. Let's go build!