New Business Thinking to Survive and Thrive
Earlier this month I was one of about 200 people who were privileged enough to be given a pre-release copy of “New Media for Designers and Builders” by Steve Mouzon.
Steve Mouzon is an architect, urbanist, author, speaker, and social media wizard. He is well known for his last book “The Original Green”. I was first introduced to Steve as a speaker at a Pella Event in Chicago where he caused me to question the Architecture I design.
“New Media for Designers and Builders” is an e-book available from The Guild Foundation Press. I THINK Steve would like us all to read this on an I-Platform. I was not, however, able to borrow my daughters IPAD – YET! I read the PDF e-book on my trusty Microsoft based lap top using the pdf viewer Bluebeam. It worked FANTASTICALLY – doing all the techo-gadgetey things the introduction promised. The book is a hands-on guide to how Architects and Builders can (and must) use New Media to succeed in business. The e-book itself is an example of the powerful change technology has brought us. The book is DESIGNED to be read on a computer, or tablet. The text, images, and size is user-comfortable, even for an old guy who should wear glasses to read. But the BIG technological breakthrough is in how the reader USES the book. There are small clouds all over that allow the reader to jump on the internet and find out VERY detailed information about EVERYTHING. It is a book that MUST be read, re-read, and re-re-read. A feature I did not use (due to time constraints in reading the book prior to the release date) is the “comment” section at the end of each chapter. Steve really wants to know what people THINK of this book. He promises to make changes and improvements to the contents. This concept is SOOOO big it is hard to grasp. Readers, or perhaps I should say USERS, of the book will be able to submit comments and questions to Steve, AND other readers. There will be discussion and evolution of the concepts presented. EVERYONE using the book will become a part of it.
By now you might be asking: “So what IS the book about?” The book describes the paradigm shift, or new business thinking, that the Great Recession has trust upon Architects. Steve presents an informed argument that the “old way” of doing business is over. AND we will never be able to go back. In some ways it is quite depressing to those of us that are survivors, and were hoping things would “get back to normal.” However, after thoroughly trouncing my old way of thinking, Steve quickly demonstrates there is a way out. By changing how we think, and how we do business we CAN succeed in this New Age with New Media. Personally, I was even more relieved to learn that Belles Firm of Architecture, Inc. was already using and doing many of the things necessary to survive.
Now, I need to work on the shift from better, faster, cheaper to patience, generosity and connectedness. The age of the Company has been replaced with the age of the Idea. Given Architects are Idea people this SHOULD be an easy shift. Time will tell. The book describes the Twelve Media Nodes Steve feels are essential. If you are not using at least half these right now it seems a daunting task to start. I am using about 3-4 on a regular basis, 3-4 halfheartedly, and 3-4 I have “good intentions” of wanting to engage. I DO question if Steve really understands the time constraints of a small Architectural Practice to properly engage in all the New Media.
IF you are looking for an edge in your business this book is a MUST READ/USE. It is written by an Architect for Architects and Builders, however, most of the concepts are applicable to ANY small business struggling to survive.