Design and Run February 9, 2010Posted by randydeutsch in architect, marginalization, survival, transformation.
Tags: basic services, iTunes, record albums, songs, value proposition, vision
iTunes became a one-stop destination when they broke-up the album and sold songs individually. You no longer had to buy 9 mediocre songs that you didn’t want in order to have the one you did. In the new model, you just download the one song you want.
The full-length album used to be on top. Today, major labels are finding that shorter might be better.
Just as purchasing 99 cent iTunes songs instead of buying the entire album created value for Apple – architect’s clients are being advised by owner’s reps, construction managers and contractors themselves to break-up the architect’s album-length basic services and only use the song-like parts they need.
Paying by the Piece
Owners want architects for a song. The song no one else can do as well.
The Vision Thing.
Owners – with their one track mind – are only interested in one thing.
Owners telling you that they only want you for your design is as empty, superficial and offensive as wanting somebody only for their mind.
Not a system thinker among them, they’re interested in the parts over the whole.
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for a greatly reduced fee?
A number of architecture firms habitually submit schematic designs for projects – and that’s all.
What’s the value proposition in that? How do you make money doing that?
Selected from the architect scrapyard where architects are sold for scrap.
Owners playing the game of Design and Run.
Picking architects over – extracting parts – design ability here, visualization there.
Determining which are ripe for reprocessing and which can be discarded.
Skills often sold at prices substantially below the retail purchasing costs of similar parts.
Often confused with waste, scrap instead has significant value.
To the scrapyard, the primary value of the scrap is what the smelter will give you for it.
Why pay for the basic services album when you can have design for a song?
Under this model owners retain architects for their core competency – design – and go elsewhere for coordination, detailing, documentation…
…design development, construction documents, bidding and negotiation, construction observation.
Architects want to sell by the album – but owners aren’t buying it any longer.
They’re buying it shorter.
Selling the Architect Short
Owners are short of attention, short of cash, short of time – so naturally they sell their architects short.
“It’s a good idea to be able to provide people with shorter, more expedient, more time-sensitive” content, according to publisher Timothy C. Moore.
Like the iTunes song –one publisher has recently introduced for the Kindle a series of short, digital-only titles for professionals who want quick snippets of advice for $2.99 or less.
And so today we have what they’re calling Kindle editions.
And Kindle edition-sized architectural services.
Shorter, faster, cheaper.
Unless architects either find, discover or design a way to reap the value equivalent of the iTunes model for design services – and do so quickly – they may indeed see themselves go the way of the album.