Trouble in River City

Trouble in River City

Earlier in the week I was meeting with an equity firm we’ve partnered with over the years. They are experienced, and just solid folks. We have worked on several projects together, where they provide the equity to the developer sponsor, and we build the project, sort of like a 3-legged stool. That morning, we were [Read More]

Four Ways to Build. Four Lessons Learned.

Four Ways to Build. Four Lessons Learned.

While there are a number of contract forms for building services, they all sort of revolve around these four: Design and Bid. The architect prepares plans and the contractor builds. Fairly simple. Over the last several years, it seems the budgets for architectural design are getting tighter and thus there is not enough design money [Read More]

From Our Server to the Clouds on Both Coasts

From Our Server to the Clouds on Both Coasts

Over the last week or so, we migrated from an onsite server closet to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud, for our email, Excel, Word and the rest of the Office suite. I will not say that the transition has been without headaches or easy, but I was told the change was for good reason. A [Read More]

Steady as You Go.

Steady as You Go.

Last week, I attended a dinner hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. There was a good round of discussion during dinner with those in attendance, all sharing our individual thoughts and perspectives on current business and the economy. While none of this was necessarily deep analytical thinking, it was our “boots on the ground” [Read More]

Question Your Biases

Question Your Biases

Last week, the South–and the world, really–lost a great thinker. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, used storytelling to address the particularly sensitive topic of inequality in a time when discussion was taboo. In the process, she changed the hearts of many. I ran across this video list of inspiring quotes from the [Read More]

On Networking and Karma.

On Networking and Karma.

Networking. At times, it’s the most elusive part of any business and probably the hardest to master effectively. I’ve learned a few things over the years, both from networking the wrong way and also from building some solid relationships. I think my # 1 lesson learned is that networking is highly individual to the person [Read More]

Why Floors Sweat (and Other Unpleasant Moisture Issues)

Why Floors Sweat (and Other Unpleasant Moisture Issues)

I can think of two projects, one in Miami and one on the Gulf Coast, were we found ourselves with unusual quantities of moisture sitting on the slab, within in the top portions. The folks on both of these jobs were not familiar with atmospheric conditions inside buildings and were hell bent that it was moisture coming [Read More]

If Opportunity Doesn’t Knock, Build a Better Door

If Opportunity Doesn’t Knock, Build a Better Door

Milton Berle was on to something when he said those words. In 1984, our very first customer had just raised $30 million dollars through an IPO and we were going to build all their projects in the U.S. I was in my early 30s and life was good. We had enough work to last a [Read More]

No Matter How We Paint the Company…

No Matter How We Paint the Company…

This week I was reminded of something I’ve seen over and over through my years in business. Cost and quality are important, but all things being equal, we will make our “buy” decision by the person with whom we deal, not necessarily the company they work for. Our greatest assets are not in the bank, but our [Read More]

Omit Needless Words

Omit Needless Words

Of all the classroom books I have met, few have had as much everyday impact as Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style,” a classic handbook on composition published in 1918. The infamous rule #13 stating, “Omit needless words,” is a practice revered by journalists and novelists, as it should be by anyone using the [Read More]