Sunday, December 6, 2009

Great Ride Will!!

If you've been reading this BLOG for a year, you will recall the brief period where I behaved as if I was Will Frishkorn's Charleston based press agent.

Thought you might like to check his status.

I ran into a friend of mine in the last few months and his 15-16 year old son is a talented young rider. His Dad was telling me that he just wanted to be like Will Frischkorn. proof that your contribution has been deeper than you may realize! Great job and keep it up!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

United Breaks Guitars

This proves there is a constructive use of YouTube . . .

A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines. United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar during a flight. Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar. During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for youtube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded : "Good luck with that one, pal".

So he posted a retaliatory video on you tube. The video has since received over 6.5 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was: "Good luck with that one, pal".

Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders.

Here's the video .............

Thanks friend Ralph for sharing.

And Now Onto Solutions

(Photo Frank Gehry)'ve created your program of requirements....and it is marked "draft...for discussion purposes only"...but you have begun to connect the left brain to the right brain and...of your thoughts (and feelings) into a text document which at least makes your conversation with your project delivery folks more meaningful.

I'd like to keep this all simple and arm you with some trade can at least act like you know what you are doing along the line of "fake it til you make it".

So...imagine that you have gone directly to an architect...that's a traditional step. You give your draft of your Program of Requirements to him/her (we'll use him but not trying to make any gender distinctions...ok) and he is already sensing he has a more advanced student/client. You ask for some solutions...or some feedback...or both. Assuming the architect sees some potential with you and or the project, then they will perhaps sketch some elevations and floor plans. They may want some limited compensation and of course this depends about the scope....i.e. adding a bedroom to your house or creating a new office building for your 200 person firm.

This phase of design is referred to as the conceptual stage.

From this exercise you will likely learn:

1) Project is not feasible. Time to be thinking about other alternatives (hopefully you have already done so).

2) We're onto something...but can we do it for the dollars we have in our program? Or can we change this or delete that???? Your on the path.

3) Or...slam dunk....this is exactly what I wanted!

(Option 3 is highly unlikely...but it could happen...particularly if you have a lot of money....I've had hmmm about one client like that out of say 500!) Significantly you will also get a good sense if the architect is someone you can work with....but please....don't confuse bed side manners with skills and abilities. do you check skills and abilities...well....get a list of ALL of the projects the architect has been involved in for the past say year. Make the calls. Your time will be well spent.....Ask questions...probe..take notes. You'll be glad you did.

So many people hire architects because they have great people skills and can sketch like a wild creative....(very right brain yes). But please.....we need some serious left brain at the table. If it is not all available in one package....which it probably is not....then wait for the next post and we'll add another leg to the stool.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ready Fire Aim

I used to have a printout of a saying I heard by some YPO speaker printed on the wall of my office at Pray Construction Company and it read "Lack of Planning on your Part Does Not Constitute a Crisis on my Part". Since I've moved on in my career, I'm not sure if in fact that is the case.....meaning that the lacking of planning...while I'd like to disclaim responsibility...the result may fall in my lap...I'm sure you get the drift.

If you are anticipating a project that involves construction which inevitably involves a sizable outlay of your capital and which will drag you into the mysterious world of those that "deliver" projects...either architects or yourself a favor....create a text document and call it the Program of Requirements. This is essentially what you want to accomplish with your "capital project". Avoid gong down the path of "solutions" at the moment... (solutions are designs or drawings that actually indicate how to accomplish your "program").

Now your program will include things like adjacency's, activities to be accomplished (ok...just say sleeping), finishes, special equipment, any issues with accessibility (please...if you are doing a residence....take it from me, a wheelchair is not out of the question), natural light, acoustic separation, safety, site considerations (i.e. parking/landscaping/irrigation)...the list goes on.

So....once you have put your program together (by the much you want to invest/spend is part of the program as is the time for execution), you will be much better prepared to evaluate the design solutions.

Now...your program will morph as you learn more or more is revealed as your are educated, but you will be on your way to a well executed project. Recall....starting does not necessarily directly correlate to finishing. Know what I mean??? Plan/plan/plan and then execute. This is a strategy and one I utilize on all my works but I know....we just want to get started...OK...don't blame me!