In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, hosts Andrew Romeo and Anthony Sapountzis talk to Robert Coorey, Co-Founder ArchiStar and Chris Clark, Head of Consulting at Archistar. Archistar creates cutting-edge technology that revolutionises the way property professionals plan, design, and build and in this episode the hosts and the guests interact about how technology has transformed the ways of finding property and development sites and how there are limitless possibilities of leveraging data to meet the goals of the end-users.
Developing a property is a task that can take a toll on anyone—from finding sites to assessing the needs to actually designing and building—a lot of resources are needed. Robert talks about how Archistar helps people do that in a matter of minutes—the customers are helped with finding sites and when doing due diligence; they are even given access to some real-time building designs to show exactly what will fit on that block of land in conjunction with the local government rules. He reminisces how it all had humble beginnings—as most things do. Initially, they had Archistar Academy that provided online learning for the AEC industry for students and experienced professionals alike. Then they built the software that has now evolved based on the data they’ve received from customers who tried their product.
Chris talks about how it was a lot of grunt work—having to deal with sources that were varied in complexity and format. From having to spend 100s of 1000s of person-hours in collating data to doing a lot of automation to incorporating various regulations that various states have—much was put into making Archistar what it is today. He adds that the software continues to get better by the day.
Talking about , there was an agreement that products need to be released in the market sooner than later because waiting to build that perfect product is often what causes an idea or product to fail. The key, as emphasized was, releasing it, taking feedback on it, and iterating it quickly. Robert, in fact, compares it to a whac-a-mole as the tool needs constant and never-ending improvements, similar to how you’d think that you’ve whacked a mole only for another head to pop up.
Over the years, the company has grown considerably. From having Swiss Army knife employees to have grown into a sizable and structured business—it did take the team a long time. That said, the key to success lies in understanding that the following need focus:
· Build fast
· Iterate quickly
· Gather Feedback
· Improve continuously
· Make it scalable
Robert talks about how there is a need to prioritize how software should or should not be based on feedback alone because there really is no shortage of ideas there. The key is in knowing how much can be done and to what end and to prioritize based on reach, impact and usefulness.
Their goal is to digitize the entire end-to-end process and having learnt from their experiences, they believe that they have matured as a company and hope that the business can grow along with the ones who work for its betterment.
· Bringing Value to the Marketplace
· From a Humble to Catering to Growing Needs
· Unique Needs of the States Across Australia
· Evolution of a Team
· Doing Too Much Too Quickly
· Niche Userbase
· Good Product, Happy Users and Healthy Revenue
Key Quotes (Time Stamps)
“Essentially it’s a tool that helps you find and assess property development sites. So, basically our core customer is a property developer who is looking for development sites. They will come on to Archistar. They’ll look for some sites. We’ll help them find them; we’ll help them do some due diligence, some financial analysis in real time; and even then, generate some real time building designs to help them show exactly what will fit in that block of land in conjunction with the local government rules.” (0:55 – 1:23) – Robert Coorey
· “We looked at every single step that we were doing manually and then kind of built that into the software so that people could do it themselves.” (7:15 – 7:21) – Robert Coorey
· “Just make sure that before you jump into building something, you’ve got real clarity on where you’re going.” (8:26 – 8:29) – Andrew Romeo
· “It was really just a lot of understanding the requirements, really going through what it looks like at the start, finding people that can help you. We’ve engaged planners in different states to consult with us the whole time. And really so we become the single source of truth that we wanna be.” (9:20 – 9:38) – Chris Clark
· “It’s like one of those tools. It’s like constant and never-ending really because what you’ll find is that you’ll never really get the perfect tool. There’s always going to be edge cases that you miss or things like that. Or new things come up that you did not anticipate before. It’s just about continually making it better and better. It’s like whac-a-mole basically. Every time you think that you’ve won, another head pops up and you’ve got to whack it down again.” (11:16 – 11:38) – Robert Coorey
· “We’d rather have something out the door at 80-85% than waiting that extra time to get it to the 100% because we know that we can iterate quickly once that release is out in the market.” (11:48 – 12:00) – Robert Coorey
· “We think of it, kind of, like a digital end-to-end platform for property development. So, anywhere from finding a site, assessing it, generating that building design, even going through to like complying with government requirements is even further down that project.” (23:16 – 23:34) – Robert Coorey
· “Our investors have always said, ‘Make sure you’re putting a great product.’ Yes, revenue is important and to grow. But the most important thing is that you’re getting happy users and they are staying along.” (36:47 – 36:57) – Robert Coorey
Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)
The Value that Archistar Brings to the Marketplace (0:53 – 1:33)
· Growing from a Humble (5:25 – 8:04)
· Unique Needs of Each State in Australia (8:50 – 9:55)
· Impact of Capital Raised in the Business (16:34 – 18:33)
· Structuring a Growing Team (20:52 – 23:00)
· Vison for the Company (23:16 – 14:05)
· Prioritizing What to Do (32:14 – 34:47)
Connect with Andrew Romeo
Connect with Robert Coorey
Connect with Chris Clark
Connect with Anthony Sapountzis