Architecture, Startup(s), & Agency …

In February 2016, I made a decision to cease my consultancy work in architecture and move into a director position at the digital agency, Dixon & Moe. For some time now, I’ve straddled the line between working traditionally at an architectural practice and building my first company, Section Cut.

With multiple degrees in architecture and several years as a practicing architectural designer, the decision made me question whether I was throwing it all away. This was an uncomfortable period for me, having spent years learning and training to be an architect, yet still feeling unfulfilled. And then I realized, at my core — I’m an entrepreneur! I’ve co-founded Section Cut, and recently started my second company: Big Fluffy.

"Big Fluffy is a full workstation you can access anywhere there is high speed internet. Changing the way that architecture, engineering, and construction industries think and buy computing power! "

Architecture and…

Rather than dwelling on my economic situation, or ways in which architecture applies to other fields, my decision was centered around personal challenges and growth. In short, I didn’t feel like I was growing in architectural practice. I felt like lot of the work I was doing was repetitive, and I wanted to learn more — and learn faster! I wanted to have the ability to manage my own time and focus on my two companies. While working nights and weekends on Section Cut and Big Fluffy, I came to the realization that I really enjoyed building companies. I love the thrill of it and the business development that comes along with growing an idea. I started to re-evaluate who I was and what I was doing.

Personal: “I want …”

Lately, I’ve been asking myself the big questions any 30-something asks: What do I really want out of life? Am I on the right path? What do I enjoy now? Where does my passion align today? How can I maximize my skill set to provide value to society? What does architecture mean to me?

After contemplation, the answers, to me, were clear: I want to build businesses that help the architecture and design industries. I want to live my life to the fullest and work with friends. I want to focus on bridging beautiful design and technology. I want to build personal and business relationships, and I enjoy problem solving issues beyond the built environment.

More practically, I wanted to join a growing company that already had roots, but where I could have an influence on its culture. This played a major role in my decision to not seek the startup life. I wanted essentially to be part of something pre-startup to really have an influence, but not go it alone.

Digital Agency?

I was first introduced to Alex Dixon and Moe Amaya by Andrew Manto during the Rob|Arch 2014 conference at the University of Michigan. With shared interests, goals, and a background in architecture - we became close friends almost overnight. After a number of outings, beers, and long conversations about architecture, design, and technology, I hired Dixon & Moe to revamp the Section Cut website and move it off our old Wordpress CMS. (This topic for another post).

"We’re a San Francisco based design and software consultancy developing websites and digital products. We brand, build, design, and market, and can help you with your next project at just about any phase." — Dixon & Moe

Then it was time for me to take the plunge, and join the team.

Since joining Dixon & Moe we’ve moved out from an apartment and into real office space. I’ve helped revamp our internal processes, proposals, fee structure and contracts, while also building up our business development strategy: to understand and prepare strategic positioning for clients within various industries.

The more time I spend working with Alex and Moe, I’m convinced that these are the guys I want to build the future with. Together we can align our interests in architecture and bridge design with technology.

Off to the races…

It’s time to get back to work! If you’re interested in learning more or need a sounding board for ideas— don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email:

Thank you Ann V., Alex Dixon, Moe Amaya, and Dan Weissman for reading the drafts.

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