BIM in the Cloud

The cloud is receiving a huge amount of hype and many industries are latching on to the benefits and having huge success (my favorite, for example, being Xero)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) with it’s large file size, high end graphic requirements and team collaboration approach presents a number of hurdles in regard to adopting a cloud solution.

The topic for this post has been on my list for a long time now so I was quietly stoked to see that Viktor the CEO of GRAPHISOFT has saved me the time and written “Debunking the Myths About BIM in the Cloud”

For further reading you may also want to check out:

The Cloud: Hope or Hype

BIM and the Cloud

BIM and the Cloud, Part 2: The Economics of Private Cloud Computing

Jason Fried – Get Real – Inc.com

I have written before about the book Rework and also Getting Real by the same authors.

One of the authors, Jason Fried, also has a column on Inc that is well worth a review.

Articles I really enjoyed include:

Don’t Exaggerate Your Size

Why I Run a Flat Company

Go Ahead, Raise Your Business’s Prices

I find the way Jason writes is very straight forward and to the point – much like the software his company 37Signals creates!

Ikea and Augmented Reality

I’ve talked a little about Augmented Reality over the last couple of years and have seen many use cases, though many have seemed a little too gimmicky to me and not very practical.

Although this news is over a year old not I have only just come across it and I think Ikea have done a great job in showing a really practical use for AR and also have taken a step at revolutionising their product catalog.

Using their application you can actually place Ikea furniture in your house / office / room and see how it will look. The app uses your phones camera to show the room and places the required objects, which then can be photographed even though they don’t exist!

This is especially good for any New Zealander’s who want to take photos of their house with Ikea furniture – which is still not available in NZ!

Here is a video showcasing the IKEA iPhone application:

Barajas Airport

pano3_small_white

Last week I was in Madrid for 4 days.

It isn’t too surprising that the first piece of ‘local’ architecture I experienced was the relatively new Terminal 4 at  Barajas-Madrid Airport.

Actually completed in 2004 the new Terminal along with it’s associated Satelitte terminal were not opened until 2006.

The terminal was designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, and like a number of recently completed airports has an amazing sense of space.

One thing I found particularly interesting once I started researching the airport is that it was the Worlds 11th Busiest Airport in 2008 – something I found hard to believe as it was a virtual ghost town the day I arrived. Though more surprising was the fact that in the last 24 months I have passed through 10 of the top 13 busiest airports!

A couple of side notes:

  • My camera has a panaramic function but no sticthing software (work that one out!) So I searched the Internet and found AutoStitch – which I used to compile the picture above (make sure you open up the full image) The image is actually constructed of 14 photos with the righthand end having two rows of images. I was amazed to fine AutoStitch managed to compile them all together automatically – I didn’t even need to assemble them in a rough order!
  • The architecture of the airport interested me to the extent I wanted to see how effectively I could model it in ArchiCAD with some of the Tools we develop – check out the results here.

Go Global from Day One

Another of the great speakers at Morgo was Bill Reichert from Garage Ventures who presented his new rules for Entrepneurs.

Andy Lark has covered these very well on his blog.

I especially like rule number 6 “Be global day one.” While this doesn’t mean you need to sell globally and open offices around the world from day one, it does mean you need a global mindset in which to build your business on.
New Zealand is a great place to do business but on the world scale we are an extremely small economy and, if you have a very specific market (eg Architects), it can be extremely limited.

Constantly thinking about how you can build your business globally opens up new markets and large opportunities and also enforces an ‘efficiency mentality’ where you need to consider in a wider context, and in a context where you may never meet your customers face-to-face.

In this day and age the internet has made doing business globally a natural extension to many businesses especially software. Being able to communicate easily and undertake business electronically has broken down all the historic barriers to exporting. This is extremely beneficial to business like ours that are based on the opposite side of the world to our major markets.

In my opinion going global actually enhances a business from a New Zealand point of view – Not only for the founders but more importantly for our local customers. Our New Zealand customers benefit hugely from our international businesses as they get the ongoing benefits of innovation that directly help their work without the cost that would be incurred if we were only selling to New Zealand.

Google making some Interesting Moves

Over the last few weeks Google have been announcing some really cool stuff. All of it designed to move people more towards cloud computing.

The first announcement was Google Wave which Rod from Xero has explained better than I could.

In the last few days they have made a head-on assault on moving people away from Exchange Server to Google Apps and also providing Blackberry Syncronisation.

This does look interesting, it will be interesting to see what move if any Microsoft have in waiting:

Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future

As a first year architecture student 15 years ago one our History of Architecture papers was to profile an international Architect.

All 90 of us in the class had to profile a different architect, so the day the list went up for us to select our architect was quite chaotic!

Many people in the class, including myself, were keen to profile the Finnish-born Eero Saarinen.

Today I received an email from AutoDesSys the makers of FormZ announcing a new 3D modelling program called Bonszai3d that has just been launched as a BETA. The email then had a feature on Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK that has been modelled for an exhibition on Saarinen.

Checkout the Model of this amazing building designed 50 years ago.

Checkout the Eero Saarinen Exhibition.

When I look back on my studies and see where technology and software have come over the last 15 years, I can’t help but think but I could do if I was studying architecture today.

Incidentally, I wasn’t quick enough to signup to profile Saarinen, however, keeping with the Nordic theme I profiled Sigurd Lewerentz, one of the two architects of the Stockholm Woodland Cemetery:

Internet Advertising

Running an Internet Based Business certainly has it’s challenges and marketing / attracting customers is at the top of my list.

Many people have the notion that because the Internet is so far reaching that you have a market place on your door step. What you have is access to a market place but you still need to be found!

Also, using Google Adwords is not a silver bullet marketing strategy for web based businesses – it is an important piece in the strategy but not the be all and end all.

Another piece of the puzzle could be Banner Ads, however the following article provides some very interesting light on that subject:

What If You Ran an Ad, and Nobody Saw It?

The interesting thing about the article is that I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t looking at the ads until I forced myself to look at the ads!

The other interesting and encouraging thing is that paid search ads do work so I’ll keep using Google Adwords as a part of my marketing strategy.