A’22 – Chicago

Following our release of Spaces version 2, we hit the road for NXT BLD in London and the AIA A’22 show in Chicago.

I was fortunate to have time to explore Chicago – a city I’d never visited before – and see the evolution of the Skyscraper in a single city.

Following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, over 14,000 buildings were destroyed. A group of architects came together and started using new building techniques and what we know as sky scapers began to appear.

Over the following decades, Chicago continued to innovate and as you can see in the photos below a rich history of architecture has been created. No other city in the world can boast such a broad range of styles in a relatively small area.

BEST of SHOW – Innovation Category

Following the A’22 exhibition, the Spaces team were thrilled to receive a BEST of SHOW award in the Innovation category from architosh. We’ve only been in the market for a short time so this recognition was especially pleasing.

Spaces caught the attention of attendees at the AIA (American Institute of Architects) National Conference and Expo in Chicago last week. So it comes as no surprise that it received a 2022 Architosh BEST of SHOW award.


Spaces version 2 – released

Since I was last here, my team and I have been heads down working on what turned out to be our second most significant release ever!

While it’s only a little over seven months since we officially launched Spaces (v1), we have been single-mindedly working towards our recent v2 release.

When we launched, I told people that we felt we had at least 12months more development to build out our core vision for spaces.

We’ve achieved this milestone five months early with a tiny dev team (and me), and I am immensely proud.

This by no means is an indication that we are finished; we probably are only just at the end of the beginning.

Having our core vision now in place, we are extremely well prepared to focus on business growth and expansion and continue improving and adding to the Spaces feature set.

We launched a lot with our v2 release and we want everyone to be able to experience everything Spaces has to offer.

That’s why with the release we announced the availability of an extended 3-month trial!

Spaces – reviews

Wow! I knew I hadn’t posted here for a while, but it turned out to be longer than I thought!

Having launched Spaces last October we’ve been busy continuing to develop Spaces while also building traction in the market.

While I haven’t been posting here, I have been writing articles for our website

I’ve also worked with industry publications to help educate the market about our new Tool.

Spaces might look like a pretty simple tool, but it’s actually got a lot of hidden depth and capability, even though it only launched October 2021… it’s a tool for every architect.

Martyn Day – AEC Magazine

It has been great to read the reviews published especially since they confirm many aspects of our mission and aims with Spaces.

…delightful to find a conceptual design tool for architecture that not only runs on the iPad but is completely aligned to it in spirit and harnesses its full potential… …so that you are literally designing actual buildings on the iPad quickly and fluidly.

Lachmi Khemlani, AECbytes

While I worked closely with Lachmi and Martyn, it was a wonderful surprise to find Anthony’s article on architosh:

…the iPad is merging the nature of trace paper (infinite roll) with the sketchbook, something that fewer architects seem to carry these days but is still incredibly useful. Spaces the app is simply a new form of trace paper.

Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, architosh

Capital Raising

We recently completed a funding round for Spaces by Cerulean Labs.

As a pre-revenue start-up, capital raising represents a vital form of validation while recognising the increased risk the investors at this point are taking.

The process took around six months, with the first three months putting feelers out into the marketplace and making initial introductions.  

To keep the business operating, we opened the round to existing shareholders and a handful of new investors while landing the bigger fish.

While we raised the majority of funds from four New Zealand Angel Groups, the process was reasonably straightforward with Ian Frame for Launch Taranaki and then Graeme Thomson from Manawatu Investment Group taking the lead to manage the internal processes with the Angel Groups.

“A kiwi based in Europe right now is a really distinct advantage in launching a new product on the global market,”

Ian Frame, Chair Launch Taranaki

In the end, we managed to get everything over the line with only a handful of Zoom meetings – I’m based in Budapest and the Angels are all New Zealand based. However, outside of the meetings, the efforts were a lot more time-consuming, with extensive materials and several top quality QA sessions.

The last part of the process was essentially mechanical with all the documentation and was more an administration task.

Having completed the process, with the money now in the bank, we have the runway to support our upcoming commercial launch.

Capital raising is a process that start-ups need to focus on regularly and well in advance of when funds are required. That said, I’m looking forward to a slight pause from capital raising where I can focus on our business goals.

Ship It!

When developing software, there is always more you can do, more features you can add, more bugs you can fix, more improvements to existing tools.

This can quickly spiral into a situation where you want to do “just one more thing..” before you release.

This is a slippery slope and one the requires discipline to avoid.

Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to release low-quality bug-filled software, but it comes down to focus and prioritisation as with everything.

There is always an endless supply of ideas when it comes to new features and improvements, but again you can fall in the trap of releasing features customers don’t want.

This is what “shipping” is a critical part of the development process. Regularly releasing software is a habit and forces you to push features out to users sometimes earlier then you want.

Shipping regularly is hard but worthwhile.

The pay-back though through the user feedback loop is a critical part of the development process. User feedback is a key input for prioritisation.

Shipping regularly forces you to bite of small pieces of functionality and gain insights – pulling you back on track where necessary and avoiding wasted effort.

Shipping is a very rewarding activity. While things aren’t always perfect – and someone crashed your app within hours of release – the great thing about regularly shipping is your ability to make the required fixes and get them out into the market quickly with the next release.

While we always strive for perfection and to be better, it is refreshing to know the next release is only a matter of weeks, not months, away, which also reduces pressure on testing.

We shipped another version yesterday – and it feels good!