A discussion with the founder Dan Castillo, AIA ...
After 20 years of projects, I amassed hundreds of versions of specifications and O&M data. It was becoming obsolete because the data could not be effectively maintained. I was spending lots of money reinventing that data for new projects.
SPECWRITER stores that information so that we could find the data, update the data and reuse the parts we needed, when it was relevant, not days later.
Two things made up my mind to develop SPECWRITER. First, I wasn't going to invest in really expensive software than only worked on old computers that only a few people could use. Second, I got tired of the endless formatting errors, multiple versions of the same file and printing massive piles of cutsheets, to throw it away when the data changed.
Q: Why Cloud technologies?
My design teams were becoming more globally distributed with fewer internal resources. Maintaining expensive network hardware and software became counterproductive. The next evolution of our technology was to transfer our data where it was readily available for our team. That technology was synchronized cloud storage.
Q: Why translate your old data?
Design professionals were the first ones into the technology market in the 80's and 90's but somewhere along the way technology warped past us. HTML didn't have much meaning because our vector CAD systems didn't support it. Unfortunately, customers won't sustain that mentality any longer.
SPECWRITER breaks the monocultures of our business models and enters the world of long tail economics. By that I mean, our investment in technology needs to continually decrease over time. Not just buying cheaper products, but gaining more value the longer we use it with less of a financial impact.
Q: What do you gain from cloud technologies?
While I was moving our project files to cloud file storage, I immediately noticed an enormous quantity of generally unorganized files related to product research and technical specifications. We were able to organize agreements, standard procurement documents and technical specification into SPECWRITER. We reduced our storage by 35-40% without much effort during the transition.
Cloud technologies like SPECWRITER will increasingly become the future of our firm as we respond to our clients needs for more convenient and economical solutions. SPECWRITER allows us to accomplish what VPN and Citrix Server solutions could never achieve.
Q: What's the future of technology in your business?
We will continue moving to the mobile platform. I expect to see further integration of the web apps I choose and my primary cloud storage device. Once that happens, I'll never think twice about abandoning my network.
We are stuck with CAD for awhile, but there are some really neat tools being developed which bring promise of cheaper technologies. You can't keep repackaging the same code and selling it for thousands of dollars.
Q: What's the future of your business?
You may laugh, but there is some truth to this. I want to serve my clients and run my business from a table in Jason's Deli! We will continue to develop plural cultures in our work environment. That means architects will work in the same office with advertising and real estate professionals. You won't know who works for what company and you won't care.
My information will be available to me everywhere I need to be. My labor force will have no boundaries. I am hoping someone will turn my office into a coffee and sandwich shop. That would be a great way to share resources. Then someone else can make the coffee!