Step-by-Step

In the context of the mission of creating a built environment where everyone feels At Home in the World, we must now do so in a way that is achievable.

We have limited resources. More broadly: compared to our aspirations, we will always have limited resources. If we try to do everything at once, we will certainly fail.

This is one of the most nuanced and important principles of the business. Once the vision is clear, tactically we must understand how to get there on a shoestring, otherwise we will never get there. The most natural way to think about this is through a step-by-step process, in which, at each step, we focus on a very small number of new things. In the words of Andy Grove: “The art of management lies in the capacity to select from the many activities of seemingly comparable significance the one or two or three that provide leverage well beyond the others and concentrate on them.”

If done right, this process will look like a process of ecological succession; for example, when there is a damaged landscape, the first species that will colonize the landscape will be weeds; the weeds fix the nitrogen in the soil, enabling larger plants and brush to thrive, those in turn create ecological niches that allow for a greater diversity of species, and after several stages, a forest appears. Similarly, each stage of our step-by-step process will prepare the environment for the next stage.

Therefore:

Understand the business as a step-by-step process, where each step lays the foundation for the next step. Prioritize heavily the most important aspects of the business that will get us to the next step. Recognize that this means that, especially in the early stages, there are areas of the mission that are important to us that will stay untended until a future date while we work on building the foundations.

Initially, focus heavily on construction services (Scalable and Efficient Construction Operations and Dog: A Programming Language for Construction.) Focus on getting these established as best-in-class in the Phoenix market, then turn focus to design (Community Design Inspired by Christopher Alexander) and sales tools. More generally, use the step-by-step process at every level of scale, and use the Unfolding to help guide sequencing of priorities.

Published May 5, 2019