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Archability CEO talks Job Hunting on Fox23 News

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Let’s face it, times simply aren’t what they used to for job seekers.  Changes abound from how work is now being delivered to how employees are sought after.

What sets today’s job environment different from previous ones?  How can new grads make the most of today’s evolving marketplace and gain employment? Archability CEO, Livingstone Mukasa, was recently invited to sit down with with Fox23 NewsStephanie Grady to share some thoughts.

Here’s how it went:

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Archability Launches @ DEMO

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As you may have noticed, things have been rather quiet here at Archability. The past several weeks have been devoted to rolling out our new look and some new features, but most importantly, we’ve been gearing up for our public launch, which we’re please to announce was last week.

Archability was invited to join a pool of 70 companies – with the passion, fortitude and insanity of launching a startup – to launch at the DEMO Sping 2012 Conference, in Santa Clara, California.  This bi-annual event, held at the Hyatt Regency – Silicon Valley,  gives startups the opportunity to launch their products in front of an audience of innovators, influencers, investors, and journalists.  For us, this is a not only great launchpad but a way to meet other smart, striving entrepreneurs who’ve taken similar journeys.  Needless to say, we’re thrilled to have received the golden ticket to DEMO Spring 2012.

The atmosphere exuded at the three day event was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The crowd was overwhelming in more ways than one.  We certainly felt the love during our presentation, and at our demonstration station. Thanks to all who popped by to speak to us and let’s all keep in touch!

Sadly, we didn’t get to do much sightseeing in Silicon Valley, but we did have a lot of fun putting the finishing touches on the new product and practicing the demo that was unveiled to a very receptive audience.

Once on stage we had six minutes to wow the crowd of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, journalists and tech enthusiasts. We weren’t too sure if a guy with a big cane would walk out and yank us off if we went over our allotted time, so the choice was made to frame Archability within the context of a short personal story.

Here’s how it went:

Let us know your thoughts.  We are excited to share what we have. We believe we’ve created a product that widens the accessibility of architectural services.  And in doing so, provides where those with these skills can access a steady flow of projects.

We’ve gathered loads of feedback from all of you amazing folk about what you’d like to see, and what you’d like improved.  Your opinions are important.  We will continue listening and working hard behind the scenes to make Archability more relevant and useful.

“DEMO remains the premier launch pad for new information technology products, presenting carefully vetted, market-changing products to an audience of media, investors, early adopters, market thought leaders, corporate acquirers doing M&A work and senior IT buyers from the enterprise,” says DEMO Executive Producer and VentureBeat Editor-in-Chief Matt Marshall in his Archability invitation to Demo at DEMO.

DEMO is produced by IDG Enterprises in conjunction with VentureBeat.

Archability DEMO Spring 2012 Media Release.

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Writing an Effective Project Brief

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Once your project is posted, it will get exposure.  But that exposure will not necessarily translate into interest from providers.  Getting the best results for your architectural or design projects, and generating optimum interest from providers is often determined by how best you describe your project.  The best projects are borne from briefs that are open enough to inspire ideas, while being specific enough to feel workable.

Whether you are a designer or a client, an effective project brief is the single most critical factor in ensuring a successful collaboration .  A project brief is a document focused on the desired results of project.  It should primarily focus on the results, outcomes as well as other objectives of the project.

Why Provide a Project Brief?

  • The purpose of the brief is to get everyone started with a common understanding of what’s to be accomplished. It gives direction and serves as a benchmark against which to test concepts and execution as you move through a project.
  • The ultimate responsibility for defining goals and objectives and identifying audience and context lies with the client. Another benefit of the brief is the clarity it pro¬vides you as the client about why you’re embarking on the project.

Writing An Effective Brief

The goal is to provide as much detail as possible.  You will need to come up with a list of requirements and include all relevant information meet your requirement.  After you’ve posted your project with your brief, it is quite possible that further questions will arise form provider try to get further clarification.  Below are a series of items you should be prepared to provide:

Who are you? What do you, or your business do?

A description of yourself often provides important information regarding the services and type of product you require.  Do not assume that the providers will know anything about you or your company.

What are the project goals?  Why?

  • What is the overall goal of the new project?
  • What are you trying to communicate and why?
  • How does the project differ from anything else out there?

Is there a targer market other than yourself? If so, who?

  • What are your target market’s demographics & phychographics? ie. the age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, employment, geography, lifestyle of those you want to reach.

Tip: If you have multiple audiences, rank them in terms of importance.

What additional images/files/documents are needed?

  • What pictures / photographs / diagrams etc need to be used? Who is providing these?

What are the specifications?

  • What size is the design going to be?
  • What are the critical elements required?
  • Are there any limitations?
  • Where is it going to be used?

Tip: Unless you must, Don’t prescribe solutions.  You are paying for professional skills and ideas, so avoid the temptation to tell the service provider exactly what to do. Instead, be clear about what the project needs to achieve, so the designer can explore ideas. This is where you need the designer’s expertise.

Have you got a benchmark in mind?

  • You should provide the provider with some examples of what you consider to be effective or relevant results. This will set a benchmark for your provider.
  • Provide a list of things not to do, and things you do not like or wish to see in your project. This will give the provider an idea of what to avoid and will avoid disappointment on your behalf.

What Is Your Budget?

  • Providing a budget prevents providers wasting valuable time and  resources when trying to maximize your budget.
  • Providing the budget upfront also allows designers to know if the project is going to be worthwhile to complete. Make sure you are worth their time.

What is the timeframe / deadline?

  • Give your provider a detailed schedule of the project and set a realistic deadline for the completion of the work. You should take into account the various stages of the design project such as consultation, concept development, production and delivery.

Tip: Mistakes can be made if a complex job is pushed through without time to review, however, there are times when a rush job is needed, and in these cases you should be honest and upfront about it.

How will the project be delivered?

  • What Delivery Mechanisms do you prefer? If any require additional costs, make sure the provider is clear that this is covered in your project budget.
  • Describe any formatting issues you have with electronic media.

Remember, the more clues you give about your design tastes, the more likely your provider will be able to produce something close to, or even beyond your goals.

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Tips for Effective Bath Design

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There are so many ways we can shape and change our space to make it exactly what it is we want it to be. More and more, this idea has been expanded beyond the attention paid to our living rooms to other public spaces—and particularly to bath design. The bathroom is an interesting space, indeed. Though it is certainly a public room of the house, it is also one of the most intimate spaces in the home. Some our most mundane tasks are performed in the bathroom, and also some of our most personal. Between all of these tasks, too, most of us spend a considerable amount of time here. Interior designers all over will tell you that consumers are being much more particular about bath design—and for good reason. With the millions of options and the incredible customizability of fixtures, building materials, appliances, and décor; why not? This is one room where personal preference makes all the difference.

Bath design, like other areas of building design, requires strict attention to detail and seemingly millions of considerations. With the help of the right interior designer or architect, however, it can lead to incredible results… and the bathroom of your dreams. Here are some tips for creating your own piece of paradise in your home.

  1. Think outside the box. The great thing about current trends in bath design is that they embrace big and bold. Don’t be afraid to really showcase your personality in this space. Really take your own needs and preferences into consideration. Not a bath person? Think rain showerhead. Put on your makeup in the bathroom? Perhaps having a small vanity would be beneficial.
  2. Think Zen. Remodeling or designing your bathroom is a great opportunity to really embrace serenity in one area of your home. Choosing a motif that is calming and relaxing will not only give new life to your space, but provide you with emotional benefits as well. Don’t forget to tap into every sense when it comes to design for relaxation—aromatherapy along with calmed colors will heighten the experience.
  3. Think before you leap. Whereas we are all excited to get started on our projects and jump in head first, preparation really is the key to effective bath design. Consulting with interior designers is highly recommended, particularly in regards to appliance and fixture layout. A little oops can turn into a very big (and expensive) fix-up. Create a solid plan that addresses not only décor, but the practical and ergonomic makeup of the space.

Whether you want your bathroom to look like a Zen garden or a tropical paradise; whether you are renovating your bathroom to increase your property value for resale, or just want to make your home feel just a little bit more so, great bath design opens your possibilities and allows you to customize your space in a way that only great interior designers can. Designers and architects are here to help us realize our perfect space—so consult one on your next bath design project and make it yours.

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Photo by Kate Ter Haar

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The Spaceship that Jobs Built

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Skip ahead about 2,000 years and think of the ruins of buildings that humans (or otherwise) might experience — much like travelers see the Acropolis today.

Apple’s newly proposed headquarters might spark speculation as to its purpose. A perfect circle, standing four stories tall, that housed 12,000 workers — and bucked convention by burying the parking lots and doubled the trees. Oasis? Maybe a temple? A killer shopping mall?

Or maybe a landed spaceship, as Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, described it to the Cupertino City Council on Tuesday night.

Boasting the world’s largest piece of architectural glass, the circular structure would be built on some former Hewlett-Packard property that Jobs’ team bought.

As Steve puts it:

It’s a pretty amazing building. It’s a little like a spaceship landed. It’s got this gorgeous courtyard in the middle… It’s a circle. It’s curved all the way around. If you build things, this is not the cheapest way to build something. There is not a straight piece of glass in this building. It’s all curved. We’ve used our experience making retail buildings all over the world now, and we know how to make the biggest pieces of glass in the world for architectural use. And, we want to make the glass specifically for this building here. We can make it curve all the way around the building… It’s pretty cool.

The entire area to be renovated is about 150 acres, according to Jobs. The campus design would actually increase green space and landscaping by about 350 percent more than at present. Campus parking goes underground to help increase the tree count from 3,700 to 6,000. The senior arborist at Stanford is overseeing that aspect of the project.

However this turns out for Apple’s new iCampus (you heard it here first!) or the City Cupertino, it is refreshing to see architecture and sustainable design being trumpeted and taken seriously by a huge corporation.

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Finding Great Talent

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Great talent is hard to find. The recent global recession has only exacerbated the situation. And while this talent has been riding out the labor market Ice Age in an office or a cubicle somewhere, technology and the internet have been changing the work environment at a dizzying pace, and making the job of sourcing talent more complex, turbulent and inconsistent than ever before.

Here’s what you must know in order to stay relevant and keep your talent pipeline brimming.

A-level talent is already plugged into new technology. They are savvy and comfortable with using online job-search resources and are occupationally mobile. They are the antithesis to traditional labor concepts. And as you read this article, they are already roving the internet, tapping colleagues and looking for new opportunities.

So how do you find and acquire them? The simple answer is: Get on the internet. But the true answer is deeper and messier than that. You are going to have to fully commit to plugging into technology and the internet to source great talent. In addition to technology – people in general have changed.  They want personalized experiences in their job search, faster and easier methods to apply, efficient means of displaying their skills, and constant communication throughout the process. In order to find great talent, you must be engaged and active in all of these tactics and opportunities simultaneously, around the clock. And let’s be honest, if you had the time, money, resources and know-how to do this, you would already be doing it. Maybe you’ve tried some of these tactics to no avail. But chances are you need help.

By engaging these new mediums and tactics to source A-level talent along with the tried and true recruiting fundamentals, you will build the visibility and credibility of your brand. And when you do that, the tables are turned: A-level talent comes looking for you.

People also need to consider how they can best add value. The complexity of the recruitment landscape means becoming bogged down in transactional tasks, at the expense of more strategic priorities – acquiring A-level talent.
As a result, people and companies are shifting their focus to outsourcing the talent acquisition function as they realize they cannot (and should not) be all things to all people.

Outsourcing some of the functionality can free time and resources for people to start to look at how they are meeting more important and strategic goals. You need a partner who’s plugged into understanding your industry landscape, the competencies a candidate must have to succeed in delivering your projects, and the quickest and cheapest way to beating your competitors to the best talent.

Archability is that partner.

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Welcome to Archability

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By a show of hands, how many of you have spent a good deal of time scouring the web looking for someone to render a design concept, or maybe complete  some CAD work, or even write up some specifications?  By another show of hands, how many of you have spent ample time browsing through the collection of freelancing websites out there seeking specific architectural projects for you to land?

You may put your hands down and search no longer.  Here we are, your place for the sourcing and crowd sourcing of architecturally related projects.

Its been a long road to this point as ironing out of kinks and functionality always takes more time than anticipated.  But we’re finally pleased to present ourselves, and look forward to being of assistance.

What sets us out from the rest?

Well, for those of you looking for people to employ whether for a few hours, days, or weeks, we offer the only venue exclusively for architectural and related services.  You may post your projects and award them to appropriate freelancers at no cost.  You pay for the full cost of the services you award, nothing more.

For those looking for work – and yes, we know exactly how much time you’ve spent looking over the past two years – here’s where you can bid on projects, and win new clients.   No need to subscribe to anything.

Over the next few weeks we’ll roll out our unique Archability Advertising Platform, a tool that will support this website by allowing you to generate and manage your own advertising campaigns.

In the meantime, drop by this blog to learn more about Archability, hear what’s in the pipelines, along with the occasional banter on the all things architectural.

We’ll be sharing more in the days and months to come and look forward to the conversations ahead.

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