How are there only 11 days left?
Newsletter cover photo
Calling our spouse in the next room to come kill this while Googling "what is world's biggest spider"
Hey there,
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Now let’s get to this week's news and notes—

Construction

Inside Unmanned Systems
gives us a look at
the current state of tech in the construction industry
regarding some of the usual suspects: drones, robotics, AI, and 22’’ pancake-friendly electric griddles. Whoops, scratch that last one, we’ve been scoping out Prime Day deals so long that our pupils are now clickable “Proceed to Checkout” buttons. Click the story above to learn what forward-thinking GC’s like Mortenson and Balfour Beatty are doing to set themselves apart from their competitors.
According to data from International Data Corporation (IDC), global drone and robotics spending will balloon to $128.7 billion this year alone, keeping at a projected 25.2% compound annual growth rate between 2019-2023. At that rate, our robot dogs will have robot dogs by 2040.
Digitalization, Connectivity, and Automation are the three heads of the monster guarding the Philosopher’s Stone… of construction. Contractors that approach all three with agility and open arms are those that will last longest in the game. As Mortenson's Lean Innovation Manager Derek Smith worded it: “We’re pushing technology integration to facilitate a virtual living, breathing jobsite. It’s all about telling the story about data that’s collected. If you can’t tell the story, you can’t make effective decisions.”
Another “State of the Contech Union”-type article, this time from
For Construction Pros
: “
How Incremental Innovation Can Benefit Your Construction Business
.” The argument is made that outright disruption, while often put on a pedestal, is less ideal than say, slightly-further-than-normal baby steps.
Per Erin Roberts, Global Engineering & Construction Leader for Ernst & Young: “We’d love to be able to help a client disrupt the whole industry and be the Amazon of the construction world...but I think there’s plenty to do in this incremental innovation aspect of improving what we do today.”
It’s worth noting that COVID-19 forced so many businesses to make those slightly-further-than-normal baby steps in the contech space to stay afloat. It will be exhilarating to see where this industry goes once regulations relax more and the old normal is the new normal once again (and the current “new normal,” with all its name-drops in tech blog subject lines, takes a hike).
This came up fast. Will you be at
Procore's Groundbreak
in 11 days? If you work at Gardner Builders—a Buildr partner and one of Inc. Magazine's
Best Workplaces of 2020
, we'll see you there (
every single employee is attending
)!
Be sure to register
here
, use our code
BUILDR2020
for $10 off the $99 admission price, and come to our booth for swag (or skip the line, schedule a demo with us,
and get your swag now
).
From a press release by
Virgin
, Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group have landed on West Virginia (out of 17 competing states) to be
the 800-acre home to the Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC)
. Thousands of construction, manufacturing, operations, and high-tech sector jobs
are incoming
. Construction will begin next year, though commercial operations won’t begin for another decade. This will officially be the longest and most serious adaptation of
the monorail episode
of
The Simpsons
to date.
From
Construction Junkie
,
an interview
with one of our co-founders, Caleb Taylor, about how Buildr helps folks with the crucial yet oft-overlooked touchpoint known as project handover. Handover is particularly momentous for GC and Owner alike, as repeat business can live or die on it.
Closeout sucks
, but that’s where we come in.
From
Business Wire
, the NEXT Coalition
has officially chosen
five pilot projects meant to protect crews against challenges posed by COVID-19: Kwant.ai, GoContractor, Smartvid.io, Opal, and Versatile.
Back in May,
we excitedly announced
that the NEXT Coalition was construction’s equivalent of The Avengers (with 150+ year old McCarthy obviously being Captain America). Three months later, they finally undertake their first mission (we don’t have blockbuster movies anymore so we’re making up our own).
Arbor
and
Chandan
have released
a joint investment report
detailing the top opportunities in the country for multifamily construction. Can you guess which city came out on top? We'll wait. Speak out loud to this email, it's not weird.
Here’s
TechZone
’s video of
the latest and greatest in construction tech
, including an automatic brick-laying robot and the horrifyingly large JEKKO SPX532 spider bot. Imagine seeing
that
in the corner of your bedroom ceiling.

Non-Construction

Primetime
: Time is a bit of the essence here, so we’ll hit a rundown of
all the best Prime Day deals first
, in case you want to swoop in and grab some Sony WH-1000XM4’s. Buildr calls them "...the best headphones with a name most similar to a child of Elon Musk."
New York Postpone
:
Dune
,
Batman
,
Matrix 4
, the new Bond film and pretty much every major movie under the sun
is getting pushed to 2021 or 2022
. Has anyone seen
Tenet
? We heard it’s confusing, but there aren’t any open theaters near us. We long to be confused.
Apple of my eye
: Miss yesterday’s Apple event? Here’s
a complete rundown of what you missed
. Long story short, there’s a twelfth iPhone and it doesn’t have something you’d prefer it did, so that it can include that thing in the thirteenth iteration (but take away something else, and so on).
There’s a nap for that
: Want to work naps into your WFH gameplan? Here’s
a quick tip guide to napping like a pro
, so you can cure your afternoon malaise for good (well, until bedtime). Some of our greatest thinkers were avid nappers, including Thomas Edison,
Popeye the sailorman
, and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Mike Stonks
: Check out how Animal Crossing’s stalk market is teaching people
how to wisely invest in real life stocks
. Believe it or not, “Berber Jin” is not our pseudonym and we didn’t write this article.
Russell Rebrand
: G Suite
is rebranding
to Google Workspace with a bunch of new, extremely similar app designs.
Black (Hole) Friday
: Here’s
a fascinating article
on marketing in space, and how that Subway on the moon in last year’s
Ad Astra
isn’t as far off as you’d think.
Book you long enough
: Do you like reading and managing your time effectively? Then you’ll love
these six book suggestions
on managing your time effectively.
That’s it this week. If you'd like some news and notes in your inbox every other Wednesday morning,
be sure to subscribe here
.
Until next time.
PS A quick congrats to Lebron's Lakers. Let's finish the rest of this week with JR Smith energy: