23 Nov Construction still a massive untapped market for startup?
A good reputation for construction companies takes decades to build, being the result of hard work and smart decisions at the right time. Any major problem during or after
construction could affect all the work made so far, even causing the company to make huge losses and go bankrupt. Strict building rules and regulations are made to ensure the safety of the people. Being safety and durability the top priority for customers interested in spending their lifetime income on buying a house. Therefore, introducing a new material is hard for the industry being something unknown, and when we see something unfamiliar that could probably put our-self or our family in danger, is better to don’t take the risk.
Buying a house or office is very different from installing an application on the phone. The apps are easy to uninstall if you don’t like them, but what about constructions? There are no beta version launches, there’s no chance for companies to erase the building and give the customer whole new versions with so many different updates without asking the tenant to leave for several days or months. Knowing the difficulties a construction company has when trying to have a construction startup, also adds to the startup difficulties. Some of them are exaggerated claims and product market fit. For a startup is easy to measure the benefits of new technology, and how much materials, time and cost are saved. Hence, startups can attract lots of media attention and investment, but, after many years of product development, most startups fail to prove their claims.
As a problem or benefit for every industry, the product market fit can be known as a double-edged sword. You can either change the entire market preferences and be successful, or no one will choose your product leaving you no chance of winning at all. Nevertheless, this can be prevented with a market study before making the big
investment. In this situation, when wanting to present an innovative idea for the construction industry, most of the new cutting-edge technology is shown in the art exhibition and as pavilions, being very far away from practicality since a huge budget is needed, time-consuming and often, the use cases are not clear.
A study made by British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA), shows an awareness among the employers of the technology solutions and interest in using them, but,
the adoption rates are extremely low. The project manager of BCCA, Stephen Richter said, “But construction is changing, and with a skilled labour shortage and industry pressure to reduce costs and increase competitiveness, it’s more important than ever to innovate and become a future-forward construction company.”
Even so, a change from culture to innovation is hard for every industry, including construction, involving a lot of concerns for the safety of the clients it’s hard to say yes to the unknown. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but as time pass, the industry is adopting more measurements for the users to prefer innovation rather than common.
Opinion piece by Diana Garcia based on Abhishek Kumar Devjibhai’s text