This is a menu of the topics on this page (click on any):
The User Interface
Who Gets the Value We Create
Trust that must be achieved for our proposed vecture to work The Premises Trust needed by all involved Trust needed by the geniae Trust needed by the steward Trust needed by the angel(s) ? How the agreement might work .
This is to provide an introduction to this business opportunity in much the same way I would do it if I could guide you through this CD myself. But this is actually easier because you can click on the links. I can explain more when we get to talk and I'll be able to hear your thoughts. (Please understand that the information on this CD has evolved over the last couple of years, so much is out of date, and there will be broken links where I've reorganized things. (In fact, Bill Parke's TruLink says there are 859 pages with 12598 links of which 91 are broken. With a little effort, we can eliminate all broken links.)
Let's define this business opportunity
as providing software for the real estate development industry.
Specifically, that means the sorts of projects illustrated in the
following two pages:
I should also emphasize that there are other software products that serve operating properties better than we will (in the near term). Our focus is on real estate development as opposed to operations. I don't think there are any really good products that serve the entire real estate development industry. Excel is the software that is most frequently used, and it is used because many projects have idiosyncracies that require a great deal of flexibility. Excel provides the flexibility needed and it does so in a highly acceptable user friendly format. The difficulty with Excel is that one must develop the logic and that is rarely done in a way that is flexible, adaptable and error free.
We have that flexibility because from 1969 thru 1990 I consulted to a broad range of the most sophisticated projects in America and accumulated all that logic in two computer models. I never bothered with a user interface, but whenever a project presented something I hadn't encountered before, I took the time to build it into the generic model rather than build a little adaptation on the side as many people would have done. The projects for which I built models included shopping centers, office buildings, industrial buildings, market level housing, subsidized housing, homebuilding, cable TV ventures, ski resorts and large scale community development projects like Columbia, Maryland.
This is a very big market.
Such projects totalled about $300 billion in 1998.
In determining our market, we might like to pull out of that number total expenditures
for development services for which we can help.
That will include some of the financing and syndication fees,
feasibility study expense, and developer overhead.
If we look at total construction in 1998 and put it into equivalent terms by adding
an estimate of land and development fees, we get the $300 billion per year.
Taking 1% of that, then taking just a third to be cautious,
we get to a market wherein we can directly help of $1 billion per year.
That's a rough estimate of the annual cost of MBA type persons
sitting at desks and doing analysis to justify, plan and manage real estate development.
The User Interface
Some say that "today it's all about the user interface".
The success of Excel certainly affirms that.
But I believe that we have tools now that enable us to build a compelling user interface
that is far more flexible than Excel
and where it will be far easier to get new projects up and running.
I've had many conversations with systems people smarter than I am about how to create an appropriate user interface. All such conversations are about our challenge to integrate three things.
Let's create some more language.
I think you can see where this is going. We need a user interface that is defined by PVP's and not by the mapping of cells. Cell by cell mapping will be done under program control. This should be natural for us since we come from APL. I have defined what I think is a standard format for a PVP (in the context of ProCash & Landev). While I'm sure it will get redefined as people smarter than I am get involved, but for the moment I'm calling it an M1M. Sometimes we will want to string together a bunch of M1M objects and then I call it an M3M. An M3M can be quite a complicated document with many headings, tables, charts, paragraphs, etc. Both are PVP's. Either of these data formats can be rendered in several modes of interactivity and all can be helped with high level objects (Lescasse or other).
This CD has examples of the use of M1M and M3M rendered in HTML and in NewLeaf.
Who Gets the Value We Create
While this is not a good time to be looking for venture capital money,
let assume we'd be successful in seeking it. Here's why I don't want to seek it.
Let's divide the financing of a successful business into several stages
(this illustration is greatly oversimplified; it is meant only to be descriptive).
I want the talent that creates this business to get most of the value created in it. I think there is a lot of work to do and I know very well that I am not qualified to take the technical lead. I'm hoping my having created the black boxes, my knowledge of the industry, and my total commitment to business development and marketing preserves a good part of the value for me, but I'll be happy if the technical, administrative and marketing people who really make this happen get 50% of the value we create. I'd like to postpone our inviting people in as investors as long as we can, and if or when investment is needed, I'd really like for it to be insider investment, not outsiders.
I think this is a good time to develop the sort of technical platform that this software needs. We have Eric Lescasse's Objects, a new APL2000 grid control with printing and superb report writing and charting software from Adrian Smith. The function "PhoenixDemos" in ProCash shows how I've starting using some of these. I think Windows is where we'll start, but the WWW should never be far from our thoughts. Everything we do in Windows should be done with an eye to how we can translate it to the web.
If this interests you, I'd like to talk with you more.