The ConTechCrew 239: Stop Building Tower of Babel Tech Stacks! with Bassem Hamdy from Briq
Construction Tech News
Construction is the world’s oldest industry but spends the least amount of money on innovation. When we realized people outside and inside the industry, did not typically associate with construction technology like virtual reality, apps, and robotics, we started The ConTechCrew. Each week we bring our listeners the latest in ConTech news and interview the minds behind the technological innovations, changing the way we build.
So, strap in, enjoy the ride, and geek out.
It’s ConTechCrew time!
JAMES: Man, oh man. Back with you again. It is the 4th quarter of 2020 now. I cannot even wrap my brain around that, but it is here, and we are still here hanging and having another great show, hanging out with my good buddy, Jeff Sample. Jeff, what is going on, bud?
JEFF: You said 4th quarter, I feel we are down in the 4th quarter, we are getting our GOAT, we get our Tom Brady on here. We are going to come back. We are going to end this 4th quarter. We could throw some touchdowns. What a way to start it off. We got Bassem Hamdy with us, come on!
JAMES: Oh, geez!
JEFF: I could feel that energy right now, we are going to have a good geek out, we are going to have fun. I thought we are going to turn this thing around guys.
JAMES: We are going to have a good geek out. Let us not bring up Brady since he bombed his 4th in 15, with a minute left, he forgot what down it was, which is so disappointing. Tampa Bay had a good shot at winning that game and he forgot that it was 4th down. He dumped it down low to the guy’s feet because he figured he had another down to go. And then they were like, that is it, the game’s over. And he is holding up his fingers like 4. No idiot, you just had your 4th down and that is it. I guess that is what happens when you leave Bill Belichick, and he is not there reminding you what down it is anymore. Anyway, on from football. With us, the Bassem Hamdy. He is Canadian, but he lives in California. What’s up buddy?
BASSEM: There you go. How are you doing, man? You look great by the way. I do not know if anybody at home can see this, but that is not an optical illusion. You are tiny.
JAMES: COVID has been good man. I have been able to measure everything I eat and then drop a bunch of lbs.
BASSEM: Are you sure that is not a filter on your camera?
JAMES: I am sure. I have had a lot of fun man. Being around the house has been good. Getting to exercise, man, it has been good. It is so good to see you joining us from beautiful Southcentral, I always call it Southcentral California.
BASSEM: Yeah it sounds like we are in the Ghetto.
BASSEM: No. Carpinteria. Beautiful Carpinteria.
JAMES: I know Carpinteria. It is gorgeous. So that’s just North of Los Angeles, South of San Francisco, so it is like central coast–ish.
BASSEM: That is right. Central Coast.
JAMES: Yeah, but it is the South part of the central coast. That is why I was going to say, South–central but that does sound a little bit different. It is an amazing, beautiful place. I love it over there. Probably my favorite part of your neck of the woods is the Ohio Valley.
BASSEM: It is crazy ever since Megan Markle and Harry came into town, it would be an inundated from people from LA. People are buying houses in seconds. They are fleeing LA. The towns changed. There is a lot of gold land bows now.
JAMES: Yeah. Some highly portable people.
BASSEM: And that is what is happening out there right now.
JAMES: Well, it is hilarious when you talk about supercars. I love cars. I love it. I love anything that goes fast. Like Ricky Bobby, I like to go fast. And I have been watching some great videos of guys who have taken the Tesla model, the highest–end Model S. They strip it down to the metal. They just put a sports driver’s seat; they take all the interior out, they take all the weight out, and they have been drag racing against McLaren’s and Lambo’s, and they are slaughtering all of these high-end supercars with a stripped–down Tesla.
BASSEM: No kidding!
JAMES: Yeah. It is not even close, Bassem. They are just absolutely plowing these into the ground. And I have been watching this great series. And for those of you out there who are regulars, our regular crew that hangs out with us, if you have not watched Long Way Up with Ewan McGregor, he partnered with Harley Davidson, and he partnered with Rivian, the electric truck company. And therefore, it is so cool for construction because you can see the future of electric–powered equipment. They freighted Bassem, from Wisconsin and Michigan because Rivian is in Michigan and Harley is in Wisconsin, two prototype electric Harley Davidson’s, and two electric prototypes, serial numbers 1 & 2 of both companies, electric Rivian trucks. They put them on a freight container, shipped them down to Patagonia, to the Southern tip, Tierra del Fuego, and Ewan McGregor, and his best friend Charlie, are driving these things from the Southern tip to Los Angeles. They finished in LA. And it is 20,000 miles. All electric. It is wild to see all the challenges they are having and all the victories and the failures. You got to watch it on Apple TV. It is such a good series.
BASSEM: That sounds awesome.
JAMES: Oh, it is a wild journey. What is cool for me Bassem is it runs through a lot of my company territory. We have big operations in Argentina, and they run right through the two cities I have offices in. They drove right through them. And then they go through the Bolivian desert, oh, it is so amazing, but it spells out the future of electric cars. That is awesome.
BASSEM: That is amazing. I am still on gas.
JAMES: Oh, me too!
BASSEM: I just started driving this Vanderhall. Have you seen the Vanderhall?
BASSEM: You should look it up. It is a fun little thing. It is a three-wheel car in California, and you just pedal to the metal, it is aspirated turbo. It is not very safe. Do not think it is safe, but it is safe to look at it. It is called a Vanderhall.
JAMES: Is it like a Slingshot?
BASSEM: Yeah, the class you are looking at, it does not look like the Batmobile, it looks like an old school roadster. It has a wood steering wheel. It is cool. It is something fun on a Saturday afternoon. Let me tell you.
JAMES: There you go. Jim’s bringing it up. Yeah. That is awesome. If you do not know Bassem, Bassem is super into all things stylish, whether it is clothing or cars, or you name it, he is stalking. We are going to come back to Bassem in just a second. Remember he never missed an episode of The ConTechCrew by having every one of them sent to your email inbox. Just text ConTech to 66866. Get the show notes, the articles, the discussion, text ConTech to 66866. If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, remember we have an open text line that you can call or text. That is (979) 473-9040. Feel free to text that and check it out. I do regularly interact with listeners on there. Many of them just want a quick answer to something. Do not want it to be on the show and that is fine, but you are welcome to text me anytime and we can have a good chat. And it is always good to hear from listeners and to have some conversations with them. So please hit me up on that Google voice line.
Let us jump to our cause of the show. And if you are watching on video, we have a little icon for this in the corner. According to the CDC, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide, as well as the highest number of suicides across all occupational groups. To combat these statistics, contractors, unions, associations, industry service providers, and project owners must work together to stand up for suicide prevention. The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention is raising awareness about the risk of suicide within the industry and providing suicide prevention resources, and tools, to create a zero-suicide industry. Visit PreventConstructionsSuicide.com for more information.
Now look, Bassem, we have had you on before, but I want to do just do a little recap here. You are Canadian, you live in California, you got a Bachelor’s in Finance from McMaster up in Canada, and you are like, man, I got to get to work! You ended up working at two of the powerhouses in construction technology at CMiC and Procore. You were EVP of marketing; you were Head of Enterprise Strategy at Procore. You were Chief Marketing Officer at CMiC, but two years ago, man, the call came knocking. And you are like, it is time.
BASSEM: I wanted to follow in your footsteps.
JAMES: Come on, baby. Come on. And you are more than doing that. You have a high growth construction tech from Briq. The original name was something else. I do not want to confuse people by saying it. We are not going to confuse people by saying it, we are just going to say it is Briq. The website is br.iq, which is brilliant. And just tell people a little recap about you. You grew up in Canada, but what did you envision growing up, and then how did you end up leading Briq?
BASSEM: I got my first computer when I was 10 years old. And I was really in the closet about being a computer geek because you go to school, you do not want to tell everybody, you know I was programming in BASIC overnight. I would cover that up and I decided I wanted to go into business school. Did not want to tell anybody that I liked technology. What ended up happening though was, it grabs you back on the technology side. I went to England, joined a trading desk, but I hated banking. And I got tied into these technology products and then the Dot-com boom started. As soon as that started, I said, okay, I got to get to a startup. Let me get back to Canada, and I joined CMiC, we were a tiny company. They had a couple of big deals. One of them was Turner Construction. And, at 24 years old, not knowing anything about construction payroll, I got dragged across the country for a year and a half with Turner. And that was trial by fire. I also worked with a company called HRH in New York, and I just fell in love with construction. And the rest is history. I thought I was going to be at CMiC for six months. Oh, I will get a real tech job in construction. And ultimately, it turned around. 20 years later. I am still there, in construction tech.
JAMES: That is awesome. I like talking about the origin stories of companies. What is the origin story of Briq? You are at CMiC, a major construction ERP platform, running marketing, then you are running marketing and enterprise strategy at Procore, a major project management platform. Through that process, you had to see some gaps in the market that needed to be filled. You saw some problems that were not being solved. What was the original foundational principle and the problem you saw and what has Briq evolved into?
BASSEM: The number one thing I would see is, I would walk into a trailer and office. There would be two monitors running, one running the software we sold them, and another one running Excel. And the real work essentially was happening in Excel. They were consolidating CRM data and accounting data so they could do a backlog report, or they would be consolidating potential change orders out of their PM system with real change orders, and what we thought the current budget was out of accounting. And they throw that into Excel and then they would send that a hundred times over to dozen project managers. And then they would send back more Excel so you would always see this thing where, no matter what we sold them, they only bought it to solve that one little problem. They bought CMiC, so they can do better accounting, or they brought project management software from Procore so they could track RFI’s and collaborate. But the real problem of making data–driven decisions, which sounds like a lofty goal, but the reality is that, in construction, most of our decision-making is intuition–based.
And we got some great people that make intuition-based decisions, which is what is in my gut. And as the gut ages out of the industry, you start asking yourself, well, how do we make better decisions? And if that is the problem, how do you solve them? When we started down that path, we said, well, we need to organize the data. And it sounded a lot easier than it is. And a couple of years later, we finally broke the back on it. And so essentially when we looked at how do you make this better? How do you give the right person, the right piece of information at the right time to make a good decision? We came up with three reasons, three things you got to do. One is to get rid of Excel.
JAMES: Preach! Bring the heat!
BASSEM: But we broke the back on it a little bit because one of our products looks exactly like Excel. You can do the same formulas in Excel.
JAMES: You got rid of Excel by mimicking Excel.
BASSEM: That is right.
JAMES: Without all the unstructured garbage. You brought structure to it.
BASSEM: You brought structure to it, and you know, Excel is dead along with Excel. There is a couple of important points in Excel. You know everybody does fee calculations a little differently. Everybody does contingency calculations a little differently. If one software company has one stringent screen that is hard to enter data into, it is hard for it to be flexible enough across clients. When you do these, what we call Briq workbooks that look like Excel templates, you can do a lot of your work without calling a developer. I call it a low code, zero code forecasting system. You go in there and you open your old Excel spreadsheet and Briq makes some modifications and then you connect it to the data store. So that was the big winner. That is why we are growing so quickly.
The other one was to get rid of double data entry. The fact is data are latent and there are errors in data when you start fat fingering data from system to system. And the idea that an API is going to connect all these things is silly because software companies do not have developers. And you cannot predict every combination, which is 100 factorial of combinations of technology so you can build these prebuilt widgets. It is just not realistic. Replaced double data entry and unnecessary tasks. If you are entering in something more than one time, like a budget into accounting and project management, use something to eliminate those tasks.
And then the final thing is, how do you get a universal vernacular? It is like your company needs a Rosetta Stone needs a data dictionary so that when you are looking at the word cost, regardless of who you are, or where you are, it means the same thing, which sounds very simple, but it is not a thing in construction. And having that data easily deployable. And one of the biggest things that we added to the platform is to break down the wall of, hey, I need a dashboard, I need to know how to use this software. You know Briq’s opening screen is a search bar. If I want to know what my 90-day trailing revenue is, I ask the system, if I want to know, how much money do I have in backlog, I ask the system. If I want to know what projects are at risk, I ask the system. I do not need to know how to use the system, I just need to search. And when you have broken down that wall, so that you have a common vernacular, Briq comes in German and in English, so if you know how to speak German or English, you can ask a question of the system and it is going to deploy data. So that is how you get to do better data–driven decisions. Drop Excel because it de-normalizes your data. Get rid of double data entry. Have a common vernacular. It is like stop building the tower of Babel with your technology stack. It is just, everybody is bolting on these solutions at such a rapid pace with no concept of the foundation that it is built on. And Briq is that platform foundation.
JAMES: Yeah. And you did it using some innovative technologies. Your elimination of double data entry was done with RPA, Robotic process automation, which are software robots that crawl the software like a human would, and then extract the data, so you do not have to worry about the API. What API? I do not care. Then the search is done with an NLP natural language processing and NLP search engine that is using right some nice fuzzy logic; so you do not have to be a math genius to figure out how to write a query, right?
BASSEM: Exactly. It is a plain English sequel. That is exactly right.
JAMES: Yeah. And there is a lot of computer science involved in replicating Excel. People think that replicating Excel is easy. Microsoft has spent billions of dollars on that platform.
BASSEM: And all these guys on the net, think about it, Excel is unlimitedly scalable. You have all this Visual Basic you can add in, macros, and all that. It is not an easy task. One of the things that we did was, even though it looks and feels like Excel, you can do all the same V-lookup formulas. We offloaded a lot of the processing out of the browser. If you are doing something an S curve calculation on a forecast sheet, that complex calculation happens in memory and then gets redeployed into what looks like an Excel spreadsheet. One thing that makes Briq easier to sell, is that when you show a CEO or CFO, their WIP schedule reading live data from their thousand-year-old accounting system, they are like, okay, just sign me up. Can you imagine you are using the same software they bought 30 years ago, that is on a pervasive database? We all know who this is. And you are like, what are you going to do with this data? Thousand years of data? And essentially you could press a button and it gets read into what looks like Excel. It is a slam dunk for a CFO.
JAMES: That is awesome. Jeff?
JEFF: Well, it is. It is a platform and you hit on a couple of things there Bassem because we are also seeing, you cannot tell what systems your companies are going to have. You guys have built a platform and talk about how, we are seeing larger and larger companies, but we are also seeing consolidations. In a consolidation process, you have to know that WIP report, not just for this division or this company, but you have to know it for a couple of different companies. And what do you do? I have come across a couple that is going to try and bolt all of those or go to one single ERP. And you built a platform. James, you took me there, you hit the robotic process automation, you guys are using some analytics BI in the background, you are doing some other things to combine all of this. How did you get there? Because you have been on an interesting path. This is not where it started. And is it where it ends though?
BASSEM: It always started with trying to organize the data and creating this universal schema. I know this is a tech show, so we can tell you use words schema. It is like building this knowledge graph of construction, so think about something as simple as an RFI number, right? If I run BIM 360, an RFI number is fundamentally different than if I run PlanGrid, Procore, or CMiC. The ontology, the knowledge of what that thing is, RFI number; the systems that run it; there is no dictionary for it. In BIM 360, you know it is an RFI number because if you read the screen and as a human, I can say, oh, that is an RFI number. I get it. And if I go to Procore, I can read the RFI number as well. The challenge you get in organizing data is that you need to give it that ontology. You need to give it the data meaning. And that is more than buying snowflake and trying to bolt on a bunch of data warehouse. That was the biggest challenge, is how do you give data meaning, that is the same data between multiple systems. That is the big, gnarly goal. And that was our competitive mode.
Let us say, you got a great general contractor, and they were running Procore today, and now they are wanting to buy something else or whatever. Underlying all of that, if they rip out that system and put a new system in, the RFI number still needs to be able to be reported on regardless of what the background system is. And I should be able to create a report or a log that shows every RFI from the beginning of creation to today, regardless of what system I was running, whether that was Word Excel, or, one of the major systems out there, that is the challenge. How do you give the construction data meaning? You create, you mentioned web crawlers, you create indexing, you create data dictionaries, and then you build this Rosetta Stone in the background that a client can just plug into. And that was the goal early on. We want it to be a protocol. We were like, I do not want to do any of this front-end stuff.
I just want it to be this data warehouse. Snowflake had the right idea. You do not have to deal with clients. It is great. But in construction it is a little different, you need to be full stack. We started with this goal of just being a data warehouse. Then we moved into, let us go beyond just being a data warehouse. We are going to have to have some front-end stuff, so we added Search BI, Excel Look and Feel, and then obviously the front end for automation. And we talk about these automation bots. They are amazing. One of our clients out of Washington used to wait weeks to get a budget out of an estimating spreadsheet, into their accounting system and their project management system, and three different people touched that.
The estimator, the operations person, and the accounting person. Now they drag it into Briq, and this magic computer does the double data entry for them. And it is not just reading something and putting it in a CSV import, it is reading and understanding that this estimating code needs to be associated with the CSI code. That is intelligence. That is not just a CSV import, it is got to make decisions. And the more the computer can make those basic decisions, the more you can make the more important decisions, like how to make your job safer, how to make more money. The fact that you sit around wondering, hey, what cost code should estimating code 33 million goes to, the less time you are building a successful project. And that is why we need to build that index. And that’s why Briq is doing so well.
JEFF: Yeah. And you guys are blowing up, some of the ideas that people originally thought we were going to have to do, and you are freeing people to like, there is this idea of homogenization because what we need connected systems, so we have to homogenize ourselves and pick whatever thing is the lesser of 10 evils we say at this point. We got to pick the lesser of 10 evils here. And now you are saying that, not only in the internal project teams can sort of, I wouldn’t say have a full kit of parts, but they can pick their systems as an organization that works for what they do internally, and then partner with other companies and layer this on in the middle, to do those connected things. Because there is always every time I come across anybody, well, do you have an API for that, we need to bolt that together.
And it is like, you said it earlier. Yes, software companies have developers that can work on that, but is that the key to progressing their product? Probably not. And yes, you large contractors have developers, but is it the best use of their time to do that; or is it the best use of their time to make what works best for them, and blow this thing up. You may have gone a little deeper than some of the listeners. What I am hearing is you can, and there are a couple of articles we are going to cover later that follow this is, you are going to help say, listen, get your own thing in order. We can help you organize that, but we can also help you organize externally, too.
BASSEM: Yeah, exactly. One of the biggest problems that we have with technology and construction is, most of our clients have one IT person that comes in a half–day or a day a week. They just do not have the margin to hire 20 people. When they say, okay, you need, trust me, I have been on both sides of this coin, right? One was you got to buy everything from the one vendor in Canada, or, hey, we got this marketplace, and you can only buy from this marketplace, and sometimes we are going to overlay our tech on that marketplace. Those are your two options. # free your data. There is another option; and it is that a technology company has to come around and say, I am agnostic to what PM solution you use, or what accounting solution you use.
And the combination, for example, if Rhumbix is a partner. If Rhumbix is the right time tracking tool for you and the guys want to use, and the girls in the field want to use Rhumbix, and it does not have a preexisting API, then you are going to use a lesser time tracking solution. It does not make sense. Why? It does not make any sense. Why are not you allowed to use what you ought to use without calling somebody and you are an accounting software company, it is madness.
JEFF: Well, yeah, that is my favorite thing. Oh, well I want that, and it does everything I want, but I cannot take it because it does not do this. And you are like, yeah, oh really?
BASSEM: So that is that for your data moment.
JEFF: Is that your hashtag? Can I follow that?
BASSEM: I throw it at you all the time, #ForYourData.
JEFF: I love that. #ForYourData, for your company, for your data, unleash your power.
BASSEM: Exactly. And something as simple as a proceeding change order, not getting track through a workflow. It is just basic workflow management. I call it the leverage curve, right? At the beginning of the job, contractors have a lot of leverage at the end of the job you have very little leverage against your owner if you are a sub against your GC. The longer you age out a change without getting written authorization, the more risk your job is at now.
BASSEM: Now that sounds very simple to somebody outside of construction. Hey, just track your changes. But when you exponentially calculate those changes across the jobs you do, across the locations you are in, that becomes a much harder problem than people realize. And it is funny when we hire technologists outside of construction, they are like, hey, I solve that video game problem. And it was like, well, that is an easy one. Tell me how much that change-over is going to cost. That is a real challenge. And the organization is important.
JAMES: Yeah. It is fascinating. And what I am excited about too is that we have been trying for a while. And Jeff Jeff’s been with me for a lot of this ride. Benny Baltrotsky good friend of mine and I got together a decade ago and said, let us try and create an open standard, and then we hooked up with the AGC and we looked at their AGC XML standard that had not been adopted anywhere at the time. And we said, let us bring a group of technology companies together to try and get this adopted. And then we evolved it and then built it up. And then eventually the construction progress coalition took it over. It has been a decade of effort. And then before that, another three to four years of effort at the AGC to try and get people to use a common data format, to exchange data through an API and an XML file.
JAMES: That is an enormous amount of energy and effort. And the reality is that we have gotten tech companies to have APIs, but they are not using standardized APIs. The API is they are using, understandably, and if you have ever had to run a tech company, you understand why every single data call cannot be in an API, there are reasons why that there are some things that you can do in the application, but not in the API. You said you know what, we are going to go to RPA and just bypass all of this. And you built some intelligent RPA bots that can detect minor changes in the user interface and adjust them without having to be reprogrammed, which is nice. And you said, look, oh, we are just going to bypass the lack of standardization. And look, when the government does not come down and set standards, this is what happens. In general, right? It creates an opportunity for private industry to be, what used to be called middleware, now is called the automation and analytics.
BASSEM: Yeah, 100%. Exactly. There is no profit motive for standardizing the API call. Briq’s profit motive is to be that standardization. When a software company says, okay, I am going to write a tool that connects me to multiple other tools. The problem is, is when that company hits, in construction, you hit maximization. There are only so many construction companies in America, in North America. So eventually you have to write other software packages that do the same thing as those companies you are partnering with to expand revenue. And the moment that happens, the profit motive of the connecter, is much lower than the profit motive of building another timesheet tool, or a CRM tool, or bolting those all in together. And then the worst part of it is, the moment one of those big software companies, Big Blue, Big Orange, Big Red buys that tech, all that collaboration in the community goes away.
I talk about the USB port, right? A computer has a USB port, it is universal. It is universal because you want to use multiple peripherals. That is why it is universal. And if a computer cannot use a peripheral, it is not going to sell. They want to use the USB. So that makes sense for standardization. But connecting a timesheet program to a competitive timesheet program on a growth platform, that is not one of the reasons for standardizations. That is a way to kill your company. There had to be a company that just does not care about that. Use whatever timesheet tool you want. I do not care what accounting solution you use. We just got to be the foundation and platform for your data. That was always the Genesis of the idea. How we got there from a backend perspective has shifted over the last two and a half years, I will tell you that, but it has been fun. Let me tell you.
JAMES: You started out trying to solve the closeout problem, which I still believe is a major issue, is closeout.
BASSEM: We started with closeout because closeout has every component or should have every component of what a construction project is. We started with closeout to create that universal data dictionary that, I keep on saying Rosetta Stone because it has everything. It has changed orders, it has subcontracts. It has a piece of equipment that is being installed. It has the materials. Should have all of those things. The reason you start with closeout is to get a good schema so that you understand what a building is. It is more than a bunch of documents. It is a floor; it is a room. It is a piece of equipment in that room. The thing with closeout is Brixtell does a good way of packaging intelligently against that schema, it is just very challenging from a business perspective for who pays for closeout, right?
The general contractor does not want to pay a lot for closeout software. Just be frank. They want out of there as soon as humanly possible. They are not dumping a bunch of cash on that side. And the owners do not understand necessarily what a closeout manual is. They just think it is the thing that they found in the drawer when they bought their house. It was hard to find the ideal customer profile on closeout. We still do it, but where we found our home is in the CFO’s office, in the CEO’s office at smaller companies, so they can figure out what their cash flow is.
JAMES: I am confident with more sophisticated owners that an owner could mandate closeout with Briq.
BASSEM: 100%. I am a little worried about the owners‘ market during COVID. I do not know what you guys are hearing right now but it is not nuclear winter. People’s backlogs still look good. People are selling projects still, but there is a modification of what owners are looking for. You know retail is not dead, as everybody is saying. Retail is just shifting, right? Whatever Walmart Plus, Amazon, we are building different types of things now. Those owners are such influx, that the mandating things, we have seen it a little bit, they have a soft for fatigue on the owner side. They are sweating it out right now. I do not know how you guys are seeing it, but there are some questions of whether they can mandate anything right now.
JAMES: Yeah, for sure. It is a different market. Jeff?
JEFF: I love it because the closeout idea has always begun with the end in mind. That gives you the definition of everything. It is how we build software. It is how we do everything. It is how we build buildings. We design an entire building or at least an idea of what the end is going to be, and then we learn a lot along the way. We never end up with the building we started with, we never end up with the software we started with, but we stayed in that vision and we let it guide us. You are right on the owners; this is that moment for us in construction. I am pivoting off where we were because it is time for construction to reach its potential, to pull those owners back off the bench. You are right. We have endured this incredible boom with lots of money in the industry. An influx of cash everywhere, not only on the project side but on the technology side. And we created this available web of things, but it is crunch time. It is go time.
And there is going to be a convergence. You are going to see some software companies fall off, you are going to see some construction companies fall off. You are going to see some conglomerates come out, but I also think if we are right and we do the right thing, we can release the potential of the industry to get into that next phase. There are lots of great companies that are doing that. And what is interesting is some of the ones you were talking about, Big Red, Big Blue, they are going to play a huge role in it. There is just going to be some other fabrics that come behind and stitch them together to help them reach that potential. And I am interested that you are seeing the same thing. And I wonder how we might get them off the bench.
BASSEM: Just to address what the consolidators are looking at, one thing I would say is, if there are any CEOs for a tech startup in construction, this is the best job I have ever had. I have had a lot of great jobs and this is the best job I have ever had. It is a roller coaster and its ups and downs. I call a jagged line up into the right. I implore everybody that is listening that has their startup to stop selling early. And stop selling upstream. Cash in on your vision. Just for me, it is easier for me to say because I was older when I started my company and there was some financial backing from me personally. But the idea that everybody is consolidating is terrible. Consolidation at its core reduces innovation. These big consolidators cut off innovation. That is their goal. They are buying technology, so it is off the shelf. And that is one of the tragedies and getting VCs or anybody to invest in construction tech, will make the industry better. And we are very thankful to the VCs that doubled down on us during COVID and we did our series A and even the CBCs that were able to see the vision through a lot of clouds, but the idea here is that we need to make sure that people keep on working forward so that we can get more technology and more innovation.
These consolidators do cut off innovation. That is what worries me the most. And owners love the fact when they can say, okay, we are going to make X stack, you know this stack. Here at go mandate this stack. And then they are surprised when the design is not as good because they are mandated something. Let the right person in the job, use the tool they are trying to use. Do not give them a hammer when they need a drill. Let them use the tool they need to use. Let somebody else worry about stitching it together. That is the message owners should get because there are several owner stories where they thought they were doing the right thing by mandating something, and then they ended up cutting off the project.
JEFF: Well, you are right. They are limiting the innovation curve, which limits the ability to make a difference and impact the projects and drive it down. But it is on our end that we have to be able to show them that we can not only drive value, but we can reach the results they want if they let us do it. Early on, we did not do that. And that is why they came down on us as an industry, so you are right, and I am with you. There is some consolidation that works and there are some that do put out the innovation fire, and we do need that fire. Man, just talking to people, the fire still exists, man. It still exists. James and I agree on this one, we are very much, this is abundance thinking and this is the greatest time, and it will come. And, I am just thinking of all the articles we have coming that have the people that have been on this show that are those people.
BASSEM: It is cool. You guys are crushing it. You got to love this industry. You cannot be part–time. This is a tough industry to dive into and leave. I still, 20 plus years later, I cannot get out of it. But you got to love it. You got to want to be a student of the game in construction, and if you’re a student in that game, if you love the fact that you can talk through the project, you can love the fact that you talk through the design or talk through the problems the superintend has, those are cool stories. And it is not about the software. I do some mentorship and such, and then they are always like, how do I make money in tech? Well, technology is an enabler of industry. Choose the industry you love, and then if you want to be in tech, choose the enabler that you think has the best chance of changing the industry that you love. If you like building widgets, I do not know, if you like going into manufacturing, sure, that is an industry love. I love the fact that construction is something that endures. That one of my clients, over these 20 years has built stuff that I was involved in that I can walk by or walk on. That is cool.
JEFF: That is sick, dude. That is exactly what we do talk about. And there is this idea. I do not know if James has come across it, but I have come across it where there is just like us in them that the technology side is not construction. And I want to say that they are not. If you have chosen construction tech, you have chosen construction. If you are in Microsoft fine, maybe not, but if you have chosen specific construction tech, you are in the construction industry. We are the same. We are pulling off the rope in the same different direction.
JAMES: Well, I would say Milwaukee and DeWalt are in the construction industry. They do not build buildings, but they build the tools that build buildings. It is the same thing. This is tooling. Power tools are tooling, it is software tooling. And it is important to recognize and understand your involvement in the industry. Bassem, let us talk about the future for a second. Because you have been using machine learning and segments of AI, natural language processing. You built a search engine for construction data. You build RPA bots to automate accounting, and to automate the acquisition of data, you built a BI system to analyze all the information and provide answers through an NLP search engine. You have tied it all together. You would say it is next–gen tech, but it is its current technology that is not widely used. As one of the quotes I say all the time, the future is here, it is just not evenly distributed. And you know, the future’s here, Briq‘s here, it is just not evenly distributed across everybody. It will be one day and so will many other solutions that leverage AI, machine learning, natural language processing, RPA, all these foundational technologies. What is next? You have your roadmap, what are the big problems that you are hearing from all these CFOs as you get more and more clients and get deeper and deeper into the construction space, what are the next big problems that you are excited about tackling?
BASSEM: Personalization. That is in a nutshell, we talk about B2C in the context of Briq. Business to consumer. When you go in, sometimes Instagram knows what you have just searched for. That is mass personalization. The idea that an ad is rolling because you searched for a house renovation and they add rules for new material. That is personalization. And what general contractors and subcontractors need right now is personalization for their company. This job is like other jobs you have done. The behavior pattern of this job is like other jobs you have done, separate the signal from the noise because you have, let us just say, 1% of your entire job open in open change orders, proceeding change orders because you have used 25% contingency because the project manager has under five years of experience, there is a very high likelihood that you’re going to erode fee on this project versus the next project.
That personalization, that coaching, is where Briq is going. It is the idea that we built the foundation by organizing their data. We have built the automation in assembly lines, by building these bots that do work on behalf of humans. We have built a simple language search so they can find things that they otherwise would have to go into six systems to find. What is next is; use that data to make better decisions, be coached by a system to say, this is going to erode your fee, this is going to enhance your fee, this is going to blow out your schedule. Just very basic things that. And we have a client who at 50% complete, a very good client of ours, at 50% complete, Briq today is 80% more accurate at predicting their cost to completion than a project manager. And it is not that we are replacing the project manager.
JAMES: No, you are helping him.
BASSEM: Exactly. There are software companies out there that just have it wrong and I will let you in, all those software companies in on a little secret, there are software companies that are out there that are SAS software companies that have one universal database and are looking for a DNA pattern across multiple clients. That is a massive mistake. Every company in some way is a snowflake. Yes, there is a commonality of behavior patterns yes. But the company is unique. The company has people. Construction projects are unique. And we have taken a very different approach than trying to, bold everybody’s data together in their data warehouse. Every company has this very unique algorithm because every company is somewhat unique and that is where Briq is going on computerized coaching. For those that are old enough to remember and we sometimes pull this out for the CEO’s that may be old enough to remember. Do you remember that little paper clip in Word that would tell me what to do?
JAMES: Yup. Clippy was his name. Yeah.
BASSEM: Having a system is not going to be as easy as that, but the idea here is that build it and they will come. There are algorithms that our company can install today that predict a fee erosion and for Briq; or predict cash flow. We all talk about the golden thread in construction. The dirty secret is cashflow. In construction, the reason why revenue recognition is so important is it is because over–under building causes a negative cashflow position.
BASSEM: And if you are in a negative cash flow position, we have clients who are using cabbage and usury rates of borrowing. Money is free right now, but they are paying 15% on a quick line of credit because they are small. That is what erodes feed quickly. And when you look at that golden thread between cash flow and what you are doing in the field, how do you build that golden thread, it is that organization and the coaching. We try to avoid words predictive analytics. We try to avoid words machine learning, but ultimately that is what it is. We have some great compatriots in this industry. A lot of people are doing predictive analytics on safety, try to analyze videos for things that are, cool stuff, but it does feel very futuristic. We cannot figure out if we are going to get paid on a change order, yet I am going to analyze the video, see if something is going to fall. It does not make any sense to me but that is where we start and Briq’s beginning is predictive analytics on money.
JAMES: Yeah. You start with the money and then you go from there. That is a big difference. Well, look, great conversation. We could keep going for another hour, but we do not have the time. Hang out with us. We are going to talk about the news because it has been a fairly busy Newsweek this week. Mr. Jeff. take it away.
JEFF: Well, it is fun because last week I talked about Dustin Adams in an article he wrote from Hermanson and I am going right to another Hermanson resource and that’s Darren Young. And a lot of folks know Darren well, and this is on his site, so you guys can check it out in the show notes, you will have it, but it is a Digital Transformation for the Average Contractor (Part 1). And I am already calling out that, I liked the way he visually this. To me was all about visualizing and a lot of what we were just talking about with Bassem, is it is all about understanding the problem that is happening, the expectations, the complexity, the schedules, and then the industrialization and what that really mean. And he does a good job of visualizing it for everybody and giving you an idea of defining it, and then, giving a reason the technology’s evolving what that created. I have not seen a better chaos diagram than this yet.
I do not know if you had a chance to look at it, but when you visualize how it is we work, and I want you to understand, I even had to ask Darren on LinkedIn. Are you talking about an internal or an external, because I can just imagine overlaying this internal issues, because when you think about a trade contractor where he’s focused right now, but even a general contractor, they all have these engineering, estimating, detailing, a lot of the generals I talked to you have designers, architects, they have their engineers? They have all of that there, and there is all of this back and forth and, talking about exactly what Bassem‘s talking about. We are all pitching it over the fence, recreating it, reworking it, making it fit here, and we are just making mistakes and we are missing data that is being thrown over. And again, I do not know where Darren got this, but his visualizations of what the future state needs to look like are fantastic.
And then you guys know I have talked consistently about a technology stack versus a growth stack. A technology stack can support that crazy bit of information in that crazy workflow you are seeing in his current process diagram, but a true growth stack is going to support and influence the ultimate goal of the future process. And I did not have a lot of good real-world examples. It is nice that he was able to throw up the Microsoft dynamics, the Autodesk fabrication, a couple of other Autodesk pieces, and then Stratus in there. But then also quickly pivot to a viewpoint and MSuite and looking at how those Venn diagrams of everything overlap one another and share information. I wanted to get; and then go to the higher end, like, hey, let us stop prescribing, let us start identifying and let us work in the tools that work, and let us make sure that we have an idea of how they all work together. From a stack perspective James, I know this one had to hit you where we have all been going with this.
JAMES: Yeah, sure. And Darren’s locked on. I would always say, Darren if you are listening, I always enjoy that you are willing to speak the truth, and to talk about the issues that are impacting folks. Sure, Jeff, you set it all for us. This is spot on and certainly identifies the challenges that we have been grappling within the industry for a while.
JEFF: Well, thank you. And I am hoping Darren we are encouraging you for part 2, part 3. I know you are looking at a series here. I am looking forward to that.
JAMES: Yeah, you do not call it part 1 without having an implication there is more common. Keep it coming, Darren.
JEFF: Hey, what a better way to inspire it, then put you on the spot here on the crew. And I am sure Bassem, you are loving the graphics there. Hey Darren, if you could, can you give me some intellectual rights to use some of those? Because those are awesome. I do not want to remake them. And now, without further ado again, Dustin, actually, from Hermanson that I talked about his article last week, posted this on Twitter and tagged us and I tagged the rest of the crew. James, AR Copy Paste app. There is not an article here. It is just the ability to use your phone and the new AR capabilities, to copy and paste from the real world. This is just cool creating things, but then I started to construction geek out. What if we could copy and paste to the model? We always talked about reality capture. This is beyond reality. And I know it is an early design, and we talk a lot about those things, but I am just going to open that one up. This had to blow you away.
JAMES: Well, I am a huge fanboy of anything AR. You know this. I put a good bit of time and money in developing an AR framework for several years that we used as a prototype and decided after a lot of work in that area, that it just was not the right time for us to invest in building a full–scale platform. It does not mean I am not crazy excited. Now that the sad reality with many AR apps is that they have come and gone because they look great but the reality of using them daily does not exactly work out. A good example was in Yelp I believe. Had a functionality called Scope, that would turn on the camera and that would show you, it would turn the camera on, and you would point it down a street, and it showed you all the restaurants on that street, highlighted pens over where they were with their ratings. And maybe it was them, or maybe it was not Yelp. It was either Yelp or Zomato or OpenTable, one of those folks.
Now mind you, this was just a feature of a product. It was there for a year and they got rid of it because no one was using it. And it is because it was easier to look at that information on a map than to turn your camera on and look at it through that user interface. AR is different user experience. But there is something cool about this application and that is how do you take the real world and scan it and then use it interchangeably inside of a digital world, and how do you take objects you see, and put them on your document and presentations?
I can see some good use cases for this in construction, in particular, and in interior design and architecture. This has great application inside of interior design and architecture, but you go through the hype cycle, and then you have the reality and expectations and reality collide. And then all of a sudden people are like, maybe it is not worth putting billions of dollars of investor capital in AR. And there is a lot to look at in this cool, cool space, but when people have started using AR technologies, they are like, ah, we only want these couple of things for it to do. VR has ended up being the big runaway hit, because of what it can do for folks. It is interesting. Bassem you have played with some AR tech out there. What are your thoughts?
BASSEM: I am with you. It is a little surprise. We both know a company that is no longer, that had some of the coolest AR out there. I remember Google CAD Tango, where you could tag something in three-dimensional space, and then have those tags live. It is just for whatever reason, that wet interface between the human and the tech, it has just never caught on. I remember HoloLens, being something that everybody was talking about you have been for a while. It is hard to augment the reality of taking down a wall. That is the issue. We are also seeing some of this early tech; even modular early tech, just not catching on. And I still do not fully know why. It is cool having some goggles on that you could see something like an AR or printing a wall, but some technology just is not catching on that I thought would.
JEFF: And James, I do not know if we were talking about it on here or not, but Bassem, one of the reasons is, I just finished the book Crossing the Chasm. In that book, they are talking about technology that has not reached its potential and is falling off, and that was Skype. And now it took Coronavirus to get the full adoption. Some technologies go through that trough of disillusionment but then stay there for far longer before something happens. I did want to say the codes available there. There is a link to the GitHub code there. If anybody is looking to try it out, there is a link to AR Copy Paste App. You can request access to it. And then, the gentleman who posted it had written the book called Intelligent Automation as well, which is now on my list to read. Excited to see what happens there because we are seeing pockets of it. You can go to certain Wayfair and others and drop items into your house and look at them. And that is true. That is going the other way. Eventually, we are going to get bi-directional.
Since that one is good, I am going to bring up a cool one here. And James, I am going to toot our horns. That is just where I am going on this one today, is the Top 50 Construction Influencers. I started to share the post. It came out of Autodesk’s Construction Cloud. McKenzie Gregory wrote this one. Picked out some incredible people, but why I say toot our horns is because I started to tag people that we had interviewed, and I had to stop and just undo it and just be like, you guys are awesome. I call a lot of your friends, but I have interviewed, if you look at the percentages of the people inside of this article that we have interviewed, it is amazing. James, who else did we have in here? David Burns from McCarthy. And others that have been on the show. It is just a list of who is who, and who is making a difference in the industry. Sunil, we have had him on the show.
JAMES: Mallorie Brodie is on here. There is Josh Kanner. Certainly, you can listen to the vast majority of these folks in their interviews that they have had on the show.
JEFF: I wanted to just bring them up and share it and to congratulation them, because you are seeing too, as Jim scrolls through it here, you are seeing the diversity that is starting to come out in the industry. You are starting to see new leaders from different places. And that is a huge push forward for us. Check them all out. They are a good group. If you are looking for them in there, be sure to look back over The ConTechCrew and some of them even on the Trio.
JAMES: Awesome. Let us move on. This is an interesting concept that I am excited about. Technology being adopted by not just a single construction company, but a coalition of them. This is the next coalition, and this is from an October 7th, Construction Dive article. The next coalition is a group of four major contractors that were formed in May. Now, this is Black & Veatch, DPR, Haskell, and McCarthy. You are not exactly talking about a slouch of digital content contractors. These are four major companies and they banded together in May to announce five chosen pilot projects to combat COVID-19 challenges. What is interesting is they are picking technology is going to help them solve a lot of other problems. They have selected GoContractor, Kwant AI, Smartvid.io, Opal, and Versatile.
And we have interviewed a few of these, so you can go back and listen to their interviews. They were selected from 84 projects submitted by 78 companies and they are getting the first five started. They are still vetting the other 58. They are going to use GoContractor as an online orientation platform to facilitate COVID-19 protocols. They are using Kwant AI that which wearables and IoT sensors to capture data on worker locations. They are using Smartvid.io to analyze imaging and to alert for health hazards in that imaging. That is their Vinny AI system for social distancing that Smartvid.io has rolled out. They are using Opal as an IoT wearable, a Real–time location system, RTLS for safety and operational challenges. And they are using Versatile’s crane view as a multi-sensor unit, and points of data for load weight, motion rigging, unregulated. We have talked about all of these technologies on the show. What is interesting is that the next coalition is banding together to make group spending decisions and group experimentation decisions. Bassem this feels like the future of decision making for tech–forward contractors.
BASSEM: Yeah, it is always good when the big boys come in and they get together. It is always helpful, but some so many great contractors are local, that are doing great revenue and have bigger problems and the same problems; that cannot afford all of this stuff or even take an experimental dive. It is such a dichotomy, right? At the top of the market, they have buddy time and resources to do things these science experiments, but at the bottom of the market, in the mid-market, we got to focus on delivering local contractor productivity because that is the heart blood of our country. The local contractor driving up and trying to get work done and guessing through this process, we need to enable them as much as we, you know DPR and those folks who already, have massive IT budgets. That is not true for the rest of the industry. I love that the one–percenters in construction are doing these types of things, but I want to see the technology in the hands of a local contractor. That is getting better because of it and hiring two more people today. Do you know what I mean? Like rather than this other stuff.
BASSEM: It is great, and it is very cool. And it is part of the maturity of the industry that large players are doing that, which they did not do long ago, but there are only 450,000 general contractors, or 150,000, and we need to help all of them.
JAMES: Well, that this is a model though, for even small contractors who are in peer groups and I have spoken with a lot of peer groups over the years that are run by small construction companies. Can peer together and band together and make group experimentation decisions so they can share data, facts, and findings. There are some interesting applications here for the small to medium market that we are talking about being able to help. I am excited about the potential they have with it. And certainly, we are going to keep close tabs on what they come up with and what they announce. Even post COVID. I am so tired of saying that. I am so tired of saying anything related to COVID. Jeff, your thoughts before I move on to the next article.
JEFF: Well, no, that is what I want. You are talking COVID in here. I agree. Granted again, it is a force, right? I want to see it as that force that is driving some of this and I see far more out of that just COVID. I do not see a lot of them going okay COVID is over. Let us go back to paper. Let us go back to the old way. Let us sit them down in front of CDs or DVDs or whatever it was, we were training them with and onboarding them with before. I just do not see that that is going to go back. That is where we have to look at it. And James I liked that you talked about the smaller groups being able to do it. And Bassem, because we focus on that ENR Top 50, Top 100 quite frequently, and the largest impact comes by impacting the smaller 100% contractor. And then you look at the trades that support that below that there is even far more of them. And there is something to be said for that. However, modeling is a good thing where they are modeling this behavior. And if you are on a local level at your local AGC, ABC, NECA. MCAA. Whoever you are, get together, do this thing, make these kinds of choices. And what is interesting is, is everybody was vying for that. They are always vying for the Top 100, but honestly, if you vie together, you are going to get people vying for you at all levels. And that is where we can dramatically impact the industry. Great article.
BASSEM: That is a go–to–market mistake for software companies in tech. A lot of these Top 50 and Top 100’s will put you in the innovation category and then burn your company out. I have seen it so always look at the full stack.
JAMES: Awesome and onward. We have more to talk about. The next news is from ENR. New BIM 360 Model Coordination Workflow. It is bringing Navisworks Data into Autodesk Cloud. And this is just a product announcement that Autodesk launched a new model coordination workflow between Navis and BIM 360 model coordination. And this is again, we are seeing Autodesk slowly but surely wire in integration between BIM 360 and all of their legacy products that are going to help. They interviewed Nick Bobbitt, VDC manager, who is saying they have been using BIM 360 for a year and a half. And that this integration makes it a big difference, because they can utilize Navis and get the information to BIM 360 Mahler coordination, which is a big help. You will see more and more of these announcements as Autodesk integrates their products and more tightly wires all this in. Not a whole lot to discuss here other than this will be a welcome feature release for a lot of folks in the VDC space.
The third article I have is from For Construction Pros. This is about Lantronix integrating it is IoT, wireless connectivity, and power management tech into the Guardhat Communicator, smart helmet. We have talked about Guardhat. A pretty neat solution for PPE. It is one of those smart hardhats that we have been talking about. Lantronix is a global SAS engineering services, hardware, IoT, remote management device company, and Guardhat connects workers with a remote command center for sensors, cameras, microphones. They are partnering up in this area. Guardhat identifies and shares worker location with a home base, and it has options for voice and video calls using these sensors. It is a neat announcement. Go check it out. They said Guardhat has chosen Lantronix to deliver the onboard processing and power efficiency they needed. Connectivity that they needed. They are creating, at the end of the day, a wearable IoT device with a camera, audio, wireless connectivity, that also, by the way, protects the worker. So pretty neat. There are other smart hardhats out there. Some of which are no longer in business. One of which Bassem already referenced. That was the Daqri Smart Helmet. They managed to blow through hundreds of millions. Was it a billion? Did it get in the billions?
BASSEM: I do not know. It was just too much.
JAMES: We know it was the hundreds of millions of dollars that they blew through before they shut down. And then there is the one that has been much more successful, the XR10 with HoloLens 2, which is Trimble’s collaboration with Microsoft. The first time I put it on, it just blew me away. Neat tech coming out with the combination of these two technologies. I want to wrap the show up with two non-tech articles, both from the New York Post. One is the US military, and I am obsessed with SpaceX. Just to be clear. The US military is interested in using SpaceX for rapid cargo delivery. Which makes total sense. Their goal, you can imagine, they move cargo around the world on their large cargo freighters at 40,000 feet at 600 miles an hour. That has been their limitation, which means that it takes them, half a day to an entire day to get cargo somewhere in the world.
This should blow your mind because you think about construction deployments and getting materials to highly sensitive job sites, to getting materials into areas that have been devastated. Their goal; is to get 80 tons of cargo anywhere in the world within one hour. And the only way to do that is to put it on a reusable rocket that can land itself. And guess who has that? SpaceX. That would mean that they would put it on the rocket, the rocket would launch, go into sub orbit, and then it would turn around and it would land vertically wherever it is delivering the cargo to. It could be completely amazing. I just want to point out. Elon Musk had a great quote in the biography that I told all of you I have read, I have already mentioned this a few times. He said the greatest engineering minds of our generation have been spent, trying to convince people to click on ads and Musk is trying to change the game and the Defense Department’s catching on. They are like, wait if you can launch and land a rocket because they just did it. They have done it 47 times now, that they have launched and landed reusable rockets. Bassem, by the way, do you ever see any of those rocket launches from the Southern California launch site? Do you ever see them?
BASSEM: Yeah, the Vanderberg.
JAMES: Yeah, the Vanderberg Air Force Base. It is crazy. If you would like to see it, go through the atmosphere. I always wondered. In 1999 it took six hours to go from Toronto to LA and somehow in 2020, it takes six and a half. We need to find a way to go faster.
JAMES: This is his entire premise, right, is a cargo freighter and a passenger freighter that can get any that can get anywhere in the world in 30 to 45 minutes. By putting you on a rocket, launching you vertically, going into sub orbit, and then turning around and then landing vertically. It is a completely different way, but the military is catching onto. And remember a lot of the materials they are sending are diplomate materials for them to build things on the battlefields. This is about construction logistics, Jeff.
JEFF: We want to launch a rocket, but we are still trying to get them to take a timecard with their phone. We have a long way to go, but all right. I love it though. This is truly fascinating, and you have to push. If you do not push you, will not get there.
JAMES: If we wait to get rid of Excel before we go to Mars, we will never go to Mars. Okay.
JEFF: Excel is going to go to Mars.
JAMES: We are not going to go to Mars. They are going to use Excel on Mars, not the other way around. And then combined SpaceX and Tesla news. Because I am also equally obsessed with Tesla. The Tesla Roadster that was launched by SpaceX has officially passed Mars, so this was in 2018, the SpaceX Falcon, a heavy rocket launched a cherry red Tesla Roadster and his mannequin passenger, who they named Starman, and they launched it to Mars. It has now passed Mars. Just wanted you to know a Tesla is flying around Mars right now. And yes. Whenever you think that everything is garbage and 2020 was junk, just think, Musk did not let COVID beat SpaceX or Tesla. There is hope for humanity and I just want to close on that. Bassem you are always a pleasure to have on the show. Thank you for being on today.
BASSEM: Thanks for having me. It was awesome. Thank you so much.
JAMES: And Jeff Sample, always good to see you.
JEFF: Always good to see you. Thanks for having me. Bassem it was great to talk to you. It always gets me energized. I look forward to seeing you more soon.
BASSEM: Absolutely. One day in person again.
JAMES: Yes, not in the too distant future. I do not think it is coming soon. And thank you out there for tuning in today to geek out episode 239, our interview with the Bassem Hamdy from Briq. Please join us next week, episode 240 with Britton Langdon from MSuite. He is an awesome one. We are going to love having a good talk with him. Read all of our news stories. Learn more about apps, workflows, and hardware by subscribing at jbknowledge.com or texting ConTech to 66866. Big thanks to Jim Greenlee, our Podcast Producer, Kara Dalton-Arro, our Creative Producer, and our Advertising Coordinator, Tish Thelen, and our Transcriptionist, Adéle Waldeck. To listen to this show, go to the show website at TheConTechCrew.com. This is The ConTechCrew, signing out.
Until next time, enjoy the ride and geek out!