Andrei Gheorghiescu - Blog

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  • Miolk – a business after my own heart

    You know that one project that you love because you get to do it the way you want? The one where you do not HAVE to act in an imposed way? The one that really represents who you are and how you do things? When it comes to business, Miolk is all that and more for me. Hopefully, it is only the first in a longer list.

    I love building businesses. Sadly enough, this is not a challenge that you can find on a job board. I knew that since my professional start. That’s why I always struggled to keep myself an entrepreneur at heart, regardless of the company I worked with.

    Miolk is the best business I ever built (out of 5 started). And I’m not nearly done. There is so much more to do until I leave it over to the team to further the vision.

    Miolk is about architecture. Building architecture and business architecture. It’s mission is to become the business context that innovative investors and empowered architects require, so they may produce quality constructed space in Iasi.

    Challenges in the local market

    If you ever had to do with the local architecture market you will know that it is dominated by the law imposed necessity of having some paperwork done. Paperwork is not architecture, it’s just one of the less interesting byproducts. Building a building is not the end goal, I know people that built their house themselves. Architecture is in the experience of living in the constructed space. Unfortunately, we’re still in a market where wine is mostly appreciated because it gets one drunk and happy.

    There’s a saying locally: “n-ai cu cine!”. That roughly translates to “no one to work with”. I’d love to end up proving the contrary trough Miolk. And in the process I’d love to encourage other architecture studios to raise the bar.

    The self absorbed architect

    Miolk happened because I’m in luck to have known competent professionals to start with. And those attracted more professionals. I routinely work with software developers. In doing so I meet people that appreciate their craft and are dedicated to improving their skill. I have never met an organization with as high innate dedication to craftsmanship in their work as I luckily got trough Miolk. To this day I still don’t know if I did something to “deserve” them.

    I once watched a recording of a Romanian Architecture conference featuring some young and not-so-young talent in the field. They were talking about themselves and about their line of work. It was the saddest conference I ever watched in my entire life. I can’t comprehend how architecture students that were likely in the audience would not quit on the spot. I was in awe.

    Most architects are obsessed with their craft. They are used to working extra long hours and they often and up in love with their work in a very Pygmalion-esque way. They are obsessed with quality architecture and often revolt against the world around them because it does not appreciate it the same. There is art in architecture and they are certainly behaving as misunderstood artists sometimes.

    From this perspective I believe it is hard for architects to do everything that is needed for their craft to be rightfully appreciated. Doing your work and expecting others to simply appreciate it at its “right” value is simply not how the market works. One needs to build a business around competence for the said competence to have a chance in capturing value. Topics like Marketing, Sales, Project Management,Process Improvement, Client Education need to be embraced by any architecture studio.

    Holacracy in a business

    There’s a sweet-spot in the middle. It needs to be about architecture and for that you need to make it about the architects inside. Those architects however need to become educated in the “ways of the world”. My big idea is to create a business where everyone is an architect and no-one is only an architect.

    It’s going to be awesome. Adriana, Alexandra, Teo, Oana, Ramona, Alexandrina – thank you for letting me play with you 😉

    Learn more about Miolk @ http://miolk.ro. Learn more about holacracy @ http://www.holacracy.org/how-it-works/.

    So, what do you think about it!?

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