Digital Builder Ep 3: Understanding Construction’s Data Integration Landscape

Autodesk_Digital Builder_Episode 3

What if workforce management was as easy as drafting your fantasy football team? You’d simply identify the background and location of the professional you need, and then you’d find them—no spreadsheets required.

Lauren Lake and Mallorie Brodie co-founded Bridgit to do just that and more. Plus, they used insight gained from interviewing various general contractors out on the job to help build products the construction industry needed.

On episode 3 of Digital Builder, I sat down with the two construction technology experts to discuss topics including: 

  • “Crane hunting” and their process for uncovering industry pain points.
  • Why advancing technology in construction is so challenging.
  • How they proved to investors that the industry needed their products.
  • How to come up with solid business ideas.

"There are problems all around us in every industry out there. If you ask questions, you're bound to find some sort of opportunity." — Lauren Lake

New Episodes Every Two Weeks

Digital Builder is hosted by me, Eric Thomas of Autodesk. New episodes of Digital Builder go live every two weeks. 

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Read on for key takeaways from episode 3, and follow Bridgit on Linkedin for more information on Lauren and Mallorie’s work.

Key Takeaways from Episode 3

On technology adoption in construction. 

8:53 Lauren Lake:

I think for us from the beginning, that perception of being slow to adopt technology was not because anyone onsite or within the offices was necessarily resistant to technology, it was just that construction's a very specific industry with very specific needs, and so the tools had to be built for them. 

On learning your market before you build your technology product. 

17:54 Mallorie Brodie:

I think it's just so valuable to go and learn about the industry, and talk to the people that would actually be using your application, before you start building it. And for us, that was not so much a choice, we didn't have a technical co-founder, and so we had to make sure that we really understood what [the] product was going to be, before we had to hire someone to build it; it wasn't a co-founder that built it.

On providing solutions that the industry actually needs.

10:24 Mallorie Brodie

When companies were trying to sell software to the site, but the site said, "Well, we can't make use of that unless there's a mobile component, because we're walking around the job site all day." I think the feedback from the industry was very clear, and it was just a matter of the vendors starting to actually provide real solutions and robust solutions that the industry actually was asking for.

On how great business ideas don't magically appear.

18:58 Lauren Lake 

For us, it was always that very iterative process of showing up within these companies or offices and sites, and just asking those questions over and over and over again, finding the problems and then building solutions and continuing to tweak those as we got more and more feedback. It didn't just magically appear one day. So, I think that's an inspiring way to look at starting a business, as you don't have to wait for this moment to happen necessarily, there's problems all around us, in every industry out there. And so, if you go and start asking those questions, I think you're bound to find some sort of opportunity.

Eric Thomas

Eric is a Sr. Multimedia Content Marketing Manager at Autodesk and hosts the Digital Builder podcast. He has worked in the construction industry for over a decade at top ENR General Contractors and AEC technology companies. Eric has worked for Autodesk for nearly 5 years and joined the company via the PlanGrid acquisition. He has held numerous marketing roles at Autodesk including managing global industry research projects and other content marketing programs. Today Eric focuses on multimedia programs with an emphasis on video.