Simple. Cool. Clean. Grey. Flooring.

Simple. Cool. Clean. Grey. Flooring.
1-unit loading grey - hardWear finish

Friday, January 24, 2014

Please replace me with a robot.

This is one of the coolest stories I have come across lately.

One main reason I work in the decorative concrete industry is to create strong middle class jobs.  So, I find the the part of the article where they address the social concerns of innovation most interesting. The idea that a rising tide does anything other than raise all ships is ridiculous.  Any good tool frees us up to work more creatively and efficiently than before we had it.  I guess the only negative thing about innovation is that by removing the constraint, we may become lazy.  That is, if we don't have to work, some of us will not work.  Some of us work best when we are free, though.  Am I all alone caring about any of this though?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How I stay passionate through rough weeks.

Some days I feel like a hammer - this past Thursday I was more like a nail.  Here's what my left hand looks like as I type this out:

The point is though I think I am the luckiest man alive to feed my family with this work, it is not all wine and cupcakes.  Even when we don't tear up our bodies, this is very strenuous yet tedious work.

I once heard that there are production guys (they go fast, but are sloppy), and detail guys (they do great stuff, but go slow).  To sustainably compete, our guys must be super-efficient detail guys.  Ask nearly any of our customers - we tend to roll clean, and knock out great jobs quickly.  One has to cultivate a massive energy level, a good attitude, an ability to move fast and still keep a sharp eye and high standards even when tired.  What is the secret?  We really, really, care.

Care about what?  To be sure, people can be more or less inherently careful.  Some people don't care about anything (the world that comes to mind for such a guy is inappropriate to write, but it ends in "-hole").  We attract careful people, but what keeps us careful and pulls us back is THE WHY

  • Our mission to the market:  Every year billions of pounds of carpet and other floor covering end up in landfills.  Every other flooring option will wear out, burn, rot from water exposure,  out or go out of style before a polished concrete floor by element7concrete.  Everything other than element7concrete flooring is future garbage.    
  • Our mission to our workforce:  80% or so people hate their jobs and they should:  many jobs are seriously disconnected from the process of creating value for other human beings and people fell into them for the money. I've personally had a job that paid really well for what I did, but was frankly unnecessary to society.  I felt quietly bad about it, and it took me awhile to figure out why.  Sadly, millions of these jobs exist in our society, and the lives of the people filling them dwindle away.  On the other hand, our guys go home most days exhausted but proud that they made something awesome with their day.  The fact that these beautiful structures and surfaces are made directly for people they meet add to the meaningfulness of the work.
  • Our mission to the world:  The ripple effect of creating great physical spaces could be greater than we realize.  The effect of creating meaningful jobs is more obvious and may ripple out further.  Who knows - but it is definitely worth building systems around to make more of that.
So my hands are tore up.  My back hurts.  I even have a black eye from running into a 2X6 (another story).  But I am stoked.  I hope you are, too.  If not, message me directly; we might need your help with something that matters.