Bricks And Bytes Podcast
April 28, 2023

#014 – Eric Whobrey- Transcript

Bricks and Bytes
Bricks and Bytes
#014 - Eric Whobrey- Transcript

Show Notes

Eric Whobrey


I think what we’re really looking for is that founder problem fit because what doesn’t work in the built world is just chasing a software solution for the sake of building software. Having that founder that really deeply understands the problem and is passionate, sometimes delusional about solving that problem is what we want to get by. And that matters so much to us in our pursuit of what we invest in. On today’s episode, we have Eric Ogry from ArcoMarry, a US-based design and build contractor. Eric is also a managing partner at ArcoVentures, an early-stage venture fund helping to identify, invest in, and bring to life ideas that will shape the next generation of the build world [1]. Please join us for this exciting conversation with Eric. 

You are listening to Bricks and Bikes Podcast, where we take you on a journey in construction, technology, and business. Alright, let’s get this episode started. Tell us a little bit about you and what you do. 

So I actually did not come from the construction world. I worked in PR and advertising and marketing before joining Arco Murray back in 2018. I loved that industry. I was very deep into the kind of the technology that drove that industry. By the time I left, I was building out data engineering teams, specifically business intelligence, big data and data science, for a large advertising technology firm based in Chicago. That was called Centro, is now called Basis Technologies. So I worked my way into that very technical project management team-building role over 10 years working on both the account and the website of things, managing technical development teams and also managing clients. So when I met Joe Pomerincki in April of 2018, he told me all about the design construction world. And it was not something that I had ever really considered seriously in my life. And I remember calling my wife after that breakfast and telling her I wanted to go work for a construction company. And that was very confusing for her, understanding the world I had come from. So not really a straight line to construction, but I joined ARCO in 2018, later that year in August of 2018. 

And I haven’t looked back. I feel fortunate that I had that kind of both account and technical experience in my career before this. And also just coming from an industry that our primary product was technology. We were selling software and that was the thing that was driving our business. That made it a little bit of a different story to tell at ARCO and in the built world. And I think that a lot of what we more of is telling that story thoughtfully so that more people can kind of get on board, understand it, not be intimidated by it, or turned off by the idea of technology, but really to embrace it and bring it more into their day-to-day work in a way that really works. So that was really my introduction to the industry. I was hearing a great story told by Joe, and I felt like I could come and bring more of that to this world. 

So I started the innovation group in 2018 where we’ve got about six people now on that team, and Joe and I also kicked off the business venture capital arm that we now call ARCO Ventures, which was a way for us to kind of expand our strategy beyond just do we buy or build software? Do we integrate or optimise an existing workflow process? It really gave us an extra lever that said, do we invest in a startup that has a ton of energy and momentum behind a problem we’re trying to solve and partner with them and get them in a better place on their product market fit and then help to amplify their product by being a good steward of their message. 

And how do you see the construction industry versus the industry you came from which was PR? And is it as bad as the insiders such as myself and Martin? We think it’s just full of dinosaurs and rats, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea. Is it that bad? Yeah. So coming from a world that was pretty sophisticated in terms of its use of technology, I will say I had expectations coming in. Over the years, a lot of those expectations have been turned on their head, primarily on people in the field. 

So yes, the construction industry and the built world is behind the times. And I think that is, that’s a fact. That’s something that we can’t necessarily deny or debate. But I will say that I think it’s unfair to just compare us one-to-one to other industries that are more advanced. An example being a Space X rocket launch that I watched a while ago now. Watching it take off, drop off a payload in space, come back down, land successfully on the platform, and then explode into a fireball. And I thought about that in relation to our business and our industry. And by the way, that was lauded as a massive success for SpaceX, that fireball explosion at the end, because so many good things had happened, it was providing a pathway to greater success. 

I thought about that for our work. And we don’t really have the luxury of something fireball at the end. So our threshold of acceptance does – That would be pretty tragic. Yeah, that would be, it wouldn’t be unfortunate. It would be a tragedy. It would be a catastrophe. So I think understanding that context and really knowing what our, especially our field teams deal with on a day-to-day basis and the threshold that they have to meet for safety and quality and long-lasting quality, something that will stick around for decades or even centuries. And I can understand, I can empathise with the fact that we’re a little further behind on technology and innovation. 

And something that I’ll say in addition to that, in my experience now about five years in the industry, spending a lot of time out in the field with project managers to any office and just talking to peers and other people in the industry, I think that our field workers, our skilled trades, our superintendents, our foremen get a bad reputation as Luddites that are resistant to change in technology. And I have to tell you, it could not be more different in my experience. I think our most innovative associates at ARCO, at ARCO Murray, are the people in the field. If you look at their day-to-day workload, they are constantly presented with problems that have never been encountered before, that need a complicated and creative solution, and they have very little resources and very little time to actually come to a solution to the problem. 

And they do that a thousand times a day. So who else would I want to talk to other than those people that are coming up with creative solutions to novel problems all the time? And I think that they genuinely come to the conversation about technology and innovation with an open mind where I see that they have fallen short or where the reputation has been earned, if you will, is in them being handed bad technology. And them saying no to it, and being really resistant to that, because I would say over the last 10 to 15 years, they’ve had a lot of bad technology that they’ve been either asked to use or at times forced to use, that just really hasn’t given them a leg up in their day-to-day. 

So now that we’re in a place where we do have opportunities to help them and to create technology that’s intuitive and to really accelerate their days or optimise their days, they’re all for it. They’re the first ones in line that want to use it and try it and make it better. So I think we are behind. We’re next to last. Thank you, agriculture, for being in the last position. So we don’t have to suffer that embarrassment. But we’re catching up. I think if you look at the macro trends in the investment world, there’s a lot of news about how investment is pulling back, venture capital especially. And that is not the case for construction to enter into the market and try their hand in the start-up world. 

And I think that’s indicative of the industry being ready for it and maturing to a point that we have a lot of people that have entered into the industry that understand how to innovate, understand how to structure that in a large organisation to effect change. And I think there’s just a bit of a forcing function that there’s a lot fewer people to do a lot more work right now. So we have no choice but to innovate further. And I think that that will start to bump us up that list of innovative industries. 

And with the talent that we have in the industry, I feel confident that we’ll continue to move up that list and to make a lot of really significant change over the next decade. OK. Yeah, I have a good one question in terms of your business is in our community design and build and technology. Are there particular technologies in terms of software the design and build process? Or are you more focused on the design and builds and technology within that part? Or are you more focused on the construction, the build part of the business? It’s a good question. We are general contractors first. That’s our core competency. And we believe in the design-build methodology. 

So in so far as we have invested in engineering and architectural resources that are a part of our business. So we have Archimere Engineering, engineers, structural engineers, designers, architects that are there side by side with our project managers and our project teams to help facilitate that process from the site planning process and selection of a site all the way through to ribbon cutting and close out. We believe that the design-build methodology makes for a smoother process in that entire experience. And having that general contractor sitting at the quarterback level that oversees a lot of that and controls a lot of the communication and decision-making helps to align incentives through the entire experience. 

So that no longer are you trying to submit change orders just to make extra money on a project, even though you know architectural drawings are flawed, which is what we’ve seen happen in the traditional kind of plans and specs methodology. No longer is that the case. We’re starting to see architects, engineers, and general decision-making process where it’s understood the cost and schedule impact of a decision at that early stage when you are designing a product. 

And so I would say our focus is first on the general contracting business, but from the perspective of we only want to do design build and we’re committed to that methodology as a way of doing work because we think it’s a better way to build. Like if someone is solely responsible for everything and they are coordinating and in control of all the design and everything else that’s happening then it just makes more sense like traditional with there’s a problem then with the design drawings and someone has to ask the architect and the architect takes a couple of days to review it and they don’t not quite sure it will work because of the builder is like unsure as well. And whereas design and build just gets rid of that whole line of communication and risk. 

So in my opinion, I think it’s like it should be well, I can’t say the norm, but I think a lot more people should embrace it as long as it’s done execute properly, of course. Yeah, absolutely. And I was just going to say, like in terms of the design and build process from our co Murray side, how does having our co ventures as part of our co Murray? How does that work? Like, is there is this does it buy us your decisions when investing? Like you looking for things that might specifically help design and build process or is there something else? Yeah, that’s a that’s a good question. And distinction that ARCO Ventures is its own independent venture capital arm, if you will. 

And the decisions made there to invest are based on a business plan that definitely, it takes into account what it can do for our operating businesses and wants to invest in things that we can benefit from as a business, but doesn’t necessarily determine the fate of that thing we invest in. So if we on the ARCO Ventures side of things decide this is a work while investment because it could be a good use of our LPs money to invest in something that will have a big return and will benefit them. We will introduce that to the businesses and will say, this is something we believe in and here’s why and get access to all of our due diligence and all of our analysis of that business. 

But by no means are we saying, okay, here’s the software you have to use. We definitely want that to be a part of the that they have room to say no. And we obviously want to involve them in the decision to make the investment in the first place. So oftentimes there is alignment there to kind of easily hand it off and say, here’s the thing to either start piloting or start really using, but we by no means require that. And that helps us to stay unbiased in both of those categories of the investment group, making venture capital investments and the innovation group determining what’s best for the problems we’re trying for foreign businesses. 

Yeah, that’s cool. Good. So in terms of technology itself, in terms of the building that you guys built or generally in America, materials that are being used, do you see any shift in terms of changing the traditional materials into something a little bit more creative or futuristic or it’s not happening yet? Well, what I’m trying to probably approach is 3D printing happening? There is a lot of technology, there are a lot of alternative materials and alternative building methodologies that are available to build buildings now, right? 3D printing, prefabrication, modular design and construction, even alternatives to concrete or lumber or steel that people are trying to make more sustainable or more accessible to more places or cheaper to move because it’s more regionally based. 

The US industry is definitely moving slowly on this. I think it’s mostly a matter of logistics of getting things to the right place. If I’m thinking about modular design, we have more and more modular facilities that are built for offsite construction manufacturing are being built, but it’s still very difficult to ship that much empty air across the country because we are a pretty massive country. Building something offsite in Idaho, then the markets that Idaho can reach are fairly limited to what you can get to in a short, relatively short amount of time. 

Because it is such a massive thing that you’re putting on a truck or a train and moving and it’s taking up a lot of volume without really being all that much stuff. We’re talking, I’m talking about a modular design, like a box that is built and is sent to site to be installed. It’s just there is a cost to it that is I would say too much greater than the traditional way of building that it becomes the default, that it becomes something everybody should be doing. And I think with time that cost is going to continue to go down for the larger modular offsite construction. 

3D printing I would put in that similar category. There’s lots of innovation around that in that field. And I think it will continue to grow. I think it is going to grow slowly. And honestly, I don’t really know what factor will make that move faster, necessarily, if it’s just the cost of the robotics that can do the 3D printing of concrete, if it’s being able to print more materials on site so that there isn’t as much of a difficulty of getting of complicated. I think that’s something that will continue to have some utility to some extent in perpetuity, whether it’s printing entire concrete buildings or whether it’s printing a small part that fixes a piece of heavy equipment on site faster. I think that’s going to be part of the industry. 

The area that we’re actually really excited about is the idea of prefabrication at a relatively smaller scale that helps to distribute work to more fabrication shops more effectively can distribute work more, can build more offsite, and deliver to a symbol on site with less skilled labour because there is less skilled labour available in those regions. And I think that’s something that in the next few years has a lot of potential to really catch on quickly. And when I’m talking, more literally, I’m talking about HVAC and plumbing specialty contractors that maybe have a few cutting machines in their fab shops where they can cover an amount of scope because their machines are getting smarter and the design process is getting more specific so that the design to fabrication steps are shorter. So you can design in more detail more specific to what’s going to be cut on a machine because those machines are connected and they’re able to get a design file fed into their system, have a spooling machine that can keep the materials coming, and then all of a sudden you’ve got a much more cutting machine that’s safer, that’s using less material, and that’s allowing these smaller fab shops to produce significantly more so that they can put out more product. 

And frankly, they can install more with less people. That’s something that is becoming a necessity in the US. And so I think there’s going to be a lot more momentum there. One, because you have a lot of small businesses, small and medium-sized businesses that can make those decisions faster. So you a developer that is developing billion dollars over the whole United States to change the way that they build, you just have to convince someone with a plumbing scope that they should buy this cutting machine that can connect to different design software that can allow them to increase their productivity by 2x, 3x, 8x sometimes. 

That’s where you’re going to see a lot of decisions made really fast that is not necessarily going to make massive headlines, but all of a sudden we’re going to look back and reflect see these small and medium-sized businesses greatly improve their productivity because they got smarter with their technology. It’s just a matter of having those technology providers really getting in front of them at the right time and the right people when the work needs to be done so that they can start to see the fruits of that labour. 

So just to clarify, Eric, you were saying companies creating the prefabricated units. Is that what you’re saying? So they’re creating the components for those units? Or are you talking about manufacturing in large sort of components of buildings rather than the whole thing and then deliver there in those to site. I would say both, but I was specifically talking about like HVAC ducting. If you can design and manufacture that off-site so that you’re really just like, this is an oversimplification, but you’re kind of playing Legos on site where you’re just putting pieces that were already assembled together. That’s more so what I’m talking about than like a pre-assembled wall panel that you could bring on site, which I think does have utility. the bigger you get, the more limiting you are on the logistics of getting that thing on site. 

The same with the UK because even when we’re working on smaller residential projects, the streets and the transportation is so narrow, you could never transport a huge modular unit down there. Breaking that down again, another level seems to me also as like what you’re saying is a big opportunity. On that note, is that something that ARCO Ventures are currently looking to invest in or are investing in? So I obviously have been thinking about this a lot. And our most recent investment has been in Allied BIM, which is a software platform that is committed to creating more fabrication level detailed drawings in the design phase and getting those more connected to cutting machines in fabrication shops and helping to facilitate that whole process from the design to construction phase. 

Because a big part of what they’re offering provides is that kind of coordination through the life of the job because what’s going to happen on site is you’re going to prefabricate a bunch of stuff off-site and then you’re going to go and the fire protection people were in installing and all of a sudden something is different than what was in the drawings. So if you didn’t have that scope being manufactured off-site, then you really need to continually scan and update what is happening on site so that you can continue to adapt and make those changes to the scopes of work that are later on down the critical path. 

So that was Allied BIM is really a partner that we saw approaching that from the way that fit into our design-build process in ways that we have done it before with larger scopes of work like steel. And we saw it as an opportunity to apply that process to more scopes of work like HVAC, like plumbing, any kind of thing that is getting typically cut in a fab shop, whether it’s being done manually or through an automated process. This software is helping to cut out time in the design phase, so you’re not doing rework in something that is built in Revit and then broken down into its assembly parts and then shipped in shop drawings to a fabricator. It’s something that can kind of facilitate that process through the whole experience so that as you are drawing, you understand the context of those drawings and you can then export the fabrication, shop drawings that a machine would need to cut. 

So that’s an area that we’re really, really excited to partner with them and really start to learn how to execute on that scope of work with our partners in the field that are specialty contractors. And even with our designers and architects and engineers that are helping to put those drawings together and kind of coordinate and consolidate that scope so that it is being done in less time, more accurately, with less need for skilled labour on the job, not to eliminate the need for skilled labour, but to accommodate the lack thereof. Because what we’re running into is a lack of skilled labour on site, which is pushing timelines out and is making it much more difficult to meet the needs, the demands of what needs to be built. 

So we’re really trying to catch up to that decrease in supply and frankly, get more people excited about that work. Because we do see a lack of talent entering into the industry, but it’s not for a lack of people available to fill those roles. So we want to do the work in a way that excites more people and gets more people engaged in the process of designing and building a building. And we think that this approach and what Brian Nicoll and his team have done at Allied BIM is really resonating with us and with the people in the field that we’ve piloted with and talked to. It’s really been something that we feel has potential and that we want to get behind. 

Sounds good. Do you think there’s more to do in the design stage, in terms of the construction tech and investment in the construction? There’s more opportunities within the design part of the process, or more within the construction itself or build process. They should overlap at some point potentially. But in the construction, you’ve got logistics and other parts of it. It’s kind of a completely different thing. And so I’m just curious about your thoughts on this. Can I say both? I feel pretty strongly that there is a lot of work to do. I think that’s the only thing that I feel most confident about. I think that typically when people are looking at the industry, they see the design body of work and consider it to be ahead because most of it’s done on a computer. And I just don’t feel that way. There are things being done in the design phase that are sophisticated and innovative and pushing the envelope, but I see the same thing happening in the field. And I think one of the biggest challenges is the fragmentation of all those things. 

And if there is a challenge I see on the design side, it is the fragmentation of the work being done and the lack of coordination or the sheer amount needed to successfully coordinate, the amount of effort and time needed to coordinate a design scope of work is way too high. There’s a lot that can be done there that can make that process smoother, more accurate, less time-consuming, and more product-focused. You know, instead of saying we need to design a building that is a warehouse that’s a hundred thousand square feet, we need to start with all of these pieces that go into making a warehouse. 

If you could have a warehouse product that you are picking and choosing pieces from, and I think the design world is there in a lot of ways, but they’re also lacking in a lot of ways in making that the standard and making that something that is done across the board. Now, I could say as much or more about the construction side of the work and the fragmentation of the effort and how much of that leads to the need for rework and the need for changes that could have been prevented. And headaches. And headaches. Yeah, pain, really. And real problems on site can be dangerous or can be terribly time-consuming. That’s real. And I think it’s as much a challenge for the industry as the design side. I just think that both have a long way to go. 

Yeah, sure. And what other technologies are ARCO Ventures currently excited about? Well, I can tell you what we’re invested in, which is Soil Connect, a marketplace for dirt that we’re really excited about. I never thought, and if you had asked Eric that just graduated from college if he’d be so excited about dirt. I think it’s what we know. You’ve got me excited. Yeah, it’s a fantastic business. That was our first investment and we were first in the door with them and it really solidified our strategy for investment in that we were able to help them both on the kind of the nuance of the built world and the technology stack that they were building with my experience and Joe’s experience combined. 

It was really, really exciting for us. So Soil Connect was first, we’re invested in EcoMeeties, which is a sustainable product database and tool built around that database so that you can make better design decisions with sustainability and ESG goals in mind and also measure against that more effectively. We’re also invested in Quote To Me, which is a procurement software for the field that makes it easier to buy stuff on site. And then our last investment in the portfolio right now is Hammer, which is the late end for skilled trades is really how they’re advertising. 

And right now, they’re a really strong community through social channels like Instagram and TikTok and all of those things. They’ve built up a really, really vibrant community through their app as well that is on the App Store and Android and iPhone. That’s networking and kind of social space for the skilled trades to spend time, share their work, brag about their work, ask about ideas and problems and find creative solutions, they’ve really created a place that the built world and the skilled trades in particular are comfortable spending time. 

And now they’re in the position where they’re going to start building tools for the industry that are focused on helping that skilled trade market really thrive. And Breaux, because they see it as much as anyone, there’s a labour shortage across the country and across the world. To help to solve. And they’re a big contributor to helping solve the problem in a way that the next generation or generations really understand and it really resonates with them in a way that they start to engage a lot more. 

So when you look at the startup or technology or you talk to a founder, what are the things that you are evaluating? How do you approach the investing process? If you and it brings you to the decision or do you want to invest in these people in this business, We don’t know. I was recently listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast interview with one of the partners at Sequoia Capital and something he said really resonated with me. It was the fact that Sequoia doesn’t necessarily focus on product-market fit as much as they focus on founder problem fit. And that could not have hit home harder for me in our industry. I think what we’re really looking at is because what doesn’t work in the built world is just chasing a software solution for the sake of building software. 

Having that founder that really deeply understands the problem and is passionate, sometimes delusional about solving that problem is what we want to get behind. That matters so much to us in our pursuit of what we invest in. On top of the 80 different verticals that we’re paying attention to and trying to follow industry, when we meet that founder or those founders for the first time, we really focus on what their background is, where they come from, how passionate they are about the idea, what they think makes them different and better, and how they’re going to succeed. 

And then we get into the product, and then we get into the technology and the problem that’s being faced. And if we come out of that with a feeling that that founder has something special that gives them an edge in solving that problem, that really gets us excited and it puts us in a category of let’s chase this further. Let’s really get into due diligence and make sure that their financial projections make sense to us and that all of the other pieces around the technology are working enough at the early stage that we’re engaged in because we do invest at the seed or even precede stage. Let’s make sure that we’re confident about all those other pieces after we check the box of these founders really get it, really committed to it, and they believe that they can solve the problem. 

I could get into the scorecard and how we measure six different categories across a few different topics and to talk about that. But I think the thing that really matters is understanding that first part because that is somewhat of a stage gate to say, is this something we’re going to pursue further? Because we have run into products that we love that we just don’t think has that added extra edge where there’s a ton of passion behind it and there’s a ton of energy that gets that momentum going even when you hit the roadblocks which are inevitable, especially in the built world. So while we may even pursue those as a commercial client, it’s not something that fits into our investment strategy. 

So it’s an interesting balance of paying attention to what’s best for the business and what’s best for our industry in terms of tools that are available and what we truly want to invest in, that help to drive the future of the industry. One other thing I had on ARCO, I keep saying AM, but obviously you changed the name ARCO venture. Why would someone, yeah, if you’re like a founder, you’ve got an exciting business, why would they pick you guys as the VCs to take them through? I’m so glad you asked, Owen. I mean, the honest answer is, we’re not always the best partner. So that’s something that we want to go through that process with the founders as much as they want. We want to get that from them. We want them to be as confident in us. So I think the thing that really sets us apart, one is our blend of experience. So I came from a background, a technology background, where I had a decade in managing software and data development teams that were building websites, mobile applications, databases, algorithms, business intelligence, dashboards, you name it. I had that experience coming in the door to the extent that I can have a slightly more conversation around the actual technology being built. And then combine that with the organisation behind me and behind Joe, and even having Joe alongside with me is all of that experience in the build world. From a design builder’s perspective, we have a broad view of the entire process that it takes to develop, select, design, build, and operate buildings. And so having that wide view allows us to come into those conversations with a lot more perspectives to share from the experiences that we’ve had. And it allows me to pull in more people from different experiences that are sitting in the business and understand that that’s part of our process is to bring experts in to help evaluate whether something is worth pursuing further. And then we also happen to have, we pay 30,000 subcontractors every year. And it’s a pretty powerful amplification tool to say, we really believe in this thing. And we have a captive audience of people that we interact with day to day. 

And that’s not to say that we have a way to force their hand, but we definitely are able to have those conversations more easily than a startup founder that maybe doesn’t have those relationships built. And then on top of that, the relationships that we’ve built with the rest of the built world, whether it’s our clients, the architects we interact with, our peer construction companies, there are a lot of people that I can call that are leaders in these other construction businesses that can help to facilitate that introduction process for startups and get them in front of the right people more effectively. All of that is on top of what we believe is a really effective product discussion we’re able to have on an ongoing basis, where we can help them to develop that thing so that it does have a better product market fit. So it does resonate more with the industry and can really lead to that hockey stick growth for a startup that everybody’s trying to achieve. So, on the venture capital and investing in general, if you were to point out a resource, a website, a book or books for someone to read to go through, to find out more about investing in VC or in general investing or contact, would you suggest something? I would and I’m pulling up. So there’s one in particular, it’s called Venture Deals and it’s by Brad Feld. And that is a good one to get oriented in the industry and understand the language used, the players involved. All of those pieces that go into a venture deal are synthesised really nicely in that book. So I would recommend that book definitely. A second one that was recommended to me by Cutler Knopp, who is the head of venture capital for Haskell, is called Corporate Venturing: A Survival Guide. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It really helps you to understand how corporate venture capital arms are typically structured. So it does give you some kind of understanding of what the heck it means to be a corporate venture arm. And it just gives you a little bit of a greater education on what it takes to actually make that succeed. So, you know, we have the things that differentiate us that aren’t necessarily the blocking and tackling that it takes to set up a corporate venture arm, but we did have to do that work. 

And these books really helped to establish a foundation that we can build on. Yeah, just conscious of time so you best move on to the off-topic section. We can talk about the scorecard another time maybe Eric or we can put it in our show notes. But question for you, do you watch NFL? I do occasionally, yeah. Do you have a team? Yeah, I mean I’m a Chicago Bears fan by default, growing up in Illinois. How’d you get on this weekend? We won, the Bears won, which is great. I read the articles by Kevin Fishbane, who writes for The Athletic, to try to be a good friend. And I know more about the Bears than I would otherwise, because he’s doing that work. But yeah, we won. I think we beat the 49ers. Nice. Congrats. Thanks. Eric, outside of work and family, where do you allocate your time? Outside of work and my family, that’s kind of it. What time? I enjoy golfing. I am an avid golfer. I’m not very good, but I played baseball my whole life. So, you know, I’m always hitting a double to left field that just happens to go into a clump of trees most of the time. So, I do enjoy golf. I am still an avid baseball fan. I enjoy reading; that is where I try to spend a lot of my free time. And I really enjoy hanging out with my wife. So, we will spend a lot of our time, you know, going on walks, going to restaurants, or travelling. So that’s where a lot of my free time is spent with her. What’s your number one productivity hack or tool? I will say constantly having a pen and paper. I would say that is my number one productivity hack and kind of keeping notes and an ongoing list of things throughout the day and really writing them down has always had a positive impact for me. That being said, I’ve got, you know, the Airtables and the task lists online and all of those things that help keep me organised. But I have to say there’s something about writing things down that helps my brain to process and synthesise those things. And even if I’m dealing with a complicated problem, sometimes I’ll just open up my notebook and start writing about it. 

And for whatever reason, that helps me to kind of work through problems and really focus on conversations and keep myself focused throughout the day. There are a thousand other things that I do that are maybe helpful. I don’t know, but that one is a thing that I feel pretty steadfast on. Yeah, I like it. And where can people find out more about you, Eric, and Aka Ventures and Aka Mar? Sure. I think the best place to find me is probably on LinkedIn. I’m the only Eric Huberi on there, so that’s a pretty easy find. I’m on a lot of these podcasts and conversations and often attending the conferences around the country. So I’ll be at Groundbreak, I’ll be at Autodesk University, and there are several others that I’ll be attending. And yeah, I just try to stay connected in that way. And otherwise, if you’re looking for information on ARCO, you’ve got We have our venture tab on the website there that you can go to learn more about ARCO ventures. And really, if you’re looking to make contact, you can always reach out to me on LinkedIn. I try to keep an eye on that, making sure that I’m following up with people there. Okay, awesome. Well, Eric, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you very much for coming on. Yeah, nice talking to you. Thank you guys. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the Bricks and Bytes podcast. If you are enjoying the show, please feel free to rate, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We really appreciate it, and we’ll catch you in the next episode. 

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