High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Fast Company looks at Endeavor Entrepreneurs David Assael and David Basulto’s new blueprint for the architecture industry

Catching up with Endeavor Entrepreneurs David Assael and David Basulto, founders of Plataforma Networks, at last week’s Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco, Fast Company’s Rob Salkowitz blogged about how their simple idea changed the landscape of the architecture industry.

In his post, “Chilean Entrepreneurs Redesign The Architecture Industry,” Salkowitz describes how the two Chilean architects were looking for more exposure, which meant having their designs published by one of the respected industry publications (there are fewer than a dozen). Frustrated by their South American vantage and lack of connections, the two Davids decided to shape their own futures by launching Plataforma Urbana in 2005, followed by Plataforma Arquitectura in 2006 and then the English language version ArchDaily in 2008.

“Almost overnight, the site exploded into a vibrant, well-trafficked, and increasingly influential forum. The obvious advantages of the Internet — instant global distribution and no arbitrary space limitations on content — conferred an immediate edge over traditional media, but what really launched the site was the quality of the professional community.”

Salkowitz notes that Plataforma Networks’ success had a lot to do with their timing–they were first, and they “maximized first-mover advantage by getting the site right from a design, editorial and marketing perspective.” The trio of websites have led to a new kind of fame for the entrepreneurs in the industry and beyond. They have been guests of royalty, governments and architecture schools around the world, and have brought a more cutting-edge company culture to Santiago (picture the house in the early days of Facebook, the article notes), where they have “a lot of crazy developers, not very much space.”

Perhaps most importantly, the entrepreneurs have globalized at least the Spanish- and English-speaking architecture worlds, where young talent is more exposed and architects have access to greater opportunities. Good designs and innovative ideas can now be spread in an instant, relieving frustration and creating a vibrant network of architectural talent.

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