Thoughts on those Australian AEC software start-ups

It is apparently no coincidence that I had enough material to write three consecutive blog posts this week about Australian software businesses targeting the architecture, engineering and construction market. Sean Kaye, now back at Leighton Holdings as General Manager, Group Strategic IT after a stint as CEO of its Incite subsidiary, sent me an email on the recent surge:

“… the number of startups targeting the Australian construction market is BOOMING!  I’m hearing from all kinds of interesting small start-ups with ideas they want to pitch to Leighton.

Unfortunately, I don’t think most of them will survive which is a shame – the market is not the quickest adopter of technology and much of what I’m seeing isn’t really solving a problem.  I also think some of these start-ups are wasting their time calling companies like us – if you’ve never fished before, you don’t go hunting a whale.

I think these companies need to try out their wares on a few small builders before trying to get involved in multi-billion dollar projects with tight contracts.  I appreciate there’s no harm in trying or as the Aussies say, ‘Having a go’, but the truth is, for most of these companies, even if they were successful and were adopted on a massive project or by a huge company, they simply wouldn’t have the support capability to sustain the customer.  Walk before you can run.”

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