ABOUT MALCOLM KAUFMAN
What is your background?
I studied economics and finance in college, worked in M & A, been in the video game, food store, Internet-travel, and fantasy football/horse racing businesses.
Why did you start LISA?
I was 15 years into being a residential real estate agent. I thought I was good, not great, and doing what some 3,000+ other San Francisco agents were doing. I wanted to do something great and innovative.
How did you get the idea for LISA?
I would walk in downtown San Francisco or New York and wonder how tall buildings got built. Though my mechanical aptitude was below the poverty level, I became really curious.
From a business standpoint, what did you find interesting about LISA?
The construction industry is like the movie-making business; there is no continuity of product.
Each starts with a piece of dirt or screen play.
The producer/developer puts together a production company or GC and consultants. Then shoot the movie or build the building.
Market it/market it.
Then on to the next project.
There is no continuity of product.
The construction industry has no major epicenter(s) like other many big industries, i.e. the automobile, aircraft-building, shipbuilding, furniture-manufacturing, movie/TV industries.
And there are construction ecosystems in every major metropolitan area in the world. Why? Because you can’t move the dirt!
What’s in an ecosystem?
Each construction project requires some or all of about 75 different categories. For example, in addition to developers, general contractors & architects, there are sub-contractors (electrical, plumbing, solar, dry wall, HVAC), consultants (geotechnical, wind & shadow, acoustic, waterproofing), materials (glass, steel, concrete, wood), “soft” (equity & debt providers, insurers, lawyers, accountants, advertising, public relations), all of whom come together to build a high-rise office/residential building, hotel, hospital, sports area/stadium, etc. They are all part of their local construction ecosystem, and like the movie-making business, networking is very important in finding the next job.
How did the young talent concept start?
A call from my east coast cousin got me thinking. He said that his grandson was attending an aeronautical university in Florida and was looking for an internship, perhaps at a place like Tesla. Did I have any ideas?
It got me thinking. Today’s youth knows a lot about Apple, Facebook, Zynga, Google, Uber, LinkedIn, etc. There are stories every day, and they have been glamorized in movies and TV. Young bright minds are drawn to them.
As I came to learn about new technologies and innovations in the construction industry, I decided that my mission in life was to shed light on this amazing industry. Thus, The LISA Movement!