Last night I went down a YouTube rabbit hole watching Douglas Coupland, author of the 1991 novel Generation X. Coupland is the unofficial spokesman for my age cohort. He’s the person who named us and has continued to chronicle our misadventures through life – not least of which his own. His subsequent novels Shampoo Planet, … Continue reading “Hoard Anything You Can’t Download” – Douglas Coupland
I recently followed a company that moved out of their old offices in a downtown skyscraper to their new offices in… a downtown skyscraper two blocks away. The switch will save the company $2M a year in rent and provide for significantly more flexibility as their particular needs change. The details and future implications are … Continue reading WeWork
I recently published an article that explored some of the ways regulations make it difficult for small businesses to get off the ground and function. Among the examples I used from around the country was Bank Suey in Hamtramck, Michigan. My story was subsequently reposted on various other sites which the owner, Alissa Shelton, read … Continue reading Hamtramck: Scale and Institutional Frameworks
. . . I got an e-mail from an architect friend yesterday and I need to make a big decision. It’s not one I’m taking lightly. He let me know that in the wake of the recent fires that destroyed thousands of properties all across the county officials were temporarily suspending a lot of the … Continue reading Crisis. Opportunity. Ambivalence.
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring small towns and big cities from Michigan to Texas, Illinois to Kentucky, Georgia to California – often in the company of city officials, professional consultants, and sharp people trying to figure out how to make things work better. I keep refining my understanding of the forces at play … Continue reading Let’s Cut the Crap and Embrace Reality
Last year I engaged in a failed attempt to renovate and expand an old house in an 1890’s era neighborhood in Ohio. It ended badly. So I thought I’d do a follow up on what actually does work given the legal parameters and cultural context. I sold the house to a smart young local guy … Continue reading Doing What Actually Works
Google Google . Here’s an intersection in unincorporated Sonoma County about an hour and a half north of San Francisco. It’s not exactly urban. But it’s a little too developed to be truly rural. Yet there’s enough productive farm land that it isn’t entirely suburban either. It’s a mixed bag. . . . These vacant … Continue reading “Economic Development”