Employee-focused Technology Drives Construction Innovation | Construction Executive

March 18, 2019.

Construction technology is undoubtedly one of the most exciting pockets of innovation in today’s economy.

Funding in U.S.-based construction technology startups surged by 324 percent to nearly $3.1 billion in 2018, compared with $731 million in 2017, according to Crunchbase data. Investment spans hardware, software, AI and other exciting technologies.

For too long, the construction industry was essentially neglected by the technology and VC worlds. However, it’s finally experiencing an injection of innovation that—if deployed and nurtured appropriately—could have a meaningful and lasting impact across safety, productivity and connectivity.

It’s important to note that the majority of these new-age construction technologies are geared toward businesses: they sell a piece of technology, be it hardware or software, to a company in the construction space, and that technology is then used by some subset of workers at that company.

Many of these companies’ offerings help solve important problems in the industry, such as safety, productivity and communication. However, it’s not entirely clear that top-down solution, versus a bottom-up solution, will drive the most change.

A product or platform that is geared toward the worker, not management, will be most widely adopted and engaged with, and therefore have the most impact. It’s human nature to react adversely to something that you’re being forced to use versus something you’ve discovered yourself and you feel provides the most utility . . .

By Peter Maglathlin

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