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Crazy for ConTech with Jeff Sample, The ConTech Crew


Welcome to ‘Crazy for ConTech’ with Romey Oulton, a Q&A focused on the Construction Technology Industry. 

This Q&A series is an opportunity for our Head of ConTech, Romey Oulton, to discuss all things construction technology with key players who are championing innovation and digitalisation in the construction space. 

This week we have been in touch with Jeff Sample, CEO & Founder Ironman of IT LLC, Host of The ConTech Crew Podcast.

The ConTechCrew is a rapidly growing weekly podcast exploring topics associated with construction technology. Weekly episodes explore construction news with industry-leading guest interviews; topics touch on apps, hardware, and enterprise software. Tune-in to learn more about the tech building our world and transforming companies!

Jeff  ‘The Evangelist ’ Sample – tell us what it means to be an industry evangelist?

As an industry goes through any transformation there needs to be people that can help create awareness around the current problems and these emerging solutions. These people need to maintain a level of expertise and connection to the industry in its current form and be evangelical about the power (and inevitability) of the change ahead. These individuals can work for companies or on their own but most importantly must be true to the change itself not and maintain a level of trust with their brand.


The ConTech Crew – what gave birth to this idea? Plans for the future 6 months, 1 year, 3 years?

The Crew was born out of the need for evangelists in the construction technology space. Many of the technologies presenting themselves were misunderstood and needed voices to help begin to understand the change. This has come full circle and we are now highlighting the people in the industry who are pushing for change. We also have the opportunity to help the industry navigate the AI boom. Over the next three years, I would like to grow the show and reach new markets.


How have you successfully pivoted from roles in QA engineering, to director of accounts, to head of comms, to face of your own podcast – what tips can you give around transferable skills and being a generalist? 

I think the key component to my career has been a thirst to learn and not being afraid to be the dumbest person in the room. No one can know everything so you will always need new perspectives and expertise while also knowing that your experience and skills bring value everywhere you go.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in your career?

At the time of being an IT Architect, a friend Michael Gearhardt took me aside and said I needed to be ready for my career path to be over with the emergence of the cloud. He wasn’t exactly right but the spirit of the conversation sparked my path to using my IT and Technology experience to drive business and change.


Which area of the AECO industry is most untapped by technology/has most opportunity for growth?

E.g. pre-con, sustainability, workforce safety etc.  It is widely known that I believe the next 3 years are the ‘Rise of Preconstruction’. This is encapsulated in the change in contracts and delivery models, arising means and methods changes, and then the industry reaching DfMA.


What best practices can you advise to ConTech startups to stay abreast of emerging trends in both construction and technology?

How can they ensure a company’s product remains relevant in a rapidly changing environment? Startups in the ConTech space need to be focused on real problems and stay connected to the group they most want to support. But this also requires that you spend time understanding the complexity of the industry and the risks this creates for your clients.


Technology Vs construction? Resistent industry or lack of education/support from technology vendors offered to the traditional space?

I believe that it is neither. I think that we are uniquely plagued in construction by a lack of ‘winning technology’. This is a recent epiphany that I believe we need category winners that make adoption more easily achieved do to market saturation.


Imagine you have the ability to predict the future of construction technology. What breakthrough innovation do you think will completely change the industry in the next 10 years? (I dare you to not say AI….)

It’s not AI. I think the breakthrough innovation will come from a completely new business model that creates an entirely new paradigm for the AECO. This will be fueled by a combination of technologies.

What’s the quote you live by? What’s your guilty pleasure?

Love like you’ve never been hurt, work like you don’t need money, and dance like nobody is watching. I think the industry knows that my guilty pleasure is Powder Skiing, mountain biking, and a great Old Fashion!

LMRE are specialist PropTech recruiters, if you need help growing your business or making any key hires please get in touch via the form below!

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