Categories Design, Narrative

Innovators and Office Space

Each year I read tons of reports, market studies, and research.  One of the best in the business is Gensler’s workplace survey. This year, Gensler takes a deep dive into innovators–how they work, how design drives innovation, and what is happening for the individual worker.

At the end of this email is a link to the entire report (well worth your time, if you are an office space trends geek like me), or you can read a few of the high points from my perspective below:

Workplace design needs to prioritize both the individual and group work. Below is a graphic showing there is still a long way to go in this area.  When this happens, a number of good metrics come out (job satisfaction and level of meaning go up).

State of Workplace


Not surprisingly, innovators spend more time away from their desk.  Below is a cool graphic that shows this trend. All our clients are asking us how to do this while still getting productivity and creating a team.

Innovators Spend time


Innovators see their office space in its entirety. They have better designed workspaces throughout the office. See below where they find opportunity to make workspaces better and more innovative.

Better Designed workplaces 2
There is lots of disruption in the changing office demographic profile, the nature of work, and of course the design to meet the needs of all this change.  We are a steady hand helping more than 100 companies annually find and lease office space.  Over the past 30+ years, our team has done over 3,500 leases.  We can help you navigate the changing world of office space leasing and design. Email or call me. 

P.S.- Throughout 2016, we endeavored to bring some humor into your day with our video series. At the same time, we hoped you would get to know us and our services as we took you on a tour of our website. How did we do? Any feedback?  If you missed any of the videos, you can find them all by clicking here. Thank you for your thoughts.  

Click here to read the full Gensler report.
Gensler US Workplacec2-webbutton-Share-04

Categories Narrative

Happy Holidays from Coppola-Cheney!

Happy Holidays from Coppola-Cheney! We are grateful for all of you who have made 2016 one of the best years for a number of reasons:

— We grew our family.  Andrew and Chelsea both had their first children this year.

— As a team, we visited seven different countries.
— Oh, our team was also the top-producing team at Lee & Associates Arizona.
Each year, we pull thousands of photos and give you the best 25. Enjoy by clicking on our holiday card below. If you are interested in seeing additional photos from any of these trips, send me an email.

Best wishes this holiday season! 






Categories Narrative, Tech Industry

Shop and Leave…No Checkout Line

This week’s narrative features some brand new “WOW” technology. In early 2017, Amazon is opening the first store without any checkout lines. You scan your smartphone on the way in, shop, and walk out when you are done. 

Watch this short video to see how it works: 

Amazon Go Video
What will this do to shopping? 
–Clearly jobs will be lost as check out and bagging become obsolete. 
–The shopping experience will become better, faster, and easier.  
–You will probably end up spending more money too.
What are your thoughts? Give me a call and we can discuss. 

P.S.- There are only 33 people in the world with the CRE, SIOR and CCIM designations. Andrew and I are two of them.  Click here to enlarge the below list of all the designations professionals in our business can get. How many does your broker have?  To read the full article, click here

career investment
(Click here to enlarge the photo)

Only Amazon Could Make a Checkout-Free Grocery Store a Reality
By Davey Alba
Dec. 6, 2016

ON MONDAY, AMAZON took the wraps off Amazon Goa real-world grocery store that comes with a twist: there’s no checkout process. You just grab the stuff you want and walk out; the order posts to your Amazon account afterwards. There are no cashiers, no lines, no fumbling for a credit card. And while experts agree that Go looks very much like the future of retail, it’s less clear whether Amazon has all of the pieces in place.

There’s one Amazon Go location so far, in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, and it’s a relatively conservative amount of space: 1800 square feet holding perishable grocery goods like bread, milk, and cheese, as well as pre-made snacks and fresh meals. Amazon says all you need is the Amazon Go app to enter the store and start shopping. Or rather, that’s what you will need when Amazon decides to open the store up to civilians. Currently, Amazon Go is available only to Amazon employees in beta, with the public launch date set for early 2017.

As for how its “Just Walk Out Shopping” experience works, Amazon seems emphatically not to want to share details. It steeps its description of how the system works in buzzwords: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. It uses sensors throughout the store and artificial intelligence to tell which direction customers are looking, even in a crowd, and can identify partially blocked labels. Beyond that, details are hazy.

That doesn’t mean it’s vapor, though. In fact, retail tech specialists and computer vision experts agree that Amazon’s advertised system is entirely plausible given the state of artificial intelligence, RFID, sensor and machine learning technologies today. No one’s put all of the pieces together in the way Amazon appears to have done—but then again, nobody else is Amazon.

Amazon’s Choice

It’s not that retail tech companies haven’t already been hard at work tracking people as they explore physical stores and shop. A host of companies with names like RetailNext, Euclid, and Nomi, among others, are all part of this trend. It’s in a store’s interest to track people, after all, not just because they can target and upsell customers on more products and in-store promotions. Aggregate data on how customers move within a store and what they buy can help stores project purchasing trends, decide how to rearrange a layout, and create better reports for their shareholders, among other benefits.

What previous efforts don’t do that Amazon Go does, though, is link products to individuals, says Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid Analytics, which gives stores the ability to track customers using their mobile Wi-Fi address, which helps smartphones interact with real-world items. (Other companies deploy tools like video analytics and beacons.) “Solving the problem of attaching the products to the person as they leave the store is going to require something new—or something we’re not aware of today,” Franson says. “Tying the two together at 100 percent accuracy, that’s a problem that’s hard to solve.” If Amazon is anything short of 100 percent accurate, Franson points out, that means someone essentially gets to steal from them, or Amazon mistakenly charges a customer for something she didn’t buy. Both scenarios are unacceptable.

Complicating matters further is that the act of shopping is tricky, says Arun Nair, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of RetailNext. Grocery shoppers often put things back in the wrong aisle. Certain food, like vegetables, are priced by weight. Families and other groups need to have one consolidated virtual cart, rather than being charged individually based on the smartphone in their pocket.

Amazon may be uniquely situated to solve these problems, though. It has useful experience in other parts of its vast operations, such as an expertise in storing and picking out items in its various warehouses, and the AI competence that underpins its voice assistant Alexa, that could address these hurdles. “The technology building blocks are there,” Nair says.

According to David Luan, the CEO of AI startup Dextro, Amazon probably does use a combination of sensors and technologies, as it claims. It would need computer vision to see what people are looking at and what they’re picking up, sensors on shelves, a mobile app to tie an individual user to their identity (going through a turnstile and scanning a QR code before entering the store is likely key in this), and perhaps some kind of souped-up RFID to verify individual items.


But the biggest advantage Amazon has in solving all of these problems? It runs the entire ecosystem. “Amazon controls what gets stocked in the store,” Luan says. “So Amazon can choose things that they are very good at identifying, and it can skip all the hard problems for a long time.” It’s hard for Amazon to go wrong when Amazon itself is controlling who’s going into the space, the infrastructure of the space, and the products in the space. And even if it does still have lots left to figure out, that’s what betas are for.

For now, Euclid’s Franson suggests you take the company’s word with a grain of salt. “If I were creating supermarkets from scratch, I would have done something like this,” Franson says. “I think this is the future of retail. I just expected, until we heard about this, that it was a little further out than it seems—or that Amazon is making it seem.”


Categories Economy, Narrative

Demonetized Cost of Living

Everyone talks about the negatives that happen in our lives. But some of the most incredible transformations are going on right in front of our eyes as well. A few months ago, I shared with you Dr. Peter Diamandis’ email about how the world is getting better (Click here to read that post). Today’s topic also comes from Diamandis, and addresses the demonetization of the cost of living.  

Below are the top 7 ways we spend our money and how the cost of these is dropping precipitously. This includes:

  1. Transportation 
  2. Food 
  3. Healthcare 
  4. Housing 
  5. Energy 
  6. Education 
  7. Entertainment
Read on to see how cheap living will be in the coming years. Curious how this will affect real estate? Give me a call. 

P.S.- Why does Michael Kosta need toilet paper? Click here to watch the video and learn the answer. 

Why C2 Pt 2
(Having trouble viewing the video? Click here)

Email from Dr. Peter Diamandis

People are concerned about how AI and robotics are taking jobs and destroying livelihoods… reducing our earning capacity, and subsequently destroying the economy.

In anticipation, countries like Canada, India and Finland are running experiments to pilot the idea of “universal basic income” – the unconditional provision of a regular sum of money from the government to support livelihood independent of employment.

But what people aren’t talking about, and what’s getting my attention, is a forthcoming rapid demonetization of the cost of living.

Meaning — it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to meet our basic needs.

Powered by developments in exponential technologies, the cost of housing, transportation, food, health care, entertainment, clothing, education and so on will fall, eventually approaching, believe it or not, zero.

In this blog, I’ll explore how people spend their money now and how “technological socialism” (i.e. having our lives taken care of by technology) can demonetize living.

As an entrepreneur, CEO or leader, understanding this trend and implication is important… it will change the way we live, work, and play in the years ahead.

How We Spend Our Money Today

Spending habits around the world tell a pretty consistent story – we tend to spend money on many of the same basic products and services.

Take a look at how consumers spent their money in three large economies: The United States, China, and India.

In the U.S., in 2011, 33% of the average American’s income was spent on Housing, followed by 16% spent on Transportation, 12% spent on Food, 6% on Healthcare, and 5% on Entertainment.

In other words, more than 75% of Americans’ expenditures come from Housing, Transportation, Food, Personal Insurance, and Health.

In China, per a recent Goldman Sachs Investment Research report, there is a similar breakdown — Food, Home, Mobility, and Well-Being make up the majority of the expenditures.

Interestingly, in China, consumers care significantly more about looking good and eating better (and less about having more fun) than in the U.S. – nearly half of consumer income goes to clothes and food.

In India, with a population of 1.2 billion people, expenditures on Food, Transportation, and Miscellaneous Goods and Services are most prominent.

Rent/Housing and Healthcare represent a smaller portion of expenditures.

These differences likely represent cultural differences in each of the three very different countries – but overall, you see that the majority of expenditures are in these top 7 categories:

  1. Transportation
  2. Food
  3. Healthcare
  4. Housing
  5. Energy
  6. Education
  7. Entertainment

Now, imagine what would happen if the cost of these items plummeted.

Here’s how…

Rapid Demonetization – What It Means

To me, “demonetization” means the ability of technology to take a product or service that was previously expensive and making it substantially cheaper, or potentially free (in the extreme boundary condition). It means removing money from the equation.

Consider Photography: In the Kodak years, photography was expensive. You paid for the camera, for the film, for developing the film, and so on. Today, during the Megapixel era, the camera is free in your phone, no film, no developing. Completely demonetized.

Consider Information/Research: In years past, collecting obscure data was hard, expensive in time if you did it yourself, or expensive in money if you hired researchers. Today, during the Google Era, it’s free and the quality is 1000x better. Access to information, data and research is fully demonetized.

Consider Live Video or Phone calls: Demonetized by Skype, Google Hangouts, the list goes on:

  • Craigslist demonetized classifieds
  • iTunes demonetized the music industry
  • Uber demonetized transportation
  • AirBnb demonetized hotels
  • Amazon demonetized bookstores

Demonetizing ~$1M Worth of Stuff We Take for Granted

In the back of my book Abundance (Page 289 of the recent edition), I provide a chart showing how we’ve demonetized $900,000 worth of products and services that you might have purchased between 1969 and 1989.

900,000 worth of applications in a smart phone today

People with a smartphone today can access tools that would have cost thousands a few decades ago.

Twenty years ago, most well-off U.S. citizens owned a camera, a videocamera, a CD player, a stereo, a video game console, a cellphone, a watch, an alarm clock, a set of encyclopedias, a world atlas, a Thomas guide, and a whole bunch of other assets that easily add up to more than $900,000.

Today, all of these things are free on your smartphone.

Strange that we don’t value these things when they become free. We just expect them.

So now, let’s look at the top seven areas mentioned above where people globally are spending their cash today, and how these things are likely to demonetize over the next decade or two.

(1) Transportation:

The automotive market (a trillion dollars) is being demonetized by startups like Uber. But this is just the beginning.

When Uber rolls out fully autonomous services, your cost of transportation will plummet.

Think about all of the related costs that disappear: auto insurance, auto repairs, parking, fuel, parking tickets… Your overall cost of “getting around” will be 5 to 10 times cheaper when compared to owning a car.

This is the future of “car as a service.”

Ultimately, the poorest people on Earth will be chauffeured around.

(2) Food:

As I noted in Abundance, the cost of food has dropped thirteenfold over the past century. That reduction will continue.

$ <ol>f <p><em>r capita disposable income spent <ol>n food in the United States

As noted in the chart above, the cost of food at home has dropped by >50%.

Additional gains will be made as we learn to efficiently produce foods locally through vertical farming (note that 70% of food’s final retail price comes from transportation, storage and handling).

Also, as we make genetic and biological advances, we will learn how to increase yield per square meter.

(3) Healthcare:

Healthcare can be roughly split into four major categories: (i) diagnostics, (ii) intervention/surgery, (iii) chronic care and (iv) medicines.

(i) Diagnostics: AI has already demonstrated the ability to diagnose cancer patients better than the best doctors, image and diagnose pathology, look at genomics data and draw conclusions, and/or sort through gigabytes of phenotypic data… all for the cost of electricity.

(ii) Intervention/Surgery: In the near future, the best surgeons in the world will be robots, and they’ll be able to move with precision and image a surgical field in high magnification. Each robotic surgeon can call upon the data from millions of previous robotic surgeries, outperforming the most experienced human counterpart. Again, with the cost asymptotically approaching zero.

(iii) Chronic/Eldercare: Taking care of the aging of chronically ill will again be done most efficiently through Robots.

(iv) Medicines: Medicines will be discovered and manufactured more efficiently by AI’s, and perhaps in the near future, be compounded at home with the aid of a 3D printing machine that assembles your perfect medicines based on the needs and blood chemistries in that very moment.

It’s also worth noting the price of genomics sequencing is plummeting (as you’ll see below, five times the rate of Moore’s Law). Accurate sequencing should allow us to predict which diseases you’re likely to develop, and which drugs are of highest use to treat you.

The plummeting cost to sequence the human genome (Source: NHGRI)

The plummeting cost to sequence the human genome (Source: NHGRI)

(4) Housing:

Think about what drives high housing costs. Why does a single-family apartment in Manhattan cost $10 million, while the same square footage on the outskirts of St. Louis can be purchased for $100,000?

Location. Location. Location. People flock to high-density, desired areas, near the jobs and the entertainment. This market demand drives up the price.

Housing will demonetize for two reasons: The first reason housing will demonetize is because of two key technologies which make the proximity of your home to your job irrelevant, meaning you can live anywhere, specifically where the real estate is cheap:

(1) Autonomous Cars: If your commute time can become time to read, relax, sleep, watch a movie, have a meeting… Does it matter if your commute is 90 minutes?

(2) Virtual Reality: What happens when your workplace is actually a virtual office where your coworkers are avatars? When you no longer need to commute at all. You wake up, plug into your virtual workspace, and telecommute from the farm or from the island of Lesvos.

The second technology drivers are the impact of Robotics and 3D Printing, which will demonetize the cost of building structures.

A number of startups are now exploring how 3D printed structures and buildings can dramatically reduce the cost of construction and the amount of time it takes to build a building.

For example, a company out of China, Winsun, is 3D printing entire apartment buildings (see picture below):

6-story building 3D printed by Winsun

6-story building 3D printed by Winsun

(5) Energy:

Five thousand times more energy hits the surface of the Earth from the Sun in an hour than all of humanity uses in a year. Solar is abundant worldwide. Better yet, the poorest countries on Earth are the sunniest.

Today, the cost of Solar has dropped to ~$0.03 kWh. The cost of Solar will continue to demonetize through further material science advances (e.g. perovskite) that increase efficiencies.

(6) Education:

Education has already been demonetized in many respects, as most of the information you’d learn in school is available online, for free.

Coursera, Khan Academy, and schools like Harvard, MIT and Stanford have thousands of hours of high-quality instruction online, available to anyone on the planet with an Internet connection.

But this is just the beginning. Soon the best professors in the world will be an Artificial Intelligence, an AI able to know the exact abilities, needs, desires and knowledge of a student and teach them exactly what they need in the best fashion at the perfect rate.

Accordingly, the child of a billionaire or the child of a pauper will have access to the same (best) education delivered by such an AI, effectively for free.

(7) Entertainment:

Entertainment (video and gaming) historically required significant purchases of equipment and services.

Today, with the advent of music streaming services, YouTube, Netflix and the iPhone App Store, we’re seeing an explosion of available selections at the same time that the universe of options rapidly demonetizes.

YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.