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The age of big promises and small results – Source

We live in an era of big promises but results that fall far short of expectations. Take the failed construction startup Katerra. Founded in 2015, the company claimed it would use the approaches of digital and mass production industries, including glued and laminated “mass timber” products and modular design, to “disrupt” the construction industry, long seen as a bastion of backward, inefficient craft labor. Many people enthusiastically bought into this vision. Over six years, the company raised $3 billion, including $2 billion from Japanese telecom and investment giant SoftBank Group.

In 2021, the global construction industry had a market size of about $11.5 trillion. Any company that truly disrupted and claimed a large chunk of such a huge market would be one of the largest winners in industrial history. But Katerra was not to be that company. It failed for many reasons, including because it hubristically underestimated the complexity of construction. It went belly-up in…

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