Take Control of Project Quality with These ConTech Solutions | Work Done Right™ with Alice Leung

This week on Work Done Right™, Alice Leung joins to discuss how the construction industry can get proactive about quality with the use of the right technologies. She explains the biggest red flags she looks for in a technology solution, how to evaluate the potential ROI for a new technology, and why it is so important to capture data and build meaningful feedback loops. 

About Alice

Alice Leung is Vice President of Platform and Product Strategy at Brick & Mortar Ventures, where she works with portfolio companies, new startups, industry professionals and investors to invest in the most impactful and promising startups that the construction industry needs.  

A construction industry veteran of nearly a decade, Alice has previously held roles at American Institute of Architects, Building Transformations, Digital Built Environment Institute, and DPR Construction. 

Alice received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, and through her experiences and education has a unique perspective on the relationship between quality and technology. 

Top 3 Episode Takeaways

Alice provides a unique perspective on the role of construction technology in solving real industry problems. Here are the top three takeaways from her conversation with Wes:  

  1. One of the biggest errors that a startup can make is creating a solution before identifying a problem. A truly valuable solution will solve a problem for people who are boots on the ground and really facing this problem on a day-to-day basis.  
  2. The industry must prioritize a transparent feedback loop to validate work quality. Technology can help validate that what we’re building is actually what we’re supposed to build according to the plan. 
  3. There’s an opportunity for companies to better use risk analysis to generate an accurate ROI estimate based on specific equipment, materials, or technology. For example, weighing the cost of sensors required for IoT against the benefit of receiving granular quality data. 

Episode Highlight

When asked about how construction technology can help solve the industry’s looming quality problems, Alice offered an interesting perspective: 

“Quality is one of those things where depending on who it is that’s on site, there’s just such a wide range of how people manage quality. Because every company has a quality plan of some sort, right?   

I feel like a lot of people talk about quality, but not everyone really understands it and or lives by it. Things that technology can’t solve are communication and education around why quality is important. But not just why it’s important, but this is why we do certain things, right?   

If you just give someone a quality manual and say, ‘here, follow it, check the box.’ That doesn’t really help with the understanding part. I think that’s where the training, education and having accountability and buy in, the people side of things, that are really important to driving that process, which then allows you to adopt technology to streamline that process.   

I think on that process side, we really need to, whether it’s training or as an industry as a whole, try to figure out how do you define that in a way so that process can also transfer from project to project.  I think that’s one of the reasons why we don’t see a lot of technologies around quality is that it’s just such a misunderstood big part of our industry.” 

Episode Transcript

Wes Edmiston: 

Alice, welcome to the show. Hey, so I’m sure a lot of people have heard of Alice Leung, but maybe not as many people have heard of Brick and Mortar Ventures. Could you tell me a bit about what it is that you and you all at Brick and Mortar are doing?  


Alice Leung: 

Yeah, Brick and Mortar Ventures is a construction technology focused venture capital firm based in San Francisco. So we invest in early stage construction technology startups, and the way that we define construction tech is really around the construction process.  

So we invest in technologies and companies that are really solving the underlying productivity layer when it comes to building and maintaining stuff. And that usually spans between the design phase, through the construction phase, and even into the operations and maintenance phase.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Now, how is it that you got involved in brick and mortar, and can you tell me a little bit more about your past?  


Alice Leung:  

I come from the construction industry. I knew nothing about venture capital when I first joined and I guess, I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. My background is in construction. I was recruited to DPR while in college and actually I knew nothing about construction at that time too, because I studied engineering, thinking that I would go work for a car company.  

I thought I was going to get into automotive engineering but took this chance to go work for a DPR here in the San Francisco Bay Area and just absolutely loved my internship. Just being out on the construction side and seeing things get built and getting to work with these superintendents that a lot of people say are old and rickety.  

But the superintendents were a wealth of knowledge and I was fortunate that a lot of these superintendents just really liked explaining things and teaching and just talking about construction and what was happening in the field.  

So I really fell in love with being out on site and seeing things get built and just doing a lot of problem solving in construction. I feel like that’s kind of the main thing that you do as a general contractor is you’re trying to manage all of this information and you’re trying to problem solve on a day to day basis.  

And during my time in industry and I think part of this is just growing up around computers and technology. I loved the technology side, so my role was always in operations, but I’ve always liked trying to find new technologies and new tools to make my workflows a lot more efficient.  

So one can say that I am very impatient and I just felt like I was doing a lot of the same thing over and over again. So clicking a million buttons to get one thing done, and what not. So it was during my time in DPR when I first got exposed to startups and this was back in 2011 when construction tech really wasn’t a thing.  

And I was working with some of these startups, really as an end user, utilizing their tech, implementing the tech. Providing a ton of feedback more just out of asking for people to help build me stuff so that, you know, it makes my life easier.  

Frankly, that’s how I thought. But that ended up leading me into this career where I was very involved with BIM technology innovation and just got introduced to more and more startups as part of the ecosystem and ultimately got to a point in my career where I was looking for a change.  

I was interested in doing something that had a bigger impact to industry. And frankly, some of the frustrations around reinventing the wheel from project to project and setting up these processes that some people may or may not follow.  

And just some of the challenges around technology adoption and process. And that’s what led me to go look for a construction tech startup to join and through those conversations ended up getting this opportunity at Brick and Mortar Ventures.  

And now I get to work with many different startups and industry and yeah, I think that’s probably the most fun part of my job is I get to work across technology industry and kind of sit in the space where I just have a lot of opportunity to learn and get to know problems and try to find those solutions.  


Wes Edmiston: 

What are some of the problems that you saw whenever you were on project that you think that maybe technology could help to fill a space in a lot of companies these days, and I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase said before that some companies are a solution that are looking for a problem, right?  

But that doesn’t fail to bring up the fact that there are definitely problems that are out there that are still available to be solved with technology. Is there anything that you recall from your experience that jumps out as a major issue that could be solved through tech?  


Alice Leung: 

Yes. So first the solution is looking for a problem. We see a lot of those in the startup ecosystem and frankly. It is a pretty big red flag. If there’s some really cool cutting edge tech like, oh, we should use blockchain for blah blah, well, let’s unpack that and really understand the underlying technology and why we need to do that.  

So even in our approach, we’ve always started by talking to the industry, understanding the industry, having empathy for the industry, and really understanding what are those problems, is that the people who are boots on the ground really facing from a day to day basis.  

And a lot of those problems do revolve around quality control. And it may seem really easy that these buildings get put up and you could see things change from a day to day basis. But I think for those who are not in the weeds and not in the day to day, you don’t really see what is causing the slowdown or what is causing the efficiency losses and whatnot.  

And I think anytime people read news articles about construction, it’s always something goes wrong. Like there’s the ability we lose power or the so and so project was over budget, it was delayed. Right.  

And I think the industry is definitely plagued by all of these things. And when I look at it, a lot of it goes down to poor risk management. I think construction is all about risk management and quality control is a big part of that too.  

And quality just fits into so many different pieces around that and particularly around quality. Just some of the I don’t want to call it low-hanging fruit because it just seems like it’s very obvious.  

But it’s also a really hard problem to solve is just people are building off of old information and it’s actually hard to stall because on a construction site one can say, oh, you just need cloud-based solutions and then everything will be real time and this and that.  

But on the construction site, there’s no WiFi, there’s no cell service. Like, how are you going to use these quote unquote, cloud based systems in an environment where you actually cannot connect to anything? 

So just some of the challenges around the construction site and what leads to people building off of old information, whether it’s changes in design or a staff work order or whatever it is, that whole thing needs to get kind of unpacked.  

But I think it’s definitely an opportunity for technology to solve that. And another, a big kind of area that technology can help with is kind of this, like, missing feedback loop between the field and the office, right?  

I think with BIM, we’ve seen a lot of people try to do, we’re going to build this digitally, and then we can physically build this off of what we’ve already figured out virtually, right? But in reality, what gets built on site is not necessarily what has been drawn in the drawings or put in the model, right?  

There’s this kind of feedback loop that’s missing around that quality piece around what was installed. Is it installed in the right place? Is it the right thing that’s been installed? And a lot of those workflows are still either paper based or it’s just visual checks or whatever.  

I think there’s a big opportunity to kind of understand all the different bits and pieces of that feedback loop. And how do you leverage technologies, whether it’s IoT tools or reality capture or whatever, to really help bring that feedback loop back and just to make sure that what we’re building is actually what we’re supposed to build.  


Wes Edmiston: 

You touched on something that I want to come back to here in a minute, which is some of these challenges that we have with deploying some of these technologies, and what you’ve especially since with your role that you have now, you touch on so many different companies, right?  

So I’m sure that you get information from each and every one of them, and we can take those lessons out of it. But are there any technologies that you’re seeing that are. Doing maybe a better job than others at helping to bridge this gap in quality is something that I do have a big passion at.  

I was a quality person for many years within Shell, so I am keen on assuring that projects are built correctly. Right. But is there anything in the technology space that you’re seeing, like I said, that maybe stands out as doing a better job than others that people can look for?  


Alice Leung: 

Yeah, I think for sure, just looking at hardware, I know in this, like, I guess from a venture capital perspective and a technology perspective, hardware is hard. Everyone says hardware is hard, but when it comes to construction and building things and maintaining things, at the end of the day, it’s a physical process that these people in the field need to go and put something together, they need to go check something, they need to go verify something.  

And we can build as many software technologies as we want, but if the person in the field doesn’t want to use it, that’s a challenge. Right. I think one part of it is ease of implementation and the other part of it is really what’s in it for the person that’s using the tool.  

Right. If you’re building something that’s not value add to that person, chances are they’re not going to use your tool. So just thinking about the types of technologies that can kind of bridge the gap between the physical world and the digital world and can add value to the person who’s using the tools, whether it’s providing them feedback on whether or not they’re doing it properly or providing them feedback on quality or productivity.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Right. I think when we build good technologies around quality, it really has to focus on the person doing the work and making sure that everything is easy for them and that this is something that they really want to use.  

There are definitely times throughout the day when you’re wandering around looking for looking for the right information, looking for somebody to be able to give you information. Right. So to have even things like contemporarily the correct information for what it is that you’re doing, like you were saying, revision, control items like that, there’s definitely, like you said, low-hanging fruit out there that people can be grasping toward in order to really provide value back to the industry.  

You touched on really well. Things like the users wanting to adopt and use the system, something being in it for them, ease of use. And oftentimes, those are barriers for a lot of other companies to be able to deploy technologies.  

Maybe it’s not. Maybe the UI isn’t very user friendly. Maybe it is that it takes additional equipment or additional time to use something. Are there any other barriers that you’re frequently seeing that’s preventing technology from being deployed on sites or is maybe discouraging users from adopting?  


Alice Leung: 

Yeah. On a higher level, cost is definitely a big thing. And how do you look at the cost and calculate the ROI? So we’ve looked at, just, generally speaking, IoT for construction over the last, I don’t know, for the life of brick and mortar, really.  

And what we hear from contractors is that these sensors are too expensive, or people don’t want to put on these sensors or whatever it is. Right. But a lot of the times, it’s like, well, if these sensors cost, even if they were $5 each, and you need to place a $5 sensor on every piece of equipment right.  

Or something like that right. That all adds up. And that kind of when you calculate the ROI of whether or not we want to adopt this tech, like, what is the value that you’re getting? Right. Yeah. Maybe you’re tracking where the materials are and whatnot, but there are more inexpensive ways of doing that, or more kind of.  

Just unique ways of doing that, that you could probably get the same information, so that kind of ties back to solutions looking for a problem. It’s like, oh, we have all these, like, sensors. Now, how do we take advantage of these sensors?  

And I don’t necessarily know if we figured out exactly matching the right types of sensors for the right type of accuracy, costs, whether it’s updated in real time or updated every 15 minutes or whatever it is.  

So there’s always this balancing act when it comes to IoT implementation. So I think, yeah, cost is definitely a big piece of it. And I’m not saying if it’s an expensive sensor, it will not get implemented.  

I think tying that with ROI, like, the value that whether it’s the worker that’s getting or the value that the company is getting by capturing that data is very important. One thing that I’ve noticed, and I wonder if you’ve seen the same thing with companies, is we’ll use an example of something like sensors, right?  

Of tracking the equipment, tracking material, or a sensor that goes attached to a piece of equipment that’s going to be for operations. I’ve seen oftentimes where people have this binary response where it’s either full bore yes or 100% no.  

Right. And I feel like there’s an opportunity in order to do a better kind of risk analysis and kind of ROI on particular equipment, on particular materials. Like, in the quality world, we take a risk based approach toward inspection, right?  

And then we can scale down from there. Do you see companies that are out there that are actually taking that sort of approach toward implementation of technologies, or are you seeing same thing where it’s kind of we’re either going to do it or we’re not going to do it, and there’s not a lot of negotiation in between.  

Yeah, I think I probably see the same, and I think that’s definitely one of the challenges of the construction industry. But I think if you figured out the product and you figured out how to. Tell the story behind the ROI that’ll probably drive a lot of people in one direction versus the other, I think.  

Yeah. Like, when we work with startups, we make sure that as they’re looking at the overall construction industry, you really have to hone in on what is that ideal customer profile? Is it? You know, GC.  

Is it a subcontractor? And even within EPC and subcontractors vectors, what is the size of the company within that company? Who are the specific roles of people who may be the best suited to adopt this technology or whatever?  

And then sometimes the user of this technology is not necessarily the decision maker of the tech implementation either. Right. And I think that’s one of the challenges of our industry. But also, it’s a great opportunity where if you really understand your customers well and you can position the product in a way that is value for many people on the same construction site, that can lead to network effects or just a lot more excitement around some type of technology.  

And the cool thing about construction is it’s so relationship based, and there’s so many people in construction that talk to other people in construction that if it’s really something that’s game changing and helping the field and helping us build better, I think people will share that with their friends.  

I know. I used to do that when I was at DPR. When I found great technologies, I wanted to share it with everyone. I was like, oh, my God, this is the best thing. It’s, like, saved me so much time. And a lot of the times, you’re talking to construction people and you’re venting about issues on site or this happened or that happened, or complaining about designers or whatever it is, we’re right.  

So people in construction talk to a lot of other people in construction, and I think when you can have those kind of happy moments where a tool and the technology is very value add, I think it’ll just kind of spread organically pretty quickly.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Hey, real quick, this is Wes. I just wanted to let you know that if you have an idea for an episode topic or a great guest suggestion, we would love to hear from you. Just send us an email at workdoneright@cumulusds.com. Now, back to the show.  

I would agree with that. There are several technologies that I’m thinking about that I have deployed myself on projects or that I had other people tell me about that we’ve you know, once it got on site or once somebody deployed it, it just spread like wildfire.  

And seemingly everybody’s doing it now, right? At least anybody that I was connected to in industrial oil and gas. Bringing back toward the conversation toward quality. Are there any quality topics out there?  

Are there any areas of quality control that you don’t think can be solved by technology? Or do you think that it’s a pretty greenfield open space where any of these issues we could potentially be solving through technology?  


Alice Leung: 

Yeah, this is almost like a chicken and egg thing where I always put so I forget where this is from. I know Stanford Sipho has this when we talk around Vim and Vdc, this kind of three pronged approach of implementing, I guess changed.  

Right. So change in general, there’s people process and technology. I’m sure this is not just in construction and it’s probably taught somewhere else, but when I look at people process and technology and how that relates to things that maybe technology should or should not solve, we always have to to start with the process.  

I think this is where it’s almost a chicken and an egg thing because there are certain times when technology can drive process, but there are also certain times where you just don’t have a process and you need the process before you could build the technology around it.  

Quality is one of those things where depending on who it is that’s on site, there’s just such a wide range of how people manage quality because every company has a quality plan of some sort, right?  

Whether it’s an ISO, whatever. For overseas, there’s quality management plans there within construction, there’s probably quality managers that have created plans to implement on site. Right?  

But I feel like a lot of people talk about quality, but not everyone really understands it and or lives by it. So part of me is like things that technology can’t solve are like communication and education around why quality is important, but not just why it’s important, but this is why we do certain things, right?  

Like if you just give someone a quality manual and say, here, follow it, check the box, right? That doesn’t really help with the understanding part. And I think that’s where the, I guess, training, education and just like having accountability and buy in, it’s all these like, people side of things that are really important to driving that process, which then allows you to adopt technology to streamline that process.  

I think on that process side, we really need to, whether it’s training or as an industry as a whole, try to figure out how do you define that in a way so that process can also transfer from project to project.  

And I think that’s one of the reasons why we don’t see a lot of technologies around quality is that it’s just such a misunderstood big part of our industry.  


Wes Edmiston: 

In no way, I think, does anybody want to remove that aspect of it. But it’s how do we improve, how do we educate. Maybe technology can help in that space, and maybe it can’t, but one way or another, yeah, it’s definitely people talking also about maybe there aren’t a lot of solutions out there that are looking at quality.  

Maybe we can also bring this back into how do you calculate your ROI for some of these things? Quality is kind of this almost ethereal sort of thing, right. It’s hard to quantify in the sense of what is the cost of doing something incorrectly and what’s the likelihood of doing something incorrectly if I’m reducing your quality defects, any discontinuities that you may be having, how much am I actually saving you?  

Because we don’t do a great job all the time of capturing rework, and there’s oftentimes this quick pushback of saying, we don’t have these problems. What do you think we can do as an industry to maybe better recognize some of these areas where there is a risk and maybe quantify what a potential ROI would be from implementing a higher quality solution?  


Alice Leung: 

Yeah, I think so. Anything that’s preventative is so hard to sell. Right. And one of my favorite examples of this is them building information modeling. There was a big push in the industry, like 20 ish years ago, where they were talking about everyone should adopt BIM.  

Right. You’re able to build this virtually, and then you could build it physically, and then you find all your issues on the computer so that when you build it on site, you’re not making mistakes, you’re reducing rework, because a mistake in the field costs a lot more than a mistake in the digital space.  

So, like, when that pitch has been going on for, like, 20 years and what percentage of construction projects are actually implementing BIM properly, this is my personal opinion based on talking. BIM managers and talking to people on construction sites, I’m pretty sure it’s less than 5%.  

Around that implementing properly, it’s probably less than 5%. But I’m being optimistic because I know there are certain countries around the world that have more stringent requirements and there are some really, really big projects that you kind of can only build it with BIM.  

So when I think about that, it’s like preventative stuff. Stuff like how do you convince people that you need to use something that’s preventative and that’s really, really hard to do? So when it comes to quality, I think you almost need to not so it has to be preventative, but not in the sense of preventing the bad stuff.  

But maybe think of it like we need to prevent the physical thing from even doing to begin with by focusing on the process and the step by step so that people do it right the first time. So it’s like not that if you do X-⁠Y-⁠Z then you will avoid rework it’s.  

Like, let’s just get it done right at the beginning. So how do you build technology into the workflow itself? And it’s not just, we’re going to do a digital, and I’m going to give you drawings and then you’re going to go build it off the drawings, right?  

How do you actually integrate the technology into the actual workflow of the physical? Actually physically doing things, breaking it down step by step by step. Right, exactly. So how do you do that? So it’s almost like foolproof, right?  

It’s like, if I could build a technology so that you can never fail in any step that you do, I think that’s also a quality control process. And there are definitely ways to do that, whether it is tying it to hardware or tying it to IoT or whatever it is.  

Right? So there’s definitely a software and a hardware component to that. And before you even get there, there is planning. So I guess this also goes back to the. People side where we need to make sure that people are properly planning all of these different workflows and tasks in a way that you can almost create this perfect plan and then try to use some type of technology to make sure that people don’t deviate from that plan.  


Wes Edmiston: 

It’s definitely a greenfield area for anybody that’s making some new technologies. I know we do a bit of that here at Cumulus, but still there’s definitely more areas that we can cover with it. You do touch a lot of different technologies with brick and mortar.  

What are some of the technologies, whether we’re talking about, that solve quality problems that are looking at maybe AI and machine learning? That’s the big new thing these days. What is it that you’re most excited about for new technologies and what areas are you hoping that you continue to see solutions popping up?  


Alice Leung: 

Yeah, on the AI machine learning side, I think there’s definitely opportunity there and it’s coming. I think it’s a matter of when. And I think in the construction industry, we can’t really skip steps.  

And the reason I bring this up is a lot of the industry is still going from paper based workflows to digital workflows. So if you skip all the way to I’m going to do aiml, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right.  

You don’t even have data to do that, frankly. How are you going to aiml your paper task sheets or paper analytics? Right, yeah, no, you’re right. So I think it’s coming, but we have a couple more steps that we need to take before we get there.  

But the the great thing is by the time the construction industry is ready for it, there will probably be all of these other use cases. The technologies will be a lot more mature and all that. So I think from a timing perspective, we will we, as the construction industry, will be able to.  

Very inexpensively, reap the benefits of all that research dollar that’s going into all these adjacent industries around AI and ML. But in terms of technologies that we have today, we are seeing more hardware and robotics companies.  

And I feel like I’ve been preaching, like, hardware, and I keep going back to we have to build physical things. And if there are technologies out there that can do this quality control process that allows us to build things properly the first time around, that’s what we need.  

And I’m not just saying that because I’m excited about Cumulus and I love Cumulus, but it’s like one of those things. It just makes so much sense, right? Bluetooth enabled park wrench. Let’s integrate it into this super detailed step by step workflow, and let’s just make sure that we build the damn thing right from the beginning, right?  

Let’s just make no room for error. And around that, there are companies like Rugged Robotics, so we invested in Rugged Robotics as well. And they call themselves a layout room. But really what they’re doing, really what they are, is they’re a piece of serving equipment almost, so they are able to understand localization on a construction site.  

And they’re doing layout. That’s the first thing that they’re starting with is layout. And they are translating all the hard work that we’ve done digitally into the physical space so that there is no question around, hey, did I put this in the right place?  

You really can’t mess up on that because it’s drawn on the floor. Like, you should be here. And there’s no question around that, right? So it’s kind of taking a little bit of that human error out of it.  

And that’s just the beginning for that localization platform. The goal is that you can build, whether it’s. Arms to drill holes, or maybe you’re drilling hangers or maybe you’re pulling wire or whatever it is.  

Having solved that localization piece and trying to bridge the gap between digital and physical, I think that also is a kind of quality control tool. So, yeah, I think at the end of the day, quality is one of those things that a lot of people talk about, but implementation is really hard.  

If we’re able to kind of force the quality into the overall process using external tools, I think that’s a big win for the industry.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah, I like that you keep bringing up not just these digital solutions, but kind of where it is the rubber meets the road, where we have digital meeting the physical world and actually getting into building the product.  

Because having a million digital solutions does not do it honestly doesn’t do a damn thing as far as building a project. Right. We need to build the project. So how are we going to build it better? Actually, with that said, are there any other solutions that brick and mortar has that helps out in that space with actually physically building the project?  

Any other technologies that you can think of?  


Alice Leung:  

Yeah, so Canvas is a really good example, too. They’re a little bit later stage than rugged robotics, but Canvas is a drywall finishing robot. They’re out there doing real work.  

And I think that’s the interesting thing is, can you have some type of hardware technology that is a step change for industry? And the reason why Canvas is step change is that they’ve actually reduced the number of days that it takes to finish a wall from seven days to, like, three days or something like that.  

And that’s because they actually changed the process of drywall finishing. So when it comes to innovation in construction, it’s like you can have, you know. A million software tools. But I feel like software almost feels so incremental in the sense that, like, you know, yeah, like, maybe I’ll communicate a little bit easier or yeah, like maybe I’ll cut out, you know, two button clicks.  

Right. But if you can fundamentally change the critical path of a construction site by whether it’s doing all the layout in one day versus a week or, you know, reducing the time to finish of walls from a week to three days, that’s a step change.  

And that pulls days out of our schedule and that increases productivity so much. And it’s also safer for our workers with canvas. They have a vacuum built into the standing arm. Oh, really? Yeah, it’s a safer, cleaner construction site.  

There isn’t dust everywhere. And instead of you see the workers holding the trowels or holding equipment and hurting their shoulders in their arms trying to finish a wall, climbing up on ladders and everything else as well.  

Exactly. And it’s dangerous. Now these workers are operating this new piece of machinery that is doing kind of the hard work of the finishing and it’s also reducing the kind of skill that you need to do the wall finishing.  

And we all know that there’s skilled labor shortage and we can’t get enough of these workers that know how to finish a wall really nicely to work on our site. So it’s like, okay, now you’re able to solve that problem.  

So, yeah, there’s just so many things around quality, safety, productivity and empowering the workers by providing them with the tools that they need and also augmenting the way that they work in a better that is just so exciting about hardware and robotics.  


Wes Edmiston: 

No, I’m right there with you. Like you said there’s. Industry, a skilled labor shortage. But beyond that, there are a lot of projects that are popping up. There’s a lot of infrastructure projects that are popping up.  

And don’t get me wrong, I am all for keeping as many people as employed as possible. I don’t want the robots to come in and take over. But realistically, there’s not enough time effectively to build all these projects before big parts of our infrastructure are effectively wasting away.  

Right. And there’s just not enough people to build the projects. So solutions like that sound fantastic. We’ll definitely make sure that we put a link to brick and mortar ventures in the show notes. That way we can highlight any other great products that are out there.  

That’s really exciting to hear, all of these hardware based solutions that are out there.  

Rapid Fire Questions

Wes Edmiston:  

Alice, we’re coming right up on time. We’re going to wrap up by asking some of our rapid fire questions, just to get to know Alice the person, not just Alice the professional.  

So, whenever you’re ready, Alice, what’s your favorite book?  


Alice Leung: 

So growing up, my favorite book was Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. But right now, I’m actually reading this book called Hyperion. That’s very interesting.  

So you can kind of tell I like the Sci-⁠Fi dystopian.  


Wes Edmiston: 

What is the one word that best describes you?  


Alice Leung: 

I would say impatient. I think that’s been a big part of me that’s probably gotten me where I am. I’m sure it served you well on projects.  

Right? Like, what are we waiting for? Let’s just get this done.  


Wes Edmiston: 

What song do you listen to whenever you need to get motivated, but doesn’t and sound like you need it? Sounds like you’re already just ready to go.  


Alice Leung: 

The most recent one is actually Miley Cyrus flowers. Don’t read into it too much on the lyrics, but it’s just such a poppy song.  


Wes Edmiston: 

I just wrote it down. I will listen to it as soon as we finish this episode.  

Where’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled?  


Alice Leung: 

Myanmar. So this was back in I think I traveled 2016 or 2017. Yeah, right. As it kind of opened up to tourism, it was just a very different place versus anywhere else that I’ve traveled to.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Interesting. Cats or dogs?  


Alice Leung: 

I have a cat. I have a Bengal cat named Newton.  


Wes Edmiston: 

And then what is your favorite podcast? We’re on a podcast. Might as well ask the question.  


Alice Leung: 

After Hours. Now it’s part of Ted Audio Collective, but it’s a couple of Harvard Business School professors that get together to talk about culture latest business news and whatnot.  

I actually listened to it before I joined Brick and Mortar because I was just always interested in the business side of things, and I think just some of the interesting insights about what’s going on in the world.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah. For anybody who hasn’t listened to it, I highly recommend it’s really good.  

If you could have dinner with any one person in the world, living or dead, who would it be? 


Alice Leung: 

Probably Sir Isaac Newton.