When the three of us met back in 2012, the idea of going into business wasn’t on our minds. We simply connected over a shared passion for rock climbing. Scaling vertical faces pitch by pitch, we learned to rely on one another and formed a bond we share to this day. On our first trip to Yosemite National Park, we challenged each other to take on the most difficult climbs we had ever attempted. Although we didn’t realize it, those experiences were laying the foundation for our future partnership. As Erik puts it, “When your lives literally depend on one another, you build trust real fast.”
At the time, our individual careers were thriving. Erik was the vice president of a major construction firm on California’s Central Coast. Karl had parlayed an engineering degree and MBA into a career in real estate development. Jared, with a construction upbringing and an education in design, was managing projects for a large green-building contractor in San Luis Obispo. Yet from each of our perspectives, we also shared a certain frustration with our industry: Construction is stuck in the past and ripe — make that overripe — for change.
We wanted to find a company that emphasized a collaborative approach among owners, architects, engineers, and contractors, and didn’t accept the adversarial relationship that had become the status quo. We believed the best approach to construction is about finding the best solution for the client, not the one that will maximize profit. We wanted a company that was willing to take risks and try things a different way — and that would embrace the full scope of technology, from making data-driven decisions, rather than cost estimates based on intuition, to digitizing construction jobsites to reduce design errors, instead of reacting after problems arise in the field.
Soon enough, the next step seemed obvious and inevitable. Leveraging our strengths in construction management, preconstruction planning, and finance, we officially started Precision. With our first headquarters in Jared’s living room, we focused on building a company dedicated to confronting the status quo — both to empower our clients, and to advance the construction industry — and we began with providing consulting services for leading-edge projects across the country.
Our empowering approach to consulting soon led to our clients asking us to construct their projects. In fact, our first construction client was SpaceX, Elon Musk’s pioneering aerospace company. SpaceX was laying the groundwork for the most futuristic transportation plan on Earth, a hyperloop that would move people and cargo at the speed of sound. The project of building the world’s first hyperloop tunnel was presented to dozens of contractors, but Precision was quickly named co-general contractor after we devised a simple, elegant way to build what others had deemed “impossible.”
Projects for other private aerospace firms — Firefly, Relativity, and United Launch Alliance — soon followed, along with a host of challenging new work, from building the first rocket landing facility in the U.S. to constructing a 3-D printing lab for the Centers for Disease Control.
Our company grew to specialize in the full range of construction services — consulting, general contracting, design-build, and construction management — and has attracted a diverse group of clients from private equity firms and real estate developers to architects, engineers, government agencies, and nonprofits. We’ve built emergency COVID hospitals, done restorations to Yosemite’s historic Ahwahnee Hotel, and helped modernize Vandenberg Space Force Base into a facility for the 21 st Century.
We have opened satellite offices in Washington and Hawaii, but maintain our headquarters here on the Central Coast, where our projects have ranged from Pismo Preserve, a spectacular and accessible 880-acre open space area in Pismo Beach, to The Pad Climbing Gym in San Luis Obispo.
We have also learned that our progressive approach to construction resonates with a lot of top performers in our industry. Our original team of three has grown into a company with more than 50 employees who were chosen not just for their talent and abilities, but also because they share our core values and are thirsty for the opportunity to improve the industry.
Our team has advanced degrees in construction management, engineering, business, and architecture. They have built presidential libraries, amphitheaters, wineries, robot-powered agricultural centers, and more. We are grateful to work with each of them and share the opportunity to shape Precision into exactly the kind of company we want it to be.
And yes, we have moved out of Jared’s living room. In fact, we have outgrown three offices since then, and have recently purchased a building in San Luis Obispo to become our long-term headquarters, confirming our commitment to the Central Coast and the community here. We are designing an open-plan office to encourage collaboration and communication, and to build strong relationships among ourselves, our partners, and our clients.
We’re set to move in the spring of 2022 — as always, ready to scale the next peak.