Mass producing factories to mass produce houses | Cuby

Episode 31 of S³

Cuby is mass-producing houses and more importantly, mobile mini factories to build them. For Episode 31 of S³ we feature Cuby in our first international and remotely shot episode.

Oh, you think in first principles? Name every first principle

I have a weird physical tick where whenever I hear someone say “first principles thinking,” I start twitching, probably due to annoyance. Why? Because in my opinion 99% of people who say “first principles thinking” have no idea what they’re talking about.

However, Aleh Kandrashaou, Cofounder and CEO/CTO of Cuby Technologies, does understand what it means to build from first principles. Not only that but even more rarely, he’s acted on it.

Problem: We need way more cheap housing.

Bottleneck: Ability to mass produce housing, cheaply, due to labor cost

Solution: (1) Make factories that can utilize unskilled labor to build houses, (2) make LOTS of factories, (3) move the factories to the job site.

F*ck it, move the factories

“Our product are factories that move to the construction site and using local material and labor produce a kit of parts that can be assembled on site. That’s why one of our factories can produce roughly 1 house per day,” Aleh opened up the episode with.

Okay now that is first principles thinking. Oh, it’s expensive to manufacture and transport all of the materials for our buildings to the job site? F*ck it, move the factories to the job site.

A lot with a little

Let’s play a game. Go watch the main episode and guess how much venture capital Cuby has raised. Be sure to note the size of their staff, R&D center, physical homes built, number of factories shown, and the fact they have more facilities around the world.

The answer? Well according to Crunchbase, which isn’t terribly wrong, is $6.4M.

How? Cheap labor thanks to Cuby’s R&D having been done in Minsk, Belarus. Now that they’ve got the majority of their product developed, they’re gearing up to massively scale their presence in the US market.

When interviewing Aleh at a rather early time, 4:30 AM to be specific, I asked how they’d be successful in their market and subsequent workforce transition to the US:

“Well, when we use the factories themselves we will use unskilled labor in the US because all of the processes are designed so you can use unskilled labor so you can’t make a mistake. Our goal is also to provide jobs for unskilled labor, people for whom it’s hard to find a job,” Aleh answered.

All in all it’s companies like Cuby that excite me the most: unique teams with high intent and integrity building solutions as fast as possible with little focus on selling or marketing their idea — build it and they will come.

Aleksander Gampel, COO and Cofounder of Cuby, initially reached out to me a few months ago with interest in featuring Cuby on S³. Normally when a non-SF local company reaches out I put them down in my location-based-CRM of sorts for future trip planning, but Aleks pitched the idea of filming remotely instead. We moved forward with a plan to film, Aleks hired a local camera crew, and I directed virtually over a video call.

The speed, follow-up, and focus in simply coordinating this episode with Aleks and Aleh was very compelling. Sometimes when analyzing a startup it’s the little things that reveal you’re working with a world-class team. Other times it’s the big things like very quickly building a ton of factories with small amounts of capital that impress you.

Keep on building the future,

— Jason