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From Blueprints to Business Success with Lance Cayko



In the realm of architecture, few names resonate with the blend of design excellence and entrepreneurial spirit quite like Lance Cayko. As the co-founder of F9 Productions, Lance has navigated the challenging waters of the architecture, engineering, and construction industry for over two decades, emerging not just as a leader but as a visionary reshaping the landscape of Northern Colorado. Our recent conversation with him shed light on his journey, his philosophies, and his multifaceted role as an architect, entrepreneur, and community advocate. This article discusses From Blueprints to Business Success with Lance Cayko.

The Genesis of F9 Productions

Lance's story begins in the aftermath of the Great Recession, a period that tested many professionals in their respective fields. The economic downturn led to Lance and his business partner, Alex Gore, being laid off from a boutique firm in Boulder. Rather than viewing this as a setback, they saw it as an opportunity to build something of their own. In 2009, F9 Productions was born out of their shared vision and relentless drive. From its humble beginnings with two employees and less than six figures in gross revenue, F9 Productions has grown into a formidable firm, boasting a team of 11 and a state-of-the-art, custom-built office in Longmont.

Architectural Excellence and Growth

Under Lance's leadership, F9 Productions has not only survived but thrived, earning several design awards, including the prestigious Architizer A+ Award for Architecture + Living Small in 2016. In 2021, the firm was ranked #1 in tier three of BizWest's Mercury 100 Fastest-Growing Private Firms, showcasing an astounding 386% growth rate. Their accolades continued in 2023, being named the Best Architecture Firm of the 2023 Best of Mile High Awards. These honors are a testament to Lance's innovative approach to architecture and his unwavering commitment to excellence.

Beyond Architecture: A Multifaceted Entrepreneur

Lance's endeavors extend well beyond the drafting table. He is deeply involved in his community, managing a community garden in Longmont, which he is now turning into a formal non-profit. His passion for teaching is evident in his part-time roles at the University of Colorado Boulder and North Dakota State. Moreover, Lance co-hosts "Inside the Firm," one of the top five architecture and business podcasts globally, where he shares insights into the architecture business's intricacies.

Philosophy and Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

During our conversation, Lance shared several key philosophies that have guided his journey. One of the most compelling is his belief in the power of diversification. By wearing multiple hats as an architect, builder, and developer, Lance believes in the synergistic benefits that these roles bring to each project. This multidisciplinary approach has not only differentiated F9 Productions in a crowded market but also allowed Lance to apply a holistic perspective to every project.

Lance also emphasized the importance of resilience, innovation, and community engagement. He believes that success in business, particularly in industries as competitive and dynamic as architecture and construction, requires a balance between technical skill, creative vision, and the ability to foresee and adapt to market trends.

When asked about the advice he would give to his younger self or to aspiring entrepreneurs, Lance highlighted the significance of discipline and a foundational understanding of economics. "Discipline equals freedom," he remarked, suggesting that a structured approach to business and design can lead to greater creativity and innovation. Moreover, understanding basic economic principles can empower entrepreneurs to make informed decisions that drive growth and sustainability.

From Blueprints to Business Success with Lance Cayko

As our conversation with Lance Cayko concluded, it was clear that his impact on the architecture and construction industry goes beyond the buildings he designs. His journey from launching F9 Productions during a recession to achieving significant business growth and industry recognition is a source of inspiration for aspiring architects and entrepreneurs alike. Lance's commitment to community, education, and sustainable design continues to influence the industry, making him a true visionary in the field.

For those interested in learning more about Lance Cayko's work and insights into the architecture and business world, be sure to visit Inside the Firm Podcast. Here, Lance continues to share his experiences, challenges, and triumphs, offering valuable lessons for anyone looking to make their mark in the world of architecture and beyond.

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