Aaron Holm would be considered a youngster in a crowd of home builder audience members of BUILDER.

He graduated from the University of Toronto in the mid-1990s, and founded software technology companies, in New York and Seattle over most of the next decade. The only big company experience on his resume, Amazon, was where his product development and management chops led to key roles on the Amazon Go business and the Amazon Books retail design business.

Living in Seattle, Holm became acutely aware of all the people--many of them working people--whose access to affordable housing options amounted to nothing.

So, he left Amazon, and with a band of like-minded software and tech geeks with a mission, he founded Blokable with a mission as its sole governing principle: to "make housing accessible and affordable for everyone."

Holm, who keynoted our Housing Leadership Summit general session this past Wednesday, wanted to approach his business model for Blokable without preconceived notions of how it could, should, or might work.

"I didn't go out and talk to a bunch of builders to learn how they approached design, development, engineering, finance, construction, etc.," says Holm. "I didn't talk to one builder. I didn't want to learn what they know."

To talk to Holm in person, you'd hear that he doesn't say those things with arrogance, rashness, disrespect, or denial of realities.

He deliberately chose not to gather the legacy knowledge because his training and his disposition compelled him to believe he needed to start completely fresh.

"We needed to describe a problem, and approach it as a user case, and build the design, engineering, procurement, financial models, distribution and shipping, and assembly processes around that simple problem," Holm says.

Today, Holm is one of dozens of start-ups working in the fringes of housing's business space, aiming his company's profit-making deliverables to supply non-profits and public-private ventures with housing for low-income and workforce housing solutions.

Key to the operations, construction, delivery, and capital model is, of course, repeatability, templated floorplans and elevations that vary mostly in their external and internal finishes.

The business focus is on making housing accessible and affordable, and its positioning as an option for localities to address chronic and acute homelessness, as well as housing for essential employees like educators, fire fighters, police, and first-responders, opens up new possibilities in terms of land strategy and land costs.

Demographically, the market Holm and the Blokable team are aiming at is huge and growing exponentially by the day.

They say that housing is ripe for disruption, and frequently disrupters start at the very low end of the market and disrupt incumbent companies--even very successful ones--by pulling customers away from them with lower prices.

And, do you know what? They won't necessarily ask you to tell them how to get into the business in the first place. Part of their edge is that they don't know what should be in the way of their solving the problem they set out to solve.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's philanthropic investment group Vulcan has become an early believer that Holm and his Blokable team may be on to something. We think so too.

Note: I will be taking a vacation next week, from May 22 to May 25, and returning after the Memorial Day holiday. Thanks for your support, and have a fun, restful celebration of those who've made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country's freedoms, privileges, and opportunities.