I have always been fascinated with Uber. I’ve been a long time customer and been following their company’s progress literally from day one. As the CEO of a growing startup myself, I have always been obsessed with understanding the “network effect” of how companies like Uber (platforms) grow so fast and scale.
This is the third of a series of blog posts on a topic that has always interested me… startups and investors.It’s such an interesting dynamic, probably unlike any other in the business world. They both need each other. But often the money part is the least important. Just follow the recent Uber news about the struggles of their Board and Founder and you will see how things can turn out if the goals between investors and Founders aren’t aligned.
There are a lot of really smart, successful investment professionals in the CRE space. I have been blessed to have met many of them and work with them on a daily basis. When I met Brad Greiwe and Brendan Wallace, Co-Founders of Fifth Wall, I knew that the CRE tech sector had reached a critical milestone.
Maybe two or three people reading this blog will get the reference :) I know my friend Jeremy Neuer will. My buddy Charlie Sciarra will get it, for sure. It's a classic rock and roll quote of legendary proportions when then music critic Jon Laundau wrote a review after seeing Bruce Springsteen perform a concert early in his career in Boston.
As a follow up to my blog last week about how I personally think Hustle is the key ingredient you want to look for in a Founder of a startup, I asked the best real estate tech investors I know what they look for in evaluating an entrepreneur who is raising money. Of course, it's never as simple as just looking for "one thing", and almost all of these professionals do tremendous due diligence on every deal, but what I was most curious about were the intangibles.
In case you missed it, Ten-X sold a controlling stake to private equity powerhouse Thomas H. Lee Partners for more than $1billion last week! Holy shit, that’s a big friggin number. I wasn’t surprised actually. Not that I had any advance knowledge or that I am some kinda guru or anything, just felt it in the air.
I had a great time at my recent Talkshop Live with Turner Levison of CommissionTrac. Really great interview with a passionate Founder. CommissionTrac is the type of product that will do well in this market cycle. Solutions that make professionals more efficient. From paper to digital. From snail-pace to real time. Actionable intelligence. In my opinion, this is what will be successful in the CRE tech space. And Turner is on this big time with his product.
I have a confession to make. I love WeWork! Always have. I think it’s just about one of the coolest startups I have ever seen (although I think they are far from actually still being a startup). I LOVE the concept.