Anyone who has been following CRE tech over the past year can attest to the explosion of new sites, money invested and overall interest in the sector. And every day, more and more sites get funded and launched. It’s a really exciting time to be in this space. But as my friend Jason Freedman of 42Floors can attest too, anyone who thinks a quick buck is going to make it in this fledgling sector, is mistaken. We all read about the billion dollar valuations of startups like SnapChat, airbnb, Uber, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Sounds so easy doesn’t it? Billionaires minted in just a few short years! Sure, all you need is a few hundred million teenagers or a few hundred million moms or raise a few hundred million from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, and BAM! You’re a tech rock star!
On the ground, however, in the real world, especially in B2B tech, it’s a painful slug each day to fight for survival, let alone huge riches. But most of us that do understand this (and even embrace it) aren’t even doing it for the chance to be part of that rarefied club. We do it for the challenge, for the creativity and for the chance to make a real impact.
Perhaps nowhere is the challenge more intense than in CRE tech. There are so many amazing sites out there that are well executed, solve industry inefficiencies, and most importantly, are built from an insider’s perspective. But, with all that said, it is still going to be a long, often frustrating uphill climb for many of us. There is no guarantee that any of these amazing sites will succeed. Money invested, a beautiful design, a smart idea…none of that means anything if the market doesn’t respond.
Why? Many factors.
1) The industry by nature has never embraced tech so this is all new.
2) For the most part, nothing is broken. Things work just fine for the majority of the industry just as it has for decades.
3) For most business professionals, being risk averse is a proven strategy for success. Why change and take risks?
I get it. I knew this when I was building my own site, The News Funnel. Three years in, a few million invested, a 100,000 or so users and STILL it’s a slugfest every day.
And so when I read Jason’s story on Tech Crunch and saw his own blog my reaction wasn’t one of surprise. Or disappointment. It was “I get it”.
You experiment, you pivot, you adjust and you try to get better everyday. That’s what we all do that are running a startup. And some things work and some don’t.
And you keep going.
And you keep going.
Jason Freedman is one of the smartest guys I have met in this space and I have no doubt he and 42Floors will be successful. So let’s not rush to any sort of conclusions about this announcement. Lets rally behind their amazing team and do all we can to support them. After all, it's not just 42Floors we need to be rooting for, it’s the entire CRE tech sector!
It's patience that is needed by everyone. Investors, bloggers, critics, users, thought leaders etc. Patience isn’t something many of us founders are good at but it’s the reality of everyday life in the CRE tech space.