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The Anti-Adam Neumann – TechCrunch

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according to previous report This week, WeWork’s famous and controversial co-founder Adam Neumann is building a vast network of residential properties. Limited to one location or lease, but must live as a ‘global citizen’. The vision behind Neumann’s early company WeLive, a short-lived offshoot of his much more famous company WeWork, makes more sense in his post-Covid world where remote work rules. It’s an idea. ever.

Here is Neumann talk to the guardian On our 2016 idea: “Every day, every week, every month, every year will be a new way of life. You become a global citizen of the world. If you’re a member of one, you’re a member of them all.”

The idea is so timely that another serial entrepreneur may be even ahead of his version. He’s Bill Smith, the 36-year-old founder of his 3-year-old 600-person member-only flexible furnished rental company. landing.

Smith, who favors button-downs on graphic tees, is anti-Neumann in many ways. The real drama with Neumann’s investors tv seriesIn his twenties, after raising money for a reloadable Visa card company from friends and family, Smith invested in its assets. to the bank holding company Green Dot for how much? Forbes says It was tens of millions of dollars. His next startup, Shipt, is an same-day delivery company Smith founded in 2014. sold to target at $550 million in 2017.

Smith — unlike Neumann, who famously sold too much WeWork to SoftBank too unrealistic price — I’m also conservative when it comes to VCs. Shipt raised his $65 million from ventures such as his Greycroft before the sale, but Smith still owned half the company outright. The results, which he now calls a “game changer,” have given him plenty of confidence and capital, and he now has at least $15 million of his own money invested in Landing, a third of his own. owns one of his. (According to Forbes, Landing has raised $237 million in venture funding to date, with a valuation of $475 million, including one from Greycroft. Neumann’s Flow just raised $350 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz at a reported $1 billion valuation.)

Such differences aside, both are chasing very similar opportunities to create platforms that are open to anyone willing to pay a small premium to live a very flexible lifestyle. There seems to be

Some imagine receiving a SoHo-type aesthetic at a price based on the look of most WeWork locations, but this is a guessing game, and Neumann may charge members. For Landing, membership fees are $199 a year, and rents are 30% to 40% higher than what Landing itself pays to lease space to building owners. But in exchange for a contract of at least six months, Landing members can live in a growing number of places, including Tampa, Austin and Las Vegas, where Landing leases apartments. Member receives a fully equipped rental (Landing has its own non-toxic furniture made in Vietnam and shipped to the US to keep costs down.) Member stays in her one location The longest time you need to do it?Exactly one month.

After reading (very good) Forbes work Earlier this week on business, we asked Smith to explain some of our own questions.If there are any lessons learned from watching Adam Neumann from a distance. here. Exceptions with redacted lengths are shown below.

You estimate that perhaps 10% of the 40 million Americans who currently live in apartments will be able to choose a furnished and flexible stayhome within 10 years. How did you come up with that estimate?

Considering all other aspects of our lives over the past decade, our way of life has completely changed. But apartment living is generally a pretty old-school process offline. The current model lacks a lot of freedom, flexibility and convenience. And most of the 40 million people currently renting, he’s between the ages of 20 and 40, want this flexibility.

You take “flexible” to the extreme. As a consumer, it’s attractive, but from a business perspective, how do you streamline it?

We are not trying to create a vacation brand or travel business. The people who live in Landing are so committed to this lifestyle and living on our platform that we are able to achieve a very high occupancy rate. And if we can achieve a high occupancy rate, we can provide it at a cost that can accommodate a large number of people staying for a long time.

How long do people tend to stay in the same place?

People now stay in one place for about six months on average.

What kind of home repairs do you do? Before launching Landing, we were trying to build a home service marketplace.

we don’t Home repairs are handled by the company that owns the property where we are located. We provide cleaning and such services. But you are right.first company i started [after Shipt] was like a concierge home service for homeowners. I tested it for about a month and it failed very quickly. I decided to migrate to my current Landing.

I’m trying to understand how to use the data to reduce costs, such as adjusting prices based on location and season. Can you tell us a little more about the types of data you are processing in bulk and how you are using it? Relatedly, how much can you collect from your customers once they are inside the unit?

We need to know where people want to live. That way you can have supplies available to them and be prepared. When do they want to live there? We use that information to enhance our supply efforts.

We also have distribution centers and our own last-mile distribution network, and we use data to decide where to invest in our business. At certain times of the year, there may be more demand to move to certain areas of Phoenix, but other areas of the year may experience a spike in demand in Miami, and physical items may be ready to ship. It must be done. Allow people to move very quickly.

Your software will list apartments before you sign a lease with the landlord, and then find tenants. Once that lessee signs a lease with you, you sign a lease with the landlord and you furnish the apartment.

Well, what we built is the first on-demand model for building supply this way. A community of apartments listed their units on our site, built the technology and operational infrastructure to create a ‘landing’ in just a few days. This sounds pretty simple, but it’s pretty complicated when you consider all the things furniture needs to do: set up your entire home, from sofas to silverware.

Is software development a big focus for you?

Landing has a huge technical component. We built the entire platform that runs our business.From finding and booking a home, to how to access the building and [ensuring all your needs are met] if you live there It is also the app used by teams that are providing services in the field. This is the technology that runs our distribution centers and last mile distribution network. So there’s a ton of technology that we’ve had to build to run this business. It’s not something you can buy right off the shelf.

Are you eyeing a building with community spaces? How people literally flow and come together is Adam Neumann’s focus and I think it continues at his company, Flow. In a world where fewer people are in the office, are there any considerations when looking at buildings?

We think of communities not just at the property level, but at the neighborhood level. Considering a general housing complex, there are 250 units, which is not a large number of people, [they] It will be a very diverse group with unique interests. So, for example, we’re building a community among those who choose to live this lifestyle in a particular area of ​​Miami and thinking about it on a neighborhood level.

Sign a one-year lease with the apartment owner. Why not lock down these spaces a bit more and hopefully secure better rent?

Of course, you can also sign a multi-year contract, but I think it’s better if the company has little lease liability. We are the antithesis of the WeWork model with very little lease obligations. In addition, we can respond flexibly to changes in the market. [Also], over time, will partner with owners to introduce this product into buildings, but it is not really a landing lease product. Just join the landing platform. They operate using our technology and our standards and that’s not this model. Landing leases it and is committed to that lease.

So will Landing become an enterprise SaaS company in some way?

Having a SaaS component is probably the best way to describe it.

As a student in this field, are there things you learned from WeWork that you either imitate or avoid?

WeWork and Landing are completely different businesses. Offices and residences are completely separate categories. But what I’ve really learned, not directly from WeWork, but in general, is that the unit economics of the business matter. The early days of any company are trying to understand unit economics. But for this one in particular, I had to learn unit economics very quickly. It took him less than five or six years to prove it, like many other consumer-facing businesses. I think it’s because people looked at his WeWork and saw all the challenges there.

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