I read your recent blog post about the state of 42Floors titled “After the Layoffs.” It was well written very transparent and brutally honest and from you I would expect nothing else. It made me think.
It made me think back to when we first connected three or four years ago and the story that I have told literally a thousand times. I remember it was an email a call and then an invitation to meet in Chicago. You had I think a reporter from Inc. magazine in tow when we sat down at a Starbucks next to the NAR building on Michigan Ave. I remember your big smile and calm confidence as you explained exactly what your vision was for 42Floors. You did a simple demo, and I remember being wowed by the simplistic beauty of the site. You mentioned that you were on your way to New York to “raise” some money and had targeted building owners as the potential partners/seed investors. A strategy that even today is pure brilliance. You said that you would keep in touch and keep me updated on your progress. I remember walking back into the NAR building and explaining to them what I just saw. Their reaction was “really it’s looks that good, we know you have seen just about everything.” I said ” not like this, there is nothing even close.”
A month or so later we got on a call, and you mentioned that you had raised enough to get your company off and running and at some point you wanted me to visit your team in San Francisco. I’m not sure exactly when but I did manage to visit, and that’s when it started. My obsession.
My obsession with the #CRE #Startup. Your team and culture were unlike anything I had ever seen. The brilliance of the tech people was unprecedented, and the way you and your team thought about business was astounding. As a quick side, I do remember your entire teams strange and quirky way of playing chess that I still have not figured out. I remember the 100-day sprints, the TV screens with metrics blinking and updating as they hung on the walls. Quinoa, uh quinoa it still tastes better with gravy in my opinion and the never ending deluge of people from everywhere lunching, meeting, calling and grilling out. The “culture” as everyone in the business world now relates to was phenomenal. Everyday things were changing, and you had an openness and you also had a few assumptions just like we all do, but you listened adapted and pressed forward.
What you may or may not have realised was the impact you had and still have on the way that the #CRE #Startup scene developed and has taken shape. It is my opinion still in the very beginning stages of development. I know there are many other people who have helped it grow and there were a few before you showed up. Tom Byrne, Elie Feingold, Dennis DeAndre just to name a few. But, you have set the bar, my friend. You more than anyone because of who you are have made this scene what it is today. I know if I ask Nick Romito, Michael Mandel and countless others to name the one person who has helped inspire them. Who encouraged, made calls for, made intros for, and took the time to listen and help them develop as entrepreneurs and people to a person they would say, “Jason.” And I would have to include myself in that group. Does that mean we have agreed on everything? Of course not. Need I mention the brokerage thing? The amount of inspiration and your willingness to be open and help has almost single-handedly helped build countless #CRE #Startups.
Which is the reason for this letter, I could have emailed, I could have called, we could have had a nice chat. But, I want the world to know. I want all of the companies, teams, brokerages, startups and #cre industry people to know who helped start it all. I also want them to know how important it is to have people like you in the commercial real estate business. Jason, we need people like you. Smart, tough, emotional, inspiring, caring leaders just like you. Yes, we have all made certain decisions that we regret. We are all human. Everyone reading this has done it. You have the balls to tell the whole word. How many can say that? My guess is very few.
Jason you know you are stronger for this. You know you have a certain path. I now hope you know how important you have been to so many people and how much of a positive impact you have had on the commercial real estate business. I alone and many others can only be eternally grateful.
All the best,
Open Letter To Jason Freedman CEO of 42Floors.
+1 Onwards my friend onwards.
Fly It High