RichRelevance: Proud to Pay It Forward
Zillow just acquired RentJuice for 40 Million dollars. Cool!
What’s that got to do with RichRelevance? Ok so I co-founded another real-estate company, Redfin, but that seems pretty far afield to justify a blog post…
Well, there’s more! I met Dave Vivero, the CEO of RentJuice when he was still at HBS and “contemplating his next big thing,” so when he moved to San Francisco, it was an obvious opportunity to help him out—RichRelevance incubated the early RentJuice team until they got their first round of funding (should have taken some stock—darnit!). I even introduced them to one of their lead investors on that round.
This is one example of the opportunity for more developed startups to help accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem—one example of what I believe to be many opportunities. Sometimes this means opening up your offices to a young company, or offering up a resource where you have slack within your business. It could be as simple as letting someone borrow your graphics guy for a few hours, or brainstorm their next version of their product.
I’ve helped other companies similarly (GoodReads and Interactive Touch Books), and will continue to because we believe that this pay-it-forward approach is critical for a healthy ecosystem. In fact, as a part of the pay-it-forward cycle, we were also the benefactor of a similar sub-leasing favor thanks to Tod and team at BrightRoll, who leant us a hand and some space when our salaries were still paid in sandwiches and hugs. Good Karma from BrightRoll set a precedent for our company and we have made it a point to ALWAYS pay-it-forward.
So the next time someone asks you if you have office-space to share, even if it’s a janitor’s closet, understand that you may be acting as a catalyst for something much more significant. You may even play a part in the creation of the next Billion-dollar startup (there seems to be quite a few these days)—and even the future billionaire’s of the world need help in early days because real estate in SV is ridiculously expensive.
Just ask the guys at Zillow and RentJuice.