Back in 2012, I was frustrated with the lack of options for startup office space. Landlords, often with their institutional investors, had tremendous inertia to make any changes. Potential tenants had to sign 5+ year leases, show profitable operating history, and deliver letters of credit — all this just to get office space. Clearly, the commercial real estate industry had grown up around the traditional business as customer and was never going to provide a solution for high growth, high risk startups.
Now, and then, it was abundantly clear the market missed a segment of potential customers. Today, the combination of community and co-working is incredibly popular and we have great options like the Atlanta Tech Village and WeWork.
Challenging the inertia around you is often the most difficult, and rewarding, course of action.
I tried workarounds in the commercial real estate industry for years — special subleases, different term structures, etc. — and the inertia was too strong. My solution was to buy a building, recruit a team, and move forward without the industry. Sometimes it takes more dramatic approaches, sometimes there are more elegant approaches.
Embrace the inertia as a challenge. Recognize how and why it’s there. Fight through it.
When the industry insiders scoff at you, like they did with us and the Atlanta Tech Village, you know you’re on to something.
Challenge the inertia around you.
2 thoughts on “Challenge the Inertia Around You”
Hell ya David. I have to admit, I didn’t see the problem you were trying to solve right away as that’s how the world was for office space options back then. Good bet and great call for the ATL community at large.
A very interesting comparison David. If I can extend the parallel, my thoughts are mostly around cloud computing. From times where we were limited by hardware we used to where we are now is quite amazing. It is brilliant how new ideas have allowed for some more to bloom