The venture world takes fearless moonshots, while real estate is more practical and risk-averse. But both fundamentally rely on customers, and real estate investors and landlords can learn from VC in this area.

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The Cost of Customers

building is just a product — like an iPad or Amazon Prime — that requires customers to create profit. The prettiest building is worth little beyond the bricks if people don’t find it valuable. Apple and Amazon know their customers intimately, real estate landlords (with some exceptions) doesn’t know them at all. Two concepts — Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) — are prevalent…


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Consider how (and more importantly, WHERE) you spent today, compared to one year ago. Very different, right? It is for most of us. By the numbers:

- People are moving from cities into less densely populated areas. Redfin data shows that prices in rural areas are up 11.3% yoy[1].

- According to CoStar, multifamily rents in mid-sized cities such as Kansas City and Huntsville are holding up better than those in larger urban areas. According to Apartmentlist.com, San Francisco has seen the greatest drop in inbound migration across the largest 50 markets[2].

- The demand for backyards, home renovation, accessory…


Why Can’t We Fix Cities and Cure Cancer?

Watching how people approach big, complex problems is revealing. Some start big, looking for a top-down solution. Others start at the bottom, moving small pieces, iterating and creating a feedback loop. I used to be a top-down person, with a belief in clean, elegant solutions that are available with enough analysis. I think formal school creates a bias for this thought process, and it’s not always good. Recognizing this bias, I’ve attempted to “evolve” (an important word) towards the bottom-up, decentralized approach which requires small mistakes.

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This is relevant for both cities…


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One good thing about crises is that they cause us to collectively stop and ponder how, where and with whom we want to spend our time. Most of us live in or very near large cities. Why? The point of a city is to effectively produce and distribute goods and services, to increase the well-being of people. When most goods were delivered by ship and delivered to the port it made sense to centrally around those waterways to shorten distribution. When entertainment was the local theater, it was crucial to live nearby. In the world of Amazon and Netflix, both…


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Recently there has been some tension amongst the various states of our Union, due to competition for ventilators and other scarce resources. This made me wonder what a Hunger Games-style tournament amongst the states would look like. Have you wondered the same? If so, read on!

Round 1

New York v. Massachusetts

Tale of the Tape:

Registered guns & per capita ownership: New York: (76,000, 10%), Massachusetts (37,000, 23%)

Veterans & vets per capita: New York 700,000 (4.5%), Massachusetts 304,000 (5.5%)

Leader: New York (Woody Allen), Massachusetts (Tom Brady)

National share of energy production: New York (1.0%), Massachusetts (0.1%)

Key Battle:

General…


On the bright side, self-isolation offers a bit more time to read than usual. To help, below are eight books to help make the most of the extra time.

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Quarantine is a good time to think!

For some historical perspective

1. “The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb

Crazy stuff happens, and it pays to be prepared or it. The world is incredibly complex, and it is usually the risks we things we aren’t considering that eventually will get us. Within my industry — real estate — an annual publication asks sector experts a number of predictions. When asked about real estate in 2020, the risk of pandemic…


My 7-year-old son got two concussions playing hockey this year, which got me thinking. Hockey is a dangerous sport, with humans zinging around on sharpened blades swinging a curved stick. Like quidditch, but on ice (if it didn’t already exist, there is no way they would create this sport today).

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To curtail injuries, hockey has made two changes over the years. One, players today wear a lot of padding. The photo on the left is in the early days of hockey and the right is today. The second change was a crackdown on fighting and specifically the use of enforcers…


Strategy Lessons from the Godfather

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Over the last Christmas vacation, I watched Godfathers 1 and 2 twice apiece. After spending 40 years never having seen either, it was time to rectify, and I offer the following lessons I learned (I’m saving #3 for next year).

1. Speak less.

In the musical “Hamilton”, the lead character is advised to “Speak less, smile more”, which is probably good advice to all of us. In the Godfather, both Vito and Michael speak very little, which only enhances the power of their words when they do speak.

In the bloody world of the Mafia…


Have you ever seen a Komodo dragon eat? He finds prey and bites it. But the venom is slow-acting and won’t kill for a few weeks. So the komodo dragon follows the prey around until it finally collapses, and the group of dragons feast. This slow-acting venom is a useful advantage because unlike other poisonous creatures the prey doesn’t immediately see the impact, so they are less fearful of the creature.

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The Ringer did a great oral history of how Fox got the NFL broadcast rights. Back in 1993, with the economy coming out of recession, CBS and NBC were…


In trying to find insight and to look at problems in a new way, I find it helpful to ask some seemingly random questions. It helps turn the snow globe in a different direction and hopefully shake loose some creativity. In the below, I offer five questions that I have found helpful.

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1. What will remain the same?

As we come to the end of the decade, it is popular to make lists of all the things that exist today but didn’t in 2010 (AirPods! Alexa!). With so many things changing, everybody is in a rush to predict the future…

Clint Myers

Partner @Revolution @RiseofRest Real Estate. Enjoys reading books, running far, playing with the kids, writing online bios

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