Why we wrote PropTech 101
As partners and as individuals, we’ve invested in startups, helped startup CEOs access cash and new customers, consulted industry CEOs on open innovation and investments, managed tens of millions of dollar of strategic investment capital, taught university classes, developed proprietary research, built/run accelerator programs, spoken on panels, created workspaces and showrooms, and inked ground-breaking partnerships with international associations and institutions.
However, over these past few years, hundreds of new PropTech community participants have asked for simple, easy-to-digest overviews of the real estate technology space, key players and available resources. Of course, we tried to respond to every request for help and to share our data, network, stories and best practices. But, everyone (VCs, startups, owners, developers, brokers, contractors, engineers, surveyors, appraisers, etc.) wanted more.
In 2018, we decided to institutionalize some of our basic PropTech industry knowledge and share it with the world in the form of a book. We spent months talking to friends who have written books as well as evaluating potential publishers, distributors, retailers, writing/editing partners, IP attorneys, and marketing specialists. Almost everyone told us that a book project would take at least one year and would consume incredible amounts of time and resources. Well, they were right!
But, writing what is now known as PropTech 101 was an incredibly rewarding journey. We assembled an incredible team of specialists around us and launched with a big, hairy vision of making PropTech accessible to the masses. We spent time researching, compiling ideas, taxonomizing and memorializing some previously informal thoughts. As we developed our initial outline, first chapters and early manuscript, it became clearer to us that we had unique access to some fascinating people stories in addition to the facts, resources, and best practices we had planned to share. So, we drew up a wishlist of industry leader friends with particularly germaine backgrounds. Folks from media, venture capital, startups and industry. Folks with expertise in office, residential, retail, hospitality, and leisure. We then spent months, with the help of important MetaProp friends like Phil Russo (and even some simple technology), interviewing these folks and making sure that some of the best stories were shared with the world.
At the same time, we wanted the book to read easily and deliver at least some “take-home value” to casual observers in the PropTech startup, VC, real estate industry, media and other key constituent communities. So, we revised, edited and re-wrote sections of the book and we partnered with our friend Julia Arlt of PWC to create a living, breathing Resources Directory (the original version of it is included in the book and an up-to-date version is available for book owners at PropTech101.com).
Already, the book is a success beyond our expectations. We’re thrilled with the early responses and can’t wait for the official release date. Already, our editors and friends who have received an early Editor’s Cut have shared supportive words (and a bit of constructive criticism!). In the meantime, university professors have added PropTech 101 as a required class reading, large real estate companies have bought/distributed dozens of books to key executives and Amazon announced that we’ve already reached #1 status in a variety of major book categories.