Giving more thought to...
Multifamily, small businesses, hotels, and malls in the suburbs becoming the new coworking space.
This idea is well documented at this point, but it puts stress (and creates an opportunity) on access control systems for those that are already installed or for those that have not pivoted with the use cases in mind. It also highlights the need for visitor management systems and rich user interfaces. I think to my situation which I know reflects others: my wife and I work out of our house (full time), two kids in virtual classes, the need for quiet space, or change of scenery on a regular basis. Coffee shops and our usual local places are out of the question now. Our options are nothing or going downtown to use a coworking space. Outside of not wanting to go downtown (lost time, parking or public transportation, number of people, etc.) I will pass 50 empty rooms and buildings on the way that could be utilized. This also brings the spaces a new revenue opportunity. I believe this use case is in every city all over the world. Think of the workflows, systems, and processes needed.
Which leads me to why I am bullish on Breather.
If they have the runway to make it through this, they are positioned to own this market. Although it may also be something Nextdoor could do.
If we can all agree that one of the large impedance is the overall costs associated with hardware and installation, with the current climate, and playing out the Scott Galloway “rundle” idea:
If I am a ventured back access control startup, what if I called my other ventured back friends that focus on video, visitor management, tenant experience, identity, sensors, and contacted a national installers to create a bundle of hardware + installation as close to $0, and offer a month to month fee that is fair for everyone involved? Play long ball, smother the market by marketing direct to end-users and build demand. I know I am oversimplifying it, but at a high level, taking advantage of the need right now (unprecedented times), putting the pressure on the market to respond, bringing the entire solution, and eliminating the fragmentation and friction, might make this far more feasible now.
At the same time, if I am an incumbent, why can you not flex and think about doing the same? Call a group of friendly incumbents or gathering a group of ventured back startups that are eager to piggyback your channels and see if you can do the same. Again, unprecedented times create new and interesting opportunities.
The company that "owns" the end-user relationship and data is ultimately going to win. Those two are more important than any feature you are working on. Nothing more really to say.
Building management systems, also known as building operating systems, are not hype. I am bullish on them.
They are real. How fast they get adopted is still up in the air, but I have talked to too many smart companies with real investors and even more genuine customers implementing them to think this is just a fad. Here is a recent interview I did with spaceos on the subject.
It is interesting to me that distribution has not yet seen an acceleration of disruption.
I believe it will be a trailing trend, and we will see it happen in the form of consolidation and vertical integration. Why? If the COVID crisis has shown us anything, it is the need to get local. I also believe there was a trend underway pre COVID crisis where the fragmentation of the industry was starting to get attacked. It will only be accelerated. What will it look like? More distributors doing installs? More consolidation of distribution? More manufacturers going direct? Manufacturers buying distributors?
I have had a bunch of conversations lately on “what is going to happen,” and I can boil them down to two categories:
“I have been there, seen this, and some change, but there will not be much change” and “everything is going to change.” I personally believe it will change more than stay the same.
I have been thinking about the impact of individuals at a company that have been furloughed and the possible divide with those that have not.
When you start to bring people back on, does it create friction? Do people feel marginalized? Does it create corporate classes? Does there need to be specific training and new onboarding? I found a guide, some info, and an article to help with the process.
In somewhat related news, I saw this article. I know it is not easy, but stories like this help you think through what to do next time. I think its good to reflect. Airbnb Was Like a Family Until the Layoffs Started https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/17/technology/airbnb-coronavirus-layoffs-.html