Jason Freedman: Founder & CEO of 42Floors

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Bio:

Jason is the Founder and CEO of 42Floors, a search engine for commercial real estate. Before that, he founded two other companies: FlightCaster, an airline-tracking app which was acquired in 2010, and Openvote, a platform for community polling and discussion.

Jason is a two-time alumnus of Y Combinator, holds an MBA from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. His writings have been featured in the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Life Hacker, and other publications.

How did you get into the Tech industry?

I’ve always loved solving problems and technology is one great way to solve problems.

Tell us about 42Floors. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

I started 42Floors because I was frustrated when I was looking for an office.  I kept looking online and I felt there should be something like a Kayak for commercial real estate that could help me search everywhere all in one place.  But instead, the only way to find out what’s available is to physically go to that office and see it for yourself.  And so the vision for the company is very simple:  make it easy to search for commercial real estate online. 

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to 42Floors’ success?

The nice thing about solving a problem like making it easy to search for office space online is that I’m not the only one who has it.  Tens of millions of people already tried to search for office space online and they simply don’t find any sites that provided it to them.  So, by far our most successful marketing strategy is just to create a product that rises to the top of the search engine rankings.  And then people who are already searching for something like 42Floors find us, and their problem is solved.   

What industry trends are you noticing and how to capitalize them?

The biggest new trend is that all the different players in commercial real estate have finally started going online.  Landlords have their own websites as do brokerages, they’re starting to become more data players so the need to have your individual office building in a format that can be shared digitally is now a requirement, and mobile has made it so that a lot of this information can be kept up to date on the go. 

Life motto?

I never really thought about it.  

42Floors’ motto?

The easiest place to search for office space

Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of 42Floors?  Most difficult moment, how did you overcome it, and what did you learn?

My greatest success is that I convinced really talented people to work with me on this.  While not everyone who is in the company was there on day one, everyone is like a founder in this company in that they not only do the work of the company but they figure out what the company should be.  The most difficult thing is always when you have to say goodbye to such talented people.  That never gets easier.

Your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?  

Don’t spend even a second on fundraising decks.  Just make something people want and everything will flow from that.

Describe the ideal experience using 42Floors.

When you search for office space online you find 42Floors.  You find space that you like, you call them, and they tell you that that space is available.  You work with a broker to close the deal. The entire process should take you minutes on our website, a few hours of touring in person, and all together be done in less than a week.   

How do you motivate your employees?

All of our employees start off motivated.  That’s one of the reasons we decided to hire them.  My biggest responsibility is making sure I don’t un-motivate them.  And one of the most un-motivating things I can do is telling them what to do.  So instead I continually ask them what we should do.  

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Chili’s chicken fajitas and a Coors Lite.

What literature is on your bed stand?

The Happiest Baby on the Block.

Role model business and personal?

Paul Graham.

Current Passion?

My kiddo and my beautiful wife.

Favorite travel destination?

Winter Park, Colorado.

What’s next for 42Floors?

Expanding to more cities!