Helping Founders Have an Impact
Today I listened to a successful founder share his vision for doing good through entrepreneurship. He’s been an entrepreneur for almost twenty years and has exited his company. Now he wants to help early founders make a positive impact on society through their companies. His strategy for doing this is great, and I think it will be valuable to early founders.
Purpose matters a lot to this founder. It’s a big part of what made him successful. I can’t wait to see the positive impact he has on other founders and, in turn, the impact they have on society!
An Atlanta Real Estate Agent’s Perspective
I caught up with a friend who’s been a real estate agent in Atlanta for over fifteen years. She shared some of the things she’s seeing.
- A steady flow of out-of-state buyers are visiting Atlanta on weekends specifically to look for homes.
- A large percentage of the offers she receives for her listings are from out-of-state buyers.
- She sold a house within the last twelve months to an out-of-state buyer who paid all cash.
- Single-family homes priced below $450,000 are generating multiple offers and regularly selling for over ask with extremely seller-friendly terms.
- Demand for entry-level housing is massive, but there’s very little supply. This problem is likely to persist.
It was interesting to hear my friend’s firsthand perspective. Atlanta is an amazing city, and lots of people are moving here from other states. As it continues to attract more people, my friend will continue to observe the same things.
Affordability and quality of life are big parts of what makes Atlanta a desirable place—a place that people want to put down roots in and call home. Housing is key to both. I’ll continue to keep a pulse on the Atlanta market.
More on Community-Led Growth
I listened today to a founder discuss his marketing strategy. He has an established company that’s doing over $10 million in annual revenue—so, not a start-up. His strategy involves growing the company’s online community—he wants current customers, prospective customers, employees, and anyone else passionate about his space to participate.
I’m a fan of online communities and believe community-led growth will become an effective long-term growth strategy for companies. My conversation today is another data point that supports this belief.
Digital communities have been around for quite some time, but I think we’ll see them go from nice to have to must have for growing companies. I’m not sure how long this will take to play out, but I’ll be following the evolution closely.
Perspective of a New ATLien
I connected with a fellow investor this past week. He recently moved to Atlanta from the Northeast. During our conversation, he shared a few thoughts about the city:
- Quality of life – He loves the quality of life in Atlanta compared to the big city he came from. It offers many things you’d expect in a major metro area but also plenty of quaint neighborhoods.
- Home – He purchased a home, and he sees himself being in Atlanta long-term. Housing prices in the city are very affordable compared to his previous city.
- Trend – Other people in his Northeast network are considering relocating to Atlanta.
- Entrepreneurship – Atlanta has smart founders and a pool of talented people. He sees more great companies coming out of Atlanta.
I’ve always thought Atlanta is a great city with a lot to offer. I’m happy it’s finally getting the credit it deserves and that others want to call it home!
The Rise of Second-Tier Cities
Over the past year I’ve spoken with many people who are taking advantage of remote work. They’ve left their home cities and are working from new locations for extended periods of time. Just this week, I spoke with a founder who’s working from New Mexico for the next few months. A few months ago, I spoke with a founder camped out in Mexico City.
Where people work from has begun to shift. Major metropolitan areas will continue to attract skilled workers, but I think we’ll start to see a rise in such workers moving to second-tier cities. If companies continue offering remote work as an option, employees will be untethered from offices in major metros and able to live in places more aligned with their personal priorities. Instead of seeing family for holidays, you can see them every weekend. Instead of visiting the lake during the summer, you can live on the lake year-round. Housing costs have increased rapidly and will likely continue to increase. If you can live someplace with a lower cost of living and earn the same or close to the same salary as you would in a major metro, that can materially improve your quality of life by relieving financial pressure.
We’re probably at the beginning of a major workforce shift. How we work and where we work have changed, and that will have ripple effects. Second-tier cities are in position to benefit tremendously from these changes. I’m excited to watch this play out and hope it has a positive and lasting impact on these communities.
The Office Won’t Be the Same
I’ve been having conversations with friends who’ve returned to the office. I was curious to understand what they’re experiencing and how they feel about it. One friend summed up what I’ve been hearing: “There’s no way I can go back to doing five days, but one or two feels good.” Going back to pre-pandemic office life isn’t resonating with friends, but neither is no in-person interaction. Face time for certain situations and just to stay connected in general has value.
I know the return-to-the-office situation is fluid, but I’m interested in seeing how this plays out. My gut tells me that decisions made during this period are likely to shape how we work for the foreseeable future. We’re in a period of change that will have a lasting impact.
Why Holidays Are Significant to Me
One of the things I enjoy most about holidays is that many people are off work at the same time and have a mindset of fellowship and celebration. As a young founder, I didn’t appreciate the significance of holidays and often spent the time catching up on work instead of being present. As I matured, I learned to appreciate holidays and spend them with people who matter to me.
I hope everyone who’s fortunate enough to have time off is having a great holiday weekend!