Thoughts on the start-up world

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From Matt Giffune
Vice President
Jones Lang LaSalle

I have been working with my co-founder John Kelleher on a project called Leasability for the better part of the past year.

As a full time commercial real estate broker who has always been interested in tech, I encountered a problem in the office space leasing process that I felt could be solved with technology. I found myself spending way too much time managing several different listings with different client reporting tools and formats. I thought that I could save time by centralizing client reporting into a real time, mobile-enabled application built specifically for the space leasing process.

Through using Leasability, brokers can keep their clients and teammates up to date on deal pipeline and market activity in real time from anywhere, rather than the industry norm of weekly conference calls reviewing boring spreadsheets. Everyone wins! Thus, I dove into the Boston start-up scene and began building Leasability.

This post is not all about my journey building a startup, but my observations about the Boston startup community. In no particular order, here is what I have observed.

People genuinely want to help you. The pressure that comes along with climbing a corporate ladder sometimes creates headwinds when dealing with others. I noticed in the start-up world, that even when people may be providing resistance, they are usually doing it to challenge your thought process on your start up, which is actually a good thing. This goes for investors, entrepreneurs, attorneys and others. The bottom line is that people want to see you succeed, and you need that because it is not easy to do so.

Good developers are really hard to find. The start-up scene in Boston is so strong right now, that even developers that are not fully employed by a start-up or big tech firm are contracting on their own, and making good money. So to convince a top notch developer to join your team pre-revenue and before they are customers, you have to be able to tell a really good story.


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