How to capitalize on the future of work with Ryan Simonetti
March 10, 2020, 9 p.m.
On this episode Abadesi talks to Ryan Simonetti, co-founder and CEO of Convene. They call themselves commercial real estate’s first workplace-as-a-service platform. He co-founded the company in 2009 and have raised $260M in funding to date. He is also an investor in and advisor to tech startups.
In this episode they talk about...
The story of founding Convene and his advice for finding a co-founder
“Partnerships evolve over time. You have to be open-minded enough to go on that journey together.”
Ryan grew up in an entrepreneurial household and worked in the finance and real estate industries in New York City where he saw an emerging need in the space. He says that they’ve seen lifestyle becoming a primary concern for people that they view their clients as users rather than as customers. He co-founded the company with his business partner and long-time friend Christopher Kelly, intending to disrupt the commercial real estate industry. He also explains his philosophy for finding a co-founder.
“When thinking about choosing a co-founder, you have to know yourself first. You want to make sure that you are aligning yourself someone who is complementary.”
How they have created a strong company culture and the importance of gratitude at Convene
“We obsess over customer experience but we put that same energy and attention into team member experience.”
Ryan explains how they have created a team that can deliver the consistently high standards expected by their members. He says that it starts with the right culture and philosophy, which means hiring the right people. He says that building the right culture begins even before someone is hired. It starts right at the initial interview process, where they eliminate candidates if they don’t meet the high standards that Convene has for culture.
He also talks about the culture of gratitude that they have instilled in the workforce and says that their executives pass around handwritten notes about what they appreciate that other team members have done.
Ryan’s predictions for the future of work in an increasingly distributed world
“I think that there is a whole generation of companies today that are being born that will never sign a lease for their own office and will outsource to companies regardless of how big they ever get. It’s remote-first and experience-first.”
He explains the three big trends that he says will define the future of work and explains the implications for his business of the remote-first companies that are being created around the world.
“Even though the future of work will be more distributed… no matter what happens, place will continue to be really important in the future of work.”
How he is investing in his personal development
“Don't be afraid to ask for help and surround yourself with people with more experience than you. Never be afraid to steal wisdom. I like to think of myself in the wisdom theft business — the more I can steal, the smarter I feel.”
Ryan says that it is important to him to relax and de-stress, and that this is part of the key to his productivity. He also explains how he makes time to be present with his wife and children consistently. He also says that he was not afraid to “ask dumb questions” when he was a first-time founder starting Convene. He credits surrounding himself with mentors and coaches that he could ask for advice for his success thus far, and suggests that founders do the same.
He also talks about some of his favorite products and a great book that he read that helped him as he scaled Convene.
We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Big thanks to Headspin,Safety Wing, and Trulioo for their support. 😸
Companies, Products, and Books Mentioned in This Episode
Blinkist — Key insights from 2,000+ non-fiction books.
Headspace — Meditation made simple in just 10 minutes a day
Peloton — World-class indoor cycling wherever you are.
The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky