Originally Published February 19, 2009
Every once in a while I have a post that I think about for a long time, make some notes, pick out other things to add and it kinda festers. This is one of those posts. Click to read the whole post.
Every night, I sit down and read books to my kids. Sometimes, they are intended to teach – Goops and How Not to be Them – sometimes its for the art – The Nativity (Thanks Evan) – sometimes for my own nostalgic pleasure – Caps For Sale – and sometimes just for fun – One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
I guess what surprises me the most is that even in some of the most simplistic children’s books, I can frequently find something that makes me think. And of the books from which I most frequently have a good take away, it is Dr. Seuss that always makes me smile.
Whether it is The Lorax and the Onceler telling us morals of environmental concerns, or The Sneetches sharing with us a story of cultural diversity and acceptance, Dr. Seuss seems to transcend the times and is frequently focused on teaching us lessons from which we can all learn.
In making the move to Nest, I have spent hours explaining to various people why I am starting a new real estate firm when the economy is in the tank. There are two quotes that I have referenced several times, and they are both Dr. Seuss quotes.
One from a little-read book called Scrambled Eggs Super! and the other from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut. While I can recommend the latter as a good book, the prior is rather silly except for one line.
If you want to get eggs you can’t buy at a store,
You have to do things never thought of before.
In one sentence, this sums up why we started Nest. (It is not intentional that this quote is about eggs, but it is rather fitting.) The current real estate industry is changing at amazing speed. And if we want to stay in front, we have to be willing to do things that no one else has tried. Some will work, some invariably will not. That’s okay. But only in a company that is small and nimble, full of innovative folks, can we be sure to have the agility to respond to new stuff any day. And with Nest, not only have I found a model that is allowing innovation, I have found partners who push innovation beyond prior limits. I am amazed at the conversations that we have daily about where the envelope should be.
The flip side of the same idea came to me from I Can Read with My Eyes Shut. I recently had a conversation with an agent with far more experience in real estate than I. When we talked about the nest model, he seemed to scoff at the notion that we can or should change anything. After all, if no one changes, we can keep operating under the old models. Why on earth would we want to provide our clients with information that empowers them? I need only point to the fact that two weeks ago, the largest firm in our MLS that did not allow IDX made the switch and opened themselves up to the Internet Exchange. It was driven by a single agent finally saying they had had enough, and their customers demanded more. To the agents who want to keep doing things the old way, by all means, keep doing it. There are still clients who want it. But for the future, I leave you with my second Dr. Seuss quote of the day.
If you read with your eyes shut
you’re likely to find
that the place where you’re going
is far, far behind
Me, I’ll keep my eyes open, and I’ll keep pushing things, and hope to have my clients push for more as well. I’m not sure where I am going, but I know that it is far, far ahead of where we are today. It should be a fun ride.