The Next $50B Business Won't Be a Website
What if the world's best software entrepreneurs used all their resources to take on big projects beyond the Web like schools, hospitals and factories? Software engineers are already making real-world goods and services, from Tesla cars to Nest thermostats, Uber taxi networks and Netflix live-action shows. These aren’t clicks-and-mortar businesses, where a traditional company just puts up a website. These are new, end-to-end businesses, born from tech, but with the guts to launch real-world operations. Such businesses take more money and time to grow, but attack bigger markets and missions. After all, 30 years into the software revolution, only 12 of the Fortune 500 are pure software businesses. The rest operate in the real world, even as they increasingly look to technology for competitive advantage. Redfin, a real estate website that became a real estate broker, explains its own journey into the real world, and how entrepreneurs can find real-world ideas for the next great companies.
Glenn is CEO of Seattle-based Redfin (www.Redfin.com), a mission-driven, technology-powered real estate broker backed by Greylock Partners and T. Rowe Price. Redfin has represented consumers in the purchase or sale of more than $13 billion of real estate, with employee-agents paid to put customers first, and technology that makes buying and selling a home easier and more informed at every step. Prior to Redfin, Glenn co-founded Plumtree Software, a publicly traded company that created the enterprise portal software market. In his seven years at Plumtree, Glenn led engineering, marketing, product management and business development. Follow him on Twitter @glennkelman or on Redfin's blog (blog.redfin.com).