THE BOB JOHNSTON PODCAST
By Bob Johnston
September 22, 2020
SEASON
1
EPISODE
25
The Topic on the Mind of Every CEO and Board – Managed by Q Founder, Dan Teran

With the exception of cybersecurity (i.e. protecting remote employees), the topic on the minds of nearly every enterprise CEO and board these days is…wait for it…Workplace Management. Today’s guest is Dan Teran, founder of Managed by Q – a leading workplace management technology platform, which was sold to WeWork last year.

We are all social animals – sitting in front of a computer at home isn’t the same as engaging and creating together in a physical environment.

Having said that, the old way of “doing office” is probably dead.

The WeWorks and Reguses of the world used to be the exclusive domain of small and medium businesses. Now, there is a generational opportunity for large enterprises to be relieved of their big leases and explore the flexibility and scale enjoyed by the SMBs – imagine a large enterprise having a single dashboard view into all of the goings-on across multiple locations…and having all vendors and contractors handled through a single source.

You can see why this is on the mind of every large enterprise.

Dan and I cover this in more detail and also discuss his raising $100m for Managed by Q – and why this isn’t always necessary for young companies. We also discuss the ability to be anti-fragile in this environment, Dan's view on the Gig Economy vs. the Passion Economy…and his year-round surfing habits on Rockaway Beach just outside of NYC.

SELECTED QUOTES
A bunch of middling outcomes don’t add up to one great outcome
On the importance of focusing on your single most important priority
Entrepreneurship is the best drug I’ve ever tried. I feel really fortunate to have formed this addiction
On why he loves building companies
EPISODE MARKERS

For now, the sharing of tribal knowledge can happen fairly efficiently via Slack and other digital platforms [1:45]

Density of corporate culture is formed physically and companies like WeWork and Regus are positioned to take advantage of it

Mixing of people and ideas in a physical setting won’t change

For now, how do we replicate what we were doing physically

“Density of culture is formed physically”

“The old way of ‘doing office’ is probably dead.”

Large corporate have a generational opportunity to walk away from big leases and walk into a WeWork who provides them flexibility and scale [9:10]

There is a lack of services from the large office buildings in cities like NYC, which are often owned by private families which don’t have the kind of technology  like you’d get from WeWork or Regus

Dan has invested in 50 startups in the past year. He's also serving as advisor and mentor to founders. [17:15]

Common themes that he hears from founders quality of startups is high right now as they are keeping burn low; they are getting good talent

Building in an anti-fragile way such as hiring staff when never met in person; these co’s will be ready if there is another global situation. They are resilient.

“A bunch of middling outcomes don’t add up to one great outcome”

Put all resources on solving the 1 key problem [25:40]

His fund formation philosophy: portfolio construction as a way of placing bets on humans who you want to see succeed and insights that could lead to a world that you think is more interesting to live in.

He is a builder by nature, despite being an introvert. He’s a reader, writer, thinker.

“Entrepreneurship is the best drug I’ve ever tried. I feel really fortunate to have formed this addiction.”

Lucky enough to stumble upon this at a young age and got hooked

First entrepreneurial project was building homes in Appalachia for Habitat for Humanity [31:50]

To be called to an opportunity is rare. If you find it, jump on it. What would the world look like if everyone found their best selves?

Passion economy is harnessing the creativity of the individual to create scalable assets where they can own the upside and distribution; very inspiring and new fields of work that we can imagine. This is creating value for each other. [36:50]

Dan's Contrarian View: Investing in workers at the lowest levels of an organization creates better financial outcomes for the business over time. It’s easy to quantity this. Ydon’t save any money by paying them less or screw-in them on benefits be cause you’ll have a lot of turnover which will cuts any cost-savings.[41:30]

What’s on his browser: Twitter is where he spends most of screen time for uniqueness and authenticity. Can view both sides of an issue.

Surfing year round in Rockaway Beach with 5 mil wetsuit and mitts

GUEST FOOTNOTES
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