Over the last couple of months I’ve moved away from leading a cross-functional team to doing IC work remotely (will be a separate post later). As I’m a little more distant from the business (geography & nature of what I’ve been spending time on for the last month or so) I was trying to articulate for myself why I believe Opendoor’s succeeded so far and why to be bullish / bearish about the co. especially as I exercise more options (commit $$ to the co). Harder to share what’s still to be done & what I think the challenges that remain are, I found this a very useful exercise. Particularly so as I’m spending more time with new companies and what’s the must solve hypothesis for them at their earliest stages.
Please note: This is my opinion based on observations. Sharing this but redacting parts that might be considered sensitive.
- Customer experience / Customer focus. NPS – word of mouth
- Capital markets
- Pricing algorithms
- Internal tools
- Product marketing – “sell your house hassle free”
- Complex ops management
- Analytics – ops, pick markets, etc
- Home entry: Text to enter
- Ability to launch markets
- Recruit A+ talent. Constantly.
Timing & necessary conditions:
- Low interest rates
- Macro up cycle
- MLS data open with history of transactions
- Repeatable housing
Where the business is yet to succeed:
- Adjacent Services (sort of already done but more broadly)
- Survive a downcycle
- Competition (welcome, public company)
Why I’d still bet on opendoor:
- Huge, huge, huge market.
- Truly a better experience for customer
- Margins at scale
- Brand equity & trust in the marketplace
- Internal operations tooling ?
It was also an opportunity for me to take stock of where I think I excelled and had the greatest impact.
My impact at Opendoor:
- Solving complex operations, technology and operations, and technology and regulatory
- Simplifying and using combination to solve
- General purpose human more than anything else
- Built original support team in Phoenix: 0 -> 1 -> 5. Original playbook, scripting, tooling. Today team is 50+ people.
- Data analytics + bots.
- Brokerage: spec’d & lead building of transaction management platform & ops playbook for compliance in 1st state (AZ). Gold star from regulator. Playbook scaled
- Canonical work: winding down Opendoor Mortgage 1.0 (beta), strategy for 2.0 and scrapping, core team to launch 3.0. (Mortgages @ Opendoor needs to be a book, lol)
- For 3.0: Leading cross functional growth team. 3 eng, pm, 1 pmm, 1 CX ops, and 1 analyst