David Adams – Co-founder and CEO of HomeSuite

It’s pretty simple: Never give up. Things can and will go wrong again and again and again. The best way to respond to setbacks is just getting back up and running harder.

David Adams is the co-founder and CEO of HomeSuite, a monthly technology-enabled furnished rental broker. With this company, David wanted to make a difficult process easy, combining the best of broker relationships with the best of technology.

HomeSuite users can browse all information about their rentals on the website, then ask HomeSuite’s agents for personal service throughout the booking stage. HomeSuite’s service protects users from the hassle of spam and scams. In fact, it guarantees every booking that goes through its platform.

Before co-founding HomeSuite, David graduated with an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He then worked at Microsoft as a financial analyst and created business plans for divisional LT, including market analysis, strategic frameworks, and decision support.

With David’s expertise in business strategy, market research, and strategic planning, he understands the great responsibility and necessity in finding ways to deliver a convenient, personal, and quality service to make tenant transactions a smooth and valuable experience.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I really, really like a flexible lifestyle, so throughout my adult life, I have moved between apartments and houses a lot. I prefer renting furnished places with short leases. It can be a huge pain to track down these kinds of apartments! It can be tough to find furnished housing for a short-term lease, and landing a booking for these properties can be even worse. HomeSuite is all about fixing these problems.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

I try to get into the office early so I can get organized for the day. My email basically acts as my to-do list, and each response I give knocks another task off the pile. Essentially, the bulk of my day is devoted to those tasks that I can knock out quickly. In the evening, I try to set aside some time to think through the more substantial projects that just don’t get enough of my attention while I’m dealing with the little things. Everything I do gets prioritized in terms of how much incremental business it will drive. The more I can achieve with the least time spent, the higher it rises on the list.

How do you bring ideas to life?

For me, the idea is about 10 percent of the work. Once you’ve gotten that little spark of a project, the real work begins. It’s just a matter of breaking the concept down into more digestible pieces and seeing each one through to its conclusion. The majority of the process is just grunt work, hustling to execute.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I am super excited by the on-demand economy. We’re only just starting to see how this model will change the way people live. The media has been spending a lot of time discussing the sharing economy, which is great, but I think the on-demand concept really hits home a little more for us, with companies like Uber and Instacart showing a new way of looking at business.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

In some ways, just being a little obsessive-compulsive about HomeSuite helps me stay productive. It helps to give myself permission to mull over problems and opportunities for a while. Oftentimes, I won’t stop thinking about a problem until I can come up with a viable solution.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

Back in high school, I worked in a warehouse delivering large household items. It wasn’t the most fun experience, but I certainly learned how to work really hard!

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Honestly, my first thought wasn’t even strictly about business. If I could change one thing, I would set aside more time to get into a better habit of working out. I’m getting back into it now, and it is painful!

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

It’s pretty simple: Never give up. Things can and will go wrong again and again and again. The best way to respond to setbacks is just getting back up and running harder. I try to respond to every setback in my work and life by diving right back into the problem and powering through it with even more determination than before.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Never be afraid to get help from others. I focused on finding teammates and advisers who have the right expertise or connections to match my needs — it’s been a great strategy for growing my business. Things are able to scale much more quickly when we have multiple people tackling various tasks.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I experimented with starting a business while I was still employed by my previous company. It didn’t come together because there was simply no way to devote the necessary amount of time to either one of my commitments. In the end, I had to quit my job so I could focus on where my passion really lay — starting my next venture.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think we’re all really in need of a way to simplify small business insurance. This whole market is totally opaque, and it’s a pain to get insurance when it doesn’t need to be. There’s a huge opportunity to make this easier, so go get it!

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

A gym membership! There are plenty of people who don’t end up paying the money for access to good equipment because they’re worried they’ll never utilize it. But if you can motivate yourself to finally get up and moving, it’s the best investment into personal development that you can possibly make.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I love using Mailbox; with it, I can quickly and easily snooze emails or clear my inbox. For calendar, I use Sunrise, which is awesome! As far as HomeSuite is concerned, we use too many apps to count, but I really love Streak; it’s a great CRM that’s built with Gmail integration in mind.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I am not a huge fan of reading books for learning, but to relax, I recommend “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. It’s super funny and easy to pick up for a few pages at a time.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

I love Bill Gurley because he is a super successful investor who puts a good amount of energy into writing thoughtfully. He has also focused mostly on investing in marketplaces, which is especially relevant for me. Check out his blog.

Aaron Levie’s Twitter feed is a great way to get quick, bite-sized updates on what’s happening in tech. For a bonus, he is hilarious.


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