Build Something People Want

One of YC’s main pieces of advice is to “Build something people want.”

I believe that people want to live in cities, but only really love a handful of the existing ones we have today. Because of this, we have too much pressure on the supply/demand equation of great cities and that is creating a simultaneous global housing crisis on the best cities.

I also believe that over the next 20–30 years there will be a new class of entrepreneur that builds a new city (or cities because there will be a learning curve) to compete with existing ones, and two of the key edges will be that: a) there’s no burdened infrastructure or infrastructure maintenance cost on virgin land, and b) land cost is extremely low so you can win on price initially.

I want to be a pioneer in founding new cities and create (in addition to my own set of new cities) an ecosystem of financing and shared knowledge that makes it easier for bold entrepreneurs to buy land and build new cities from scratch.

My hope is that by year 2030, it’s standard practice to raise $50M in equity for a equity/mezz/debt capital stack to buy virgin land because there are so many successful examples of new cities that made a very healthy risk adjusted return.

Right now, I’m aware that my ideas sound crazy to a lot of people and thus a lot of people are concerned about me and my well-being. This is acceptable to me, because right now there is a group of about 40 people that are fully on my side (biggest two being Luke Nosek and Dave Fontenot) and believe in me and my ability to achieve success at a task that a lot of really smart, talented people have failed at.

And I may fail. This is also acceptable to me because I have a proven track record of being able to rebound from large scale failure and to manage a shitty situation in the best way possible.

And then after rebounding, I may try again and I may fail again. Elon Musk, a person regarded as one of the top entrepreneurs of our time, failed 3 times. Three. And it was literally *explosive* failure. This gives me courage and faith.

I invite you to ask yourself the question- If I am the boldest version of myself, what would I be doing with my life?

For me, asking myself this question very often for 2–3 years, the answer finally came as “building better living environments.” I believe people fundamentally want to be in the best possible living environment for themselves and want that for their families and loved ones too.

I am going to keep writing “crazy” posts because I am slowly, but surely, building a community of people that want to build new cities. Everyday (because of my frequent FB posts) I get inbound from another friend or friend of a friend that loves what we’re doing and genuinely wants to contribute to the effort.

Thank you to everyone that’s helped so far, and thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Much Love,

Tom