The FORT Podcast: Abhijeet Dwivedi

Abhijeet Dwivedi is the CEO and Co-Founder of ZeroDown, the smartest way to buy a home in San Francisco. They discuss Abhijeet’s experience growing up in the education system in India, the influence of Paul Graham, life in a hyper-growth company and more.

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01:50 – What has happened in your life which led you to ZeroDown?
11:30 – Gratefulness is one of your most appealing traits. What has helped you adopt this mindset?
14:35 – How did you get into designing video games when you were younger?
20:20 – Were you exposed to these advanced topics at an early age or was this more your nature?
23:40 – What is the difference between education in India and the United States?
26:20 – How did you find the Paul Graham essays? What about them changed your life?
29:14 – What was it like working at such a fast growing company such as Zenefits?
34:03 – How do you prioritize goals in a hyper-growth company and gain buy in?
37:00 – What your experience as Head of Operations? What did you learn?
41:22 – Overview of ZeroDown  
54:10 – What are “loyalty points”? How do they incentivize customers to make their mortgage payments on time?
57:32 – Growth Hacking with Slack
1:03:57 – Is there anything that has shocked you about customers or business since starting ZeroDown?


Abhijeet is the co-founder and CEO at ZeroDown. Previously, he was the COO and CSO at Zenefits. Prior to Zenefits he was with McKinsey – where he advised clients on strategy in Tokyo, London, Singapore, New Delhi, and Washington DC. He holds a Masters in IT from University of Pennsylvania and Bachelors in Materials Engineering from IIT-Varanasi.

Episode Summary

Dwivedi opened the conversation by expressing his fascination with the concept of fractional ownership in real estate, a model that allows multiple individuals to have a stake in a property, sharing both the costs and benefits. He highlighted the parallels between this model and the principles of cryptocurrency, emphasizing the power of decentralized systems and the potential they hold in redefining ownership and investment. Dwivedi’s exploration of these topics set the stage for a thoughtful discourse on the future of real estate and the innovative ways in which technology could enhance accessibility and efficiency.

The conversation transitioned to Dwivedi’s personal journey, with him sharing reflections on the role of collaboration and gratitude in achieving success. He underscored the importance of recognizing the contributions of others and the impact of fortuitous circumstances in one’s career, advocating for a humble and appreciative approach to success. Dwivedi’s narrative highlighted the collaborative nature of achievement, emphasizing that individual accomplishments are often the result of collective efforts and favorable conditions.

Dwivedi further explored the theme of knowledge acquisition, sharing his experiences of encountering insightful essays and frameworks that profoundly influenced his thinking. He likened these moments of learning to receiving a map, providing guidance and clarity in navigating complex scenarios. Dwivedi emphasized the readiness required to absorb and apply knowledge, highlighting how past failures and experiences can prime an individual for more effective learning and application.

The conversation then shifted to Dwivedi’s venture, Zero Down, a platform designed to facilitate homeownership through an innovative model that allows individuals to gradually acquire a stake in a property. He shared the thought process behind the inception of Zero Down, drawing parallels between the vesting of stock options and home acquisition. Dwivedi detailed the workings of Zero Down, outlining how the platform enables individuals to acquire ownership of a house “brick by brick,” exemplifying his commitment to reimagining traditional real estate models and making homeownership more accessible.

In the concluding part of the podcast, Dwivedi delved into the significance of customer feedback and the ongoing evolution of Zero Down’s offerings. He shared a specific example of customer interaction leading to potential partnerships and expanded services, highlighting the company’s responsiveness to customer needs. Dwivedi underscored the importance of adaptability and customer-centricity, showcasing his dedication to innovation and excellence in the real estate sector.

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