The FORT Podcast: Joe Du Bey

In Episode 16, Chris sits down with Joe Du Bey, Founder and CEO of Eden, a management solutions company based in San Francisco. They discuss the process of raising capital, finding investors, the life of a start-up CEO and more. They also discuss mentorship, learning, their favorite podcasts and social media.

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7:02 – How did you meet your co-founder?
9:24 – How does someone without a tech background find a great engineer?
11:00 –  What did YC do for you?
18:14 – What did you decide to do with your first round of investment?
19:18 – Smart Startup Marketing
21:30 – How much has OKR helped you?
22:57 – How do venture capitalists encourage growth?
25:11 – What is the best advice you’ve received from one of your investors?
26:28 – Being the CEO of a Startup
31:46 – Determining the Best Metrics
32:33 – Starting a Technology Company Outside the Bay Area
35:06 – The Perfect Customer for Eden
37:27 – Biggest Office Problems
40:53 – The Future of Eden
44:27 – Joe’s Experience Raising Capital
46:45 – What does a good VC do for a startup?
50:23 – Pressures in the Startup World
52:00 – Mentorship, Learning, Podcasting, Social Media and Life Balance


Joe Du Bey is the CEO and Co-Founder of Eden, the leading workplace management platform. Eden provides all facilities services and vendor management software to offices, with the most curated marketplace of local vendors for all office needs, from janitorial to IT support and beyond. Eden is backed by the top venture investors in Silicon Valley, including Fifth Wall Ventures, S28 Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, ENIAC Ventures, Maven Ventures, Y Combinator, Stanford University, and a number of other institutional investors. Prior to Eden, Joe worked as a Vice President at Patamar Capital, a venture capital firm, and as an Associate at Lindsay Goldberg, a private equity firm. Joe hold a MBA from Stanford University and a BBA from the University of Michigan.

Episode Summary

Du Bey began by stressing the significance of brutal honesty in business development, a philosophy that guided the pivot of his company from a failing business model to a thriving marketplace. This transformation underscored the critical role of transparent communication and adaptability in responding to market feedback. Du Bey’s narrative served as a powerful testimony to embracing constructive criticism to steer companies away from potential failure and toward scalable growth models.

Scaling a real estate business, as Du Bey discussed, involves more than just increasing transaction volumes; it necessitates a holistic approach to operational efficiency and technological integration. He highlighted that in real estate, where traditional practices often prevail, the introduction of innovative technology can revolutionize transaction management, customer service, and overall strategic decision-making. Du Bey’s approach to hiring emphasized not only on skill sets but also on cultural alignment and the capacity for individual growth within the company, reflecting the industry’s evolving human resource demands.

Financial acumen was also a focal point, with Du Bey noting the importance of managing investments and funding with precision. He shed light on the complexities of real estate transactions, where efficiency in financial operations can significantly impact the bottom line. The integration of technology, according to Du Bey, plays a pivotal role in streamlining these financial processes, reducing errors, and enhancing investment returns.

Moving into the strategies that set his company apart, Du Bey shared how an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction helped his company excel in a competitive landscape. By continuously refining their business model to align with customer needs and market demands, they have managed to stay ahead of the curve. Du Bey also acknowledged the influence of market trends on business operations, advocating for agility and the ability to pivot strategies as market conditions evolve.

Regulatory navigation is a notorious challenge in real estate, and Du Bey’s experience provided practical lessons in compliance and expansion. His insights into leadership emphasized the importance of building a resilient company culture capable of withstanding regulatory and market pressures. Furthermore, Du Bey underlined the significance of cultivating customer trust, an essential commodity in the industry, and shared how transparency and reliability in services could establish long-term customer relationships.

As the conversation turned toward the future, Du Bey’s optimism about the role of technology in real estate was evident. He envisioned a landscape transformed by innovations, where data and analytics become the cornerstone of strategic real estate decision-making. Du Bey argued for the potential of these tools to offer a competitive advantage, enabling more informed investment choices and operational efficiencies.

The economic considerations in real estate were not overlooked, with Du Bey providing an analysis of the economic factors that influence the real estate cycle. He advised on the importance of preparing for economic shifts, leveraging both historical data and current market analysis to anticipate changes and adapt business strategies accordingly.

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