Brad Hargreaves

Founder & CEO at Common, co-founder at General Assembly

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON January 11, 2016


Brad Hargreaves@bhargreaves · co-founder, General Assembly
Hi, I'm Brad Hargreaves, founder & CEO of Common. I've started a number of businesses including General Assembly, a global school for technology, business, and design. I started Common in 2015, and we're building flexible, friendly shared housing. I'm thrilled to be here - ask me anything!
Tommy Nicholas@tommyrva · CEO @ Alloy
How does Common think about the neighborhoods it develops apartments in? Assuming you grow into a major housing force in NYC in the neighborhoods you're developing now, being good neighbors and considering the effects of gentrification are going important issues. For context, I'm currently living in a Common (soon departing, enjoyed it!) and it seems that the neighborhood is a topic that has been avoided instead of embraced.
Brad Hargreaves@bhargreaves · co-founder, General Assembly
@tommyrva Hey Tommy! I spoke a bit about this on the live chat, but engaging our neighborhoods is super important for us. Right now we're prioritizing conversations with local businesses, as (a) we can make the most impact there even at a small scale and (b) local businesses are often the first to get driven out in gentrification. If we can drive our members to locally-owned shops rather than chains it will be the best for everyone.
Tommy Nicholas@tommyrva · CEO @ Alloy
@bhargreaves Good idea! There's a new restaurant opening up next to the smaller Crown Heights place (Chauncey) that could thrive if Common members became consistent patrons. I think that's a great place to start.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@bhargreaves thanks so much for joining us today Brad. Big fan of yours, my question is; why did you choose to pursue such an alternative industry with common when comparing to General Assembly? Also what have been your biggest takeaways from the experience? P.S Would love to have you on @twentyminutevc and share your story!
Brad Hargreaves@bhargreaves · co-founder, General Assembly
@harrystebbings Hi Harry! While it's a different industry, there are a lot similarities - offline product delivery, operationally intensive, high-dollar B2C sales, brand-differentiated.
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
Thank You for Joining! Could you tell me some advice for cold emailing ?
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
@bhargreaves Could you share a time that you failed?
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello @bhargreaves Great to meet you here. What is the biggest challenge you faced in setting up Common. How did you overcome it?
Brad Hargreaves@bhargreaves · co-founder, General Assembly
@neeeharika Doing anything innovative in real estate is hard... real estate people tend to be very, very conservative... which makes sense since it's an industry with limited upside and unlimited downside. Getting real estate investors, insurance companies, and banks to understand what we're doing - or to fit it in a box they already understand - was really hard.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@bhargreaves what in your career are you most proud of?
Brad Hargreaves@bhargreaves · co-founder, General Assembly
@ems_hodge All the wonderful students who got jobs out of General Assembly :)
Corey Crossfield@coreycrossfield · Head of Digital, Revelation Management
What was the biggest hurdle you experienced when building your company?