41. Brian Chen | Room (modern workplace solutions)


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Brian Chen is the Co-Founder & CEO of Room.
Brian is a second-time founder, having previously launched Bluesmart, a smart luggage company built to supercharge your suitcase through advanced technology and connectivity solutions. Bluesmart was acquired by Travelpro in 2018.
Room is on a mission to change the way offices are designed by creating modular, flexible solutions that transform the workplace. Today, they go to market with their flagship soundproof phone booth as well as newly launched meeting and focus rooms. In the spirit of convenient and adaptive solutions, their phone booth ships flat and assembles on-site with a single tool. Room is poised to take advantage of massive tailwinds in a post-Covid world, equipping offices with the infrastructure needed to optimize for their people.
Tune in to hear Brian’s story!

  • Sections
    • (17:50) – The Origin Story
    • (28:15) – The Build
    • (55:34) – The Founder
    • (1:04:11) – The Brainstorm
  • Topics
    • (2:10) Brian’s background
    • (4:03) Endeavor experience (entrepreneurial non-profit)
    • (6:56) Dropping out of MIT to pursue Bluesmart
    • (10:13) Y Combinator learnings & takeaways
    • (13:01) Bluesmart outcome
    • (15:09) Winding down a startup
    • (17:50) Assessing the Room market opportunity
    • (22:11) Room snapshot
    • (25:14) What had to be true for Room to succeed
    • (28:15) Biggest bets that didn’t pan out
    • (31:40) Hiring framework – the Secretary problem
    • (35:41) Covid business impact
    • (42:21) Manifesting the future
    • (44:41) Calm collaboration
    • (46:31) 10x growth
    • (50:37) Brian’s Startup Manifesto
    • (55:34) What differentiates great and good CEOs
    • (1:01:31) Needle mover habit
    • (1:02:30) Brian’s wellness stack
    • (1:04:11) The Brainstorm – Housing market liquidity, fractional expert networks and subscription jeans

Watch this episode on YouTube
Room – room.com

The Founder - www.thefounderpod.com

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