Knotel CEO Amol Sarva Shares His Vision in Commercial Observer Profile

by Knotel: Nov 13, 2018

In a recent, in-depth Commercial Observer profile, Knotel’s Amol Sarva discussed everything from why most of the rhetoric around “co-working” is just confusing and distracting, to the future of Knotel (“a vast, global enterprise in the making”) and how blockchain figures in.

 

Without further ado, here are some of the highlights, in Amol’s own words, naturally:

 

On “We” who shall not be named: “We will be bigger than them in the next 15 months … We’re already a third of their size in New York—their home market. We have more locations than they do, which means we have more owner relationships than they do.”

 

On what differentiates Knotel from co-working providers: “[Knotel] is just office. I think the other stuff everybody else is slinging is just confusing and distracting. … And the bells and whistles are of questionable value. I mean, it’s very clear people need office space to work together and get stuff done—it’s quite amazing how straightforward that is. The hocus pocus gets you to waste lots of money.”

 

On why flexible office space is like pizza delivery: “Hmm, there’s this thing people want: pizza. And without reinventing the pizza, you’re just providing a different channel to consume it.”

 

On the need for Knotel Express: “We figured there were some next generation of owners and some pockets of brokers who were clever and just waiting for this moment. Because the old way [of leasing a vacancy] is super slow and super expensive and super legalized—and it’s just annoying. There’s a lot of slow turnaround.”

 

On the Knotel Express model: “It’s a straightforward [process]— landlords and brokers put their numbers in and within 24 hours they get a proposal to just sign.”

 

On venturing into blockchain for real estate: “I didn’t really pay attention to [blockchain] at first. Now I think probably the single largest and most practical use-case for anything in the world of blockchain is this. The technologies around blockchain make a little machine for truth. … While [bitcoin’s] a cool experiment, it’s not worth anything. Real estate is worth everything. It’s $30 trillion worth of office—and if you’re burning 2 percent of that a year on [informational data and due diligence], that’s hundreds of billions. That’s really valuable information.”

 

On naming this new venture: “[It’s called] Baya—that’s the name of this beautiful bird and it makes an amazing nest and it’s a complicated builder and it collaborates… So it’s ‘Baya.’”

 

Read it all here.

 

PHOTO: SASHA MASLOV/FOR COMMERCIAL OBSERVER