Friday, September 3, 2010

Early Adopters?

Is the term early adopter used anymore?  Maybe, I guess, in terms of adopting iPhone type aps but probably no longer in the original sense.  I was talking with a friend the other day about the early adopters in the commercial real estate industry.  There is no doubt in my mind that the first one to realize the power of the Internet and use it is an old friend of mine, the late Ted Kraus.  Ted was truly an early adopter who had a vision to create a commercial real estate community that was both information and deal oriented.  Dealmakers is still thriving and the archive of Ted's "My Way" column are a great read, even today.  He was as outspoken an individual as our industry has ever known but he could back that up with real experience in the shopping center and retail real estate world.  He started blogging in 2005 and his last post is in March 2007, shortly before the bottom fell out.  Boy, he would have had a field day with everything that has transpired since the day the real estate music died.

I know a number of parts of the country have already started school but growing up, the tuesday(or wednesday) after Labor Day was always the start of public school.  One of my favorite things was going to buy my new looseleaf binder, see-through plastic pencil case (three-hole punch of course) and creating the tabs with the subjects (Math, Science, English, History, what am I forgetting?)  It was always a fresh start, not unlike the beginning of a new year and actually it was identical as it was the beginning of the next 'school' year.  So I know many of you, like me, have been getting your fall conference schedule together.  The interesting thing about the institutional real estate niche is how few actual investors attend most of the conferences.  When I look at the names of the panelists, they're either someone from a firm who is a conference sponsor (i.e. a lot of lawyers) or they're people on the the non-investor (i.e. pension fund, endowment, foundation, family office) types.  And I guess a lot of what I see resembles people "preaching to the choir."  But I know that there is some industry prestige that comes with being on a panel or moderating a panel (I've moderated my share of panels in my career and really like it, not so much for the prestige, but for the interaction you can create amongst the panelists and between the panel and the audience).  But like in many things in life, what you get out of conferences and trade associations is a result of what you put into them.  I look forward to seeing many of you 'on the road' this fall.

Thanks to those of you who wrote to me about Nick Tyrrell last week.  His death has obviously touched a lot of folks in the industry.  

Sean Felix-almost 15 months

On the road....
Sept. 8-10:  IAmsterdam (INREV Meeting)
Sept. 27-29:  Tysons Corner, VA (NMS Fall Conference)
Oct. 4-7:  The City By The Bay (PREA Conference)
Oct. 12-15:  City of Magnificant Distances (ULI Fall Conference)
Sept. 30:  The City That Works
Oct. 1:  A Great Place on a Great Lake.
Oct. 26-27:   The City So Nice, They Named It Twice (PERE New York Forum) 
Nov. 5:  The City of the Big Shoulders

Restaurants of the week:
1.  La Mangeoire.  1008 2nd Avenue, New York (bet. 53rd and 54th street).  Excellent food.  Sit on the sidewalk or just inside on a nice night.  It's a happening area. 

2.  Midi, 185 Suter St, San Francisco.  California Brasserie menu in a cool spot inside the Galleria Park Hotel, a joie de vivre property.

These are my views and not that of my employer.

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