Why Now.

Ramen and Plangrid.

I just had some delicious Ramen with Ryan Sutton-Gee, who is also the co-founder of Plangrid. I wanted to congratulate him on the acquisition by Autodesk, so I bought him ramen. Autodesk is acquiring Plangrid for $875m, so Ramen seemed like a good idea.


The first time I met Ryan was six years ago at a coffee shop in Mountain View, Red Rock. I’ve had good luck with that place, I should start purposefully only taking meetings out of Red Rock in Mountain View.


When Plangrid pitched me, what stood out was how obvious it was that it was going to happen. Startups aren’t always that clear. But Tracy Young (the CEO) and Ryan’s pitch was “When you build a big building like a hospital, the developer will spend up to $4m on Blueprints throughout the course of the project… we want to replace that with an iPad.”


My follow up was, “So they spend $4m on physical blue paper?”


To me, someone who had grown up on the computer, it was such an obvious problem to solve. Real time updating construction paper has created an entire industry now. Plangrid started the concept of Construction tech, and now there are huge opportunities being pursued by hundreds of entrepreneurs.


I think that their answer to “Why does this need to exist now?” was super strong. It was obvious: the iPad and mobile. Before the iPad and mobile phones, the possibility of being on site with a digital display was not scalable. Construction sites needed the product, they just didn’t know it yet.


Ask yourself: “Why does this need to exist now?” When reviewing your own startup. I’m realizing how important this question is to ask.

By Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.

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