The FORT Podcast: Nathan Lenahan – A story of working at WeWork until original IPO, His new HVAC roll-up strategy with game-changing tech component

Entrepreneur, Nathan Lenahan, has held many titles such as COO of Smart City Apartment Locating and VP & GM of Texas and the Mountain West Regions for WeWork. Nathan is currently working on a roll-up of home service businesses beginning with HVAC. Before WeWork Nathan started a property management company that he grew quickly and eventually sold to a private equity-backed real estate company. Nathan also served proudly in the Army for nearly 14 years across active duty and national guard deploying for two years to Iraq.

On this episode, Nathan gives incredible insight on working at WeWork from 2015 until IPO, why WeWork is a company that will matter moving forward, and what the army taught Nathan about leadership. They also discuss his new HVAC roll-up strategy and Nathan’s tech idea behind it. Enjoy!

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(02:25) – Nathan’s Background and Career with WeWork

(06:13) – Leadership Lessons Learned in the Military

(09:31) – Nathan’s Property Management Business

(11:24) – How was your business valued and how did the transaction happen?

(13:28) – Nathan’s Experience at WeWork 

(19:04) – How do you build a culture in a hyper-growth company like WeWork where new people are coming aboard every day?

(23:11) – How did you know where you should be opening locations and how quickly you needed to open?

(26:50) – Was Softbank already involved when you joined and what happens when you get such a massive influx of capital?

(33:55) – What does a great location look like for a co-working space?

(37:23) – Did it matter at all how close you were to the next WeWork?

(38:35) – Was there a goal for consistency in terms of the look and feel of each location?

(39:40) – What did you learn about community building between tenants?

(41:27) – Was there an inflection point with the circus around the media and the coming IPO where things felt ‘different’?

(44:33) – What mattered most to the landlords you worked with?

(48:29) – Was this a real estate company or a tech company?

(49:54) – Thoughts on Adam Neumann

(53:03) – The WeWork IPO

(55:38) – How do you keep your team motivated when there’s so much noise about your company going on in the media?

(57:59) – What’s the state of WeWork today?

(1:00:10) – Nathan’s jump into sweat: HVAC Roll-ups

(1:08:36) – Thoughts on the Blue-Collar Industry in Regards to Labor

(1:14:00) – How are you building the tech side of your business?

(1:16:13) – The Potential for Augmented Reality in the Trades

(1:19:54) – How can people get in touch with you?

The Fort is produced by Johnny Peterson

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