Better is Better than More


Onboard clients not passionate about data?  That's Okay.  Most of the time. I read a lot. Once in a while I see something that sparks deep thinking. Our friend Marc Davidson at 1000Watt hooked me a few weeks back with his post The Shape of Things to Come. I was thinking of some opportunities for Onboard and one theme I took, which applies directly to our client implementations, is that in 2014 the bottom line matters more than ever. There has been a tendency in the recent period of giddy recovery and renewed spending to throw things against the wall and see what sticks. The pent up creative juices of the industry were unleashed in the form of scores of start-ups and new ideas.

But when we stop to take a breath, we all know that only a few of these new ideas will stick. Only a handful will become profitable and fewer still will change how we do business in real estate.

Focus + Passion + Skill = Better

More recently, this headline came across my Flipboard Lifehacker stream: "We Opt for More Instead of Better.  Better is Better than More". Doing lots of things is less powerful than doing something really well. Mr. Klosowski used to play the clarinet. Playing well takes endless practice (doing it more) but you never get good unless you have focus and passion.  Over time, you develop Skill based on Passion and Focus which taken together =  Better.  In our business, better = value.  Volume does not compensate.  More - without these ingredients - yields waste.  This makes you wonder: How many things can you be good at, passionate about, or even interested in?  How can you find that focus that matches your skills and interests and creates value?

At Onboard, we sit on a horde of data...a huge repository of public records, listings, and contextual information. We've compiled over a decade's worth of projections, estimates, and indexes. We have every business opening and closing since 2004, School Profiles and Attendance Zones, and how Neighborhoods have changed over time.

Guess what? It's all worthless without a plan, passion, and direction. It is an example of "more".  We create value by backing the horde with a concise vision of how to bring the right piece of information to bear at the right time for the right person. In our business, that person is an agent, a seller, a buyer, an investor, or an editor. Each person has a goal and, usually, a decision to make. And sitting between the individual and our data with the ability to present at the point of decision are developers and technology platforms.

Where Passion and Focus Fit

Our clients do have passion. Maybe not for data, but for selling homes. Or magazines. Or investments. And their clients have a passionate interest in where they live, in their community, in their lifestyle and in their homes. They call us not for "data" but with challenges to which content can applied as part of the solution.

And their developers and platform providers have passion too. For using that prepared content to design better solutions.  For implementing systems, building apps, performance and UI, and SEO.

At Onboard, we're passionate about our clients' success. About getting it right. And using our asset - content - combined with expertise to help them get there. We are passionate about the judicious application of the best content at the point of decision. To that end, our products have evolved to focus on access and capabilities designed for the developer / integrator so they can focus on delivering experiences for their brand to the end user. When Onboard focuses on access, we remove the requirements for data management and search engine development without restricting creativity at the end point of engagement where users touch the client brand:  the UI. Our passion and focus on client success has driven the following:

  • First to market with community content
  • First to market with a listings search API
  • First to market with a lifestyle search API
  • First to market with consumer centric API's for Sold Home and Valuations
  • First to market with a comprehensive set of Geographic Look-up Services
  • First to market with batch services for encoding addresses to neighborhoods

All designed and developed as tools for our clients' implementation teams.  All documented and serviced by our team to help translate brand and business goals to specific implementation paths and services. All backed by Onboard's expertise in content development, integration and aggregation. And all powered by our search engine which takes multi-variant input to filter out the "More" and deliver the "Better" so end-users (and our clients) can focus on their game instead of ours.

So why doesn't Onboard build agent sites? Magazine portals? iOS apps?  Because we focus.  And have clients that understand that focus.  That Focus + Passion + Skill = Better.