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How Evan Frank Changed the Hospitality Business One Luxury Stay at a Time with Onefinestay

How Evan Frank Changed the Hospitality Business One Luxury Stay at a Time with Onefinestay

On today’s episode of Gritty Founder, Kreig Kent talks with Evan Frank about growing Onefinestay. Evan shares the importance of working on something you are passionate about and having a healthy detachment from the outcomes as a founder.

Evan Frank is the CEO of onefinestay, a high-end hospitality business offering guests the chance to stay in a private home with hotel-style services. He co-founded the business in 2010, and was appointed to CEO in 2016 after establishing and leading onefinestay’s US business. Prior to onefinestay, Evan spent nearly a decade in startups, growth equity, technology investment banking. He holds a BBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Evan occasionally blogs from www.motorwaystramlines.com and tweets from @evanbfrank.

Some Questions Kreig Asks Evan:

– What was the market like in 2010? Were people still concerned about renting someone’s house for a short stay? (8:45)
– What are the differences between Onefinestay and Airbnb? (9:35)
– At what point did you know this was going to be a big business, because this market is huge right now? (12:47)
– What kind of revenue is the business generating and how big is the market? (14:45)
– What was your process for expanding the business from London to six cities? (15:40)
– If you had to start a similar business from scratch, and you wanted to hire a large team of people fast, how would you design the process? And how would you filter candidates to make sure that you were hiring the perfect people for the job? (20:25)
– Can you tell us about a time in your career when you failed? (26:01)
– What are some key lessons that you learned and what are some lessons you can share with the Gritty Founders who are listening to this podcast? (27:36)
– How has your life as a CEO changed after being acquired? (32:49)
– What is the most important ingredient that a founder needs according to you? (35:27)
– What does it take to move on to a CEO from a founder? (38:01)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

– About Evan’s childhood and how he started selling at the age of five (3:12)
– How Evan transitioned from an investment banker to a venture capitalist to an entrepreneur (4:45)
– How Evan got involved with Onefinestay and became a cofounder (6:10)
– About Evan’s business before he started working on Onefinestay, which was a brand for men’s underwear and socks, and why he chose to join the Onefinestay team (7:00)
– How Evan helped expand Onefinestay across multiple locations and the importance of hiring the right people (16:06)
– When in doubt, don’t hire (20:48)
– The importance of teams and making the right long term decisions with your cap structure and ownership (28:00)
– Why you should go as long as possible without true external capital and the importance of having a solid business model before there are too many external pressures or influences that are not in your direct control (29:28)
– The importance of working on something you are deeply passionate about as a founder (36:03)
– Why you need to have a healthy detachment from the outcomes and why it’s important not to get too caught up in the emotions that go with building a company (37:07)

Connect with Evan Frank:

Twitter
Personal Website
Onefinestay
Context Travel

Also Mentioned on This Show…

Evan’s favorite quotes:
“When the master governs, the people are hardly aware that he exists.”
“The master doesn’t talk, he acts.”
“When the work is done, the people say amazing we did it all by ourselves.”
―Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Evan’s book recommendations:
Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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