The Foundr Podcast with Nathan Chan

Adi Tatarko, co-founder of online home design platform Houzz, began her journey by purchasing her dream home built in 1955 – a fixer-upper – and then setting about renovating it. “Unfortunately the process itself wasn't so dreamy… it was pretty much a nightmare,” Tatarko says. “So we ended up building Houzz in order to make the whole process better.” 


The cliché holds – a picture paints a thousand words – and in order to best communicate the vision of their dream home to their architect, Tatarko and her husband Alon Cohen started a humble website displaying images of home interiors. 


It was Silicon Valley, 2009. In that environment, the journey from personal project to company is a natural progression. They created an online platform to showcase the work of architects, so home renovators could access endless images to inspire the vision of their own dream home.


The couple then asked local Bay Area architects to upload their portfolios. Their initial community was made up from “twenty local homeowners, mainly our friends, and a group of professionals from the Bay Area.” What started as a trickle of design portfolios soon became a flood. 


Tatarko is a veteran of the tech startup space and this comes across in her delivery. A sharp and articulate businessperson, Tatarko coolly communicates a vision splendid for the company. “We really wanted to help people learn more about the [remodeling] process, about design, about what's possible, and about different materials to help them make the right decision. And help them be more knowledgeable when they start their project.”


Now Houzz is an online hub that not only hosts a plethora of images but displays the portfolios of “450,000 active professionals from all over the world” and receives 25 million monthly unique visitors. In five years, the site has become the biggest residential remodeling community online. 


In this interview you will learn:


-What it takes to create and build massive community

-Startup 101 product development tactics that helped Houzz grow so fast

-Challenges faced that Adi had as an entrepreneur

-Investing and how to know when you need an investor

-The key mindsets to building a successful startup


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