This week, Brad Inman announced that he was selling Inman, the company he started 25 years ago.
I started working at Inman 24 years ago. I stayed almost 8 years.
Brad (and his then-wife and business partner, Kris, another brilliant Inman) gave me entirely more responsibility than I deserved at a very young age.
I was scared shitless most of the time, but it was a life-changing opportunity.
I learned how to write working for Brad. How to do marketing. How to focus on the stuff that matters. How to hire and fire people. How to find the interesting thing sitting in a pile of boring things.
I still keep my Inman business card on my desk like a talisman you might clutch to bring you good fortune, or protect you from your own stupidity.
It is obvious to point out that I would not be writing this right now, and that there would be no 1000watt, without Brad.
Everything my friend Greg wrote so beautifully is true.
But the biggest thing I learned from Brad — and this is a lesson you can learn too, reader — is the importance of having a point of view.
From day 1 to today, the Inman POV has been clear and consistent:
The housing industry is super important, and should be challenged to do better for the people it serves.
The new guy, the scrappy gal, the big new player that freaks everyone out, the better idea, the thing that changes things — these are to be celebrated.
This business is too damn important to simply pat it on the back.
This caused tension. It created both fans and haters. And we can debate what “doing better” is all day long.
But that’s the point. A point I took to heart. The greatest lesson learned.
Inman would not be what it is today had it not reflected Brad’s strong point of view, clear and true, all the way through.
This crazy and wonderful business we’re lucky enough to work in would not be what it is today were it not for Brad Inman.
But look, this is starting to sound like a eulogy, and it most certainly is not that. Dude is only 68 and still has more energy than I do.
The lessons live on.
Have a great weekend.