Branding

Real Estate’s Madchester moment

Author
Joel Burslem
No.
890
Date
09/05/14

The Haçienda was a nightclub in a former warehouse in an industrial part of Manchester, England. And at some point in the late Eighties and early Nineties, it became the birthplace for a new musical movement.
The “Madchester” scene mixed guitar riffs and electronic music (think synths and programmable drum machines) to create a new style of music that was part rock and roll, part rave and was, most importantly, eminently danceable.
Bands like the Happy Mondays, James, Paris Angels and the Stone Roses launched the scene. Later they spread and birthed later “baggy” bands like the Soup Dragons, Big Audio Dynamite, The Farm, EMF and probably, most famously on this side of the Atlantic, Blur.
It was a crazy, heady (and admittedly largely drug-fueled) time that was incredibly musically fertile. Many of the bands and albums produced during this period remain high of my list of all-time favs*.
And the Haçienda sat right in the middle of it all. If you’re interested, the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, starring Steve Coogan, tells the story of this whole scene pretty well.
I bring all of this up because I often feel these days like I am in the middle of the Hacienda Dance floor as I peer out and observe the real estate technology landscape.
Fueled by the successes of the early heavyweights – Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, et al – dozens of new startups are spinning out and launching every day. Everybody is riffing off of each other.
It seems at every turn, I hear or get email from some a new startup proclaiming themselves as the “X for real estate”.
Millions of dollars are being raised. Ideas come and go. Companies pivot. And around every corner is the next big thing.
It’s easy to get skeptical. To write this moment off as another flash in the pan. But the truth is, like any good night out, you just have to check your inhibitions at the door and enjoy the ride. We’ll look back at this time in a few years and remember, and perhaps even lament, all the fun we had.
Have we peaked yet? I’m not sure – though it sure feels like it sometimes. And one thing is certain: we will definitely come down off the high at some point.
But for now, I’m just going to enjoy the music. I hope you do too.

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* I would argue that the Soup Dragons’ Lovegod album may be one of the most complete records ever produced and the Stone Roses’ epynomous debut album is an unquestionable classic.