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Featured on Apr 06, 2012

Zeb Dropkin

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. - Ralph Waldo Emerson"


Founder @RentHackr, bringing transparency and foresight to apt rentals. Love NYC, startups, life hacking, design, tech, and good coffee with great friends.

  • Title: Founder & CEO of RentHackr
  • Age: 38
  • Location: LES
  • Contact: @zeb

You mention that Renthackr aims to bring transparency and foresight to apartment rentals.  How does the application do that?  Where do you get your data? Where did the inspiration to start the company come from?

Instead of working with traditional real estate rental listings, we're turning the market on it's head by crowd-sourcing inventory. This gives us a unique dataset and opportunity. We deliver better pricing transparency than any other service. We’re working to provide a unique and actionable forecast of upcoming availability. And we’re building new tools for renters to acquire apartments in the exact places they aspire to live in.

I was inspired by my own frustration with the NY rental experience. That and the “rent is too damn high” guy :D

Where are some of your favorite coffee spots here in the City?  Best place you’ve found with wifi to do work?

I have a kind of addiction to cortados, so I tend to hit places with experienced baristas. My favorite overall cafe is La Colombe on 4th and Lafayette. It's got great staff, sparkling water on tap, a great space, and it's a buck less for everything there. I started a 4sq list to track my favorite spots. I don't know a great wifi work spot right now, outside of WeWork Labs of course. I'd like to find one in the LES, though.

Prior to working on RentHackr fulltime you were working in advertising.  What have you found to be the toughest challenges or problems thus far?  How have you been able to overcome them?  

The toughest challenge for me has been learning to be ok with making lots of mistakes. Out on your own, you have to try things you have no experience with, and you have to level up fast. You can only do this by getting your hands dirty. Fail at something, learn from it, and go again as soon as you can. Try not to beat yourself up about it. I was wasting a lot of energy beating myself up over failures. Now I try to recognize the learning value in a failure and move on.

What makes you bored?

Traditional TV news is the worst #cordcutter