Wife-husband team Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen envisioned a better way to renovate a home. Their vision became Houzz, a platform for home remodelling, bringing together professionals and homeowners via mobile, local and social tools. In 2009, the couple started renovating a 1950s ranch they had just bought in Palo Alto, California.
They were excited for the renovation and had big dreams for the house but they quickly found the process to be incredibly difficult and frustrating. They had a hard time finding good resources and inspiration to help them articulate a vision for their home and selecting the right professionals to make it a reality.
To Adi and Alon, it seemed that while every other major industry had gone online but home remodeling and design were stuck in the past. They relied on the clumsy process of clipping pictures out of magazines and on professional referrals from friends and family. They were so frustrated with the process that they decided to create Houzz as a side-project to help them through their remodel. The idea was to develop a place to browse and save beautiful home photos, a place to find the right design and construction professionals and a place to connect with others who have been there too. Adi and Alon shared their concept with other homeowners – mainly parents at their children’s school – as well as designers and architects in the San Francisco Bay Area, and found that both groups were excited by the idea.
Adi and Alon started getting inquiries from other remodeling and design professionals like kitchen designers and contractors to open more categories on Houzz, and from homeowners and pros in markets far beyond the Bay Area. They quickly realized that Houzz could be much more than a personal side project and in 2010, they both left our jobs to dedicate themselves to building Houzz full time.
Today, the website and app has millions of images of home interiors and exteriors. Home owners can browse photos by room, style and location and bookmark photos in personal collections on the site called “image books” and users can click on an image to learn more about the designer, ask a questions and learn about products tagged in the photos. Developments on the site include a home products marketplace that collects 15% commission from sellers on transactions, a premium subscription service for home professionals and a Real Cost Finder which is an interactive tool that helps users plan renovations and total cost. In 2015 Houzz TV was launched and a year later View In My Room was introduced, which lets users virtually place products from the Houzz marketplace into their homes before buying.
That initial small community of parents from school and architects from the Bay Area has grown into more than 40 million monthly unique users and more than one million home improvement professionals across nearly 60 categories. Houzz has local platforms in Japan, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Singapore and New Zealand.
CNN called Houzz “The Wikipedia of interior and exterior design sites” and Fast Company named Houzz to its "Most Innovative Companies List" for being "a one-stop design shop" and noted that "unlike many tech companies that try to lather on unnatural business models, Houzz is so strong because its revenue streams grew out of customer demand. In May 2016, Houzz won "Best App" at Google's inaugural Play Awards. The rapid rise over the past five years of the Californian company has led it to an estimated value of more than $2bn (£1.3bn) and attracted in excess of $200m in investment with Adi and Alon now listed among the tech sector’s power couples.
Adi and Alon still live in San Francisco and have 3 children.
So, why are they #Houseproud heroes?
Whether you are starting a complete kitchen redesign or just looking for the perfect bedside table, the Houzz community of homeowners and professionals is here to help. And when you are ready to start your project, Houzz is the best way to get inspired, discover products and to find and collaborate with the perfect architect, designer or contractor. 40 million users can’t be wrong! They say
“It’s not about a statement or mantra for me. Keeping our company’s mission – to deliver the best technology, user experience and products for home remodeling and design – at the forefront of everything we do has helped us build Houzz into what it is today.”
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