After studying mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics, he began his career at Boeing. His career took off quickly as he invented a new algorithm for controlling anti-lock brakes in airplanes by using AI.
While his success was fulfilling, he realized he didn’t want to work in a big corporation and he became an independent software engineer consultant. This gave him the opportunity to work for different companies on projects that interested him and the freedom to travel.
When he started consulting with Netscape, the Java programming language was born, and he became one of the first Java programmers. This led to an opportunity at UC Berkeley where he developed the Java curriculum and founded Java programming company. He went on to sell the company after the dot com boom which turned into a lucrative deal.
Entering Real Estate
After selling his Java programming company, he started investing in real estate, thanks to his friend Doug Brien’s advice. Together, they started identifying inefficiencies in the market.
During this time, he also founded two more companies to protect rainforests and forests in South America and Africa.
When the 2008 financial crisis happened and the house market crashed, Colin says he and Doug saw an opportunity. They started buying homes and the idea for creating a scalable platform for buying and managing single-family rentals was born.
Despite push back from experienced people in the field, Colin was confident that their idea would work.
“We said well we think if we build the technology platform to systemize this then we can do it and actually benefit from the economies of scale and that’s how it played out.”
“It turns out small residential is an industry that is twice as big as the hotel industry in terms of total revenue per year. It’s massive.”
After Waypoint Homes’ great success, Colin realized they could leverage technology to create the first scaled property management company. This idea led to Colin co-founding his current company, Mynd, with Doug.
Opportunity and Success
Colin defines success as having an impact on the world, having fun, and profiting financially from that. His secret to success is taking a bold step when you see where opportunity and your passion intersect. Instead of having a goal, Colin says his philosophy is to always be on an upward trajectory.
“Pick something you know is going to be big. It’s okay if everybody else knows it too, that’s fine. Because other people aren’t going to be as bold and actually take a step to jump in. And if you do, you’re going to be well served.”