We had the good fortune of connecting with Karl Dakin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karl, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Engaging in innovation requires an acceptance of risk. Changing anything presents the possibility that the effort may fail and that all of your investment of time, money and reputation will be negatively affected. Incremental change is the most difficult because any perceived benefit from the change is so small that people prefer to maintain the status quo. Change with significant impact and associated rewards is needed to overcome everyone’s preference for security. I generally see risk as a necessary component of making the world a better place. As an entrepreneur, I do not see the glass as half empty or half full, but the wrong size glass. Everything can be improved. My role is to facilitate that improvement.
What should our readers know about your business?
One of my current hats is as a principal in Housing O2 LLC where we are working to build workforce housing. Using a new funding model, we are working to implement a rent to own program for low income workers with the participation of their employers (deferred purchase and downpayment assistance). The funding model arose out of an effort to make Opportunity Zone tax incentives more attractive for investment in economically distressed communities. We went through a number of concept iterations with feedback from many communities to reach the current version of our model. Of course, this is out on our own time and dime. We learned that we have certain key stakeholders who each must benefit from the model in order to displace current thinking on affordable housing: employee, employer, investor and community. Each is critical to the success of a new workforce housing development. With this loose collaboration of interests, it is possible to privately fund as many new workforce housing units as available materials and labor permits. We look forward to validating our workforce housing development template and replicating in scale for communities everywhere.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the Denver metro area, but think of myself as more a citizen of Colorado than a Denverite. Colorado is a state with a wide range of people, activities and outdoor attractions. In a recent trip across southern Colorado, I visited the new U.S. Olympic and Paralympic in Colorado Springs, stayed in Westcliffe (night sky program), trekked the Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, took a ride on the Cubres and Toltec Railroad in Antonito and visited the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City. More locally, there are a number of wonderful craft breweries in the Denver area. I am always open to taking in a Colorado Rockies game. And, with re-opening of theatres, vising a local venue.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of other professional entrepreneurs who are unwilling to leave things as they are and are willing to take action to make the world a better place.