Dave Lukas Chats with Steven S. Hoffman
267: Principles, Success Lessons, and Why Ideas Don’t Matter with Steven Hoffman
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Steven S. Hoffman. Steve is the CEO of Founders Space. Founders Space is one of the leading startup accelerators in the world, with over 50 partners in 22 countries. In fact, Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines ranked it as the #1 incubator for overseas startups.
Steve is also a venture investor, a successful entrepreneur multiple times over and the author of several best-sellers including his latest Surviving a Startup. He’s found success everywhere from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, but his biggest passion is helping other entrepreneurs succeed.
My goal is to squeeze as much wisdom and advice as I can from him and his experience in our time together in this episode.
Steven has had more careers than cats have had lives. He began as an electrical computer engineer. His real passion was film, entertainment, and games. He went to graduate school for film and then went to Hollywood. He worked his way up the ladder and began a television development executive at a large TV production company. While there, he started to see the future of video games and the growth they would have. He’s made over 100 games in his career. He met the founder of Sega and was offered a position at their Japanese headquarters coming up with new ideas for games, specifically for the US market.
He then came back to the US and launched his first company, LavaMind. The first product he launched was a game that taught people how to become entrepreneurs called Gazillionaire. He did it all himself and put all his money into it. It took off. After that, he saw the opportunity for gaming on the internet. He partnered and launched another business that was an interactive TV/Gaming product with MTV. He then did 2 other ventured startups and took a break.
During the break, friends that were starting their entrepreneur journey would come to him for help and advice and out of that grew his incubator, FoundersSpace.
You’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in you career, alongside your own experience, what would you say is the main ingredient needed to succeed as an entrepreneur?
What is the process that people should go through to find the right version of the idea?
How important is it to focus before branching out?
What is it that you look for in a company you invest in?
“An entrepreneur/CEO, put 80-90% of your time into finding an amazing team.”
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned and put into practice?
What are principles that you’ve developed to help guide you and build your businesses?
You wrote a book called “The Five Forces.” Tell us about it and what are the 5 forces?
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