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Small Business Answer Man

Nov 22, 2021

Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff) is the Captain & CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading startup accelerators. Founders Space was ranked the #1 incubator for overseas startups by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines.

Hoffman is also a venture investor, serial entrepreneur, and author of several award-winning books. These include “Make Elephants Fly” (published by Hachette), “Surviving a Startup” (published by HarperCollins), and “The Five Forces” (published by BenBella).

Hoffman was founder and Chairman of the Producers Guild Silicon Valley Chapter, served on the Board of Governors of the New Media Council, and was a founding member of the Academy of Television’s Interactive Media Group.

Show Notes:

  • Steve has experience working in many different environments; he has worked in the U.S. and Japan.
  • Steve began Founders Space by posting answers from people on his blog.
    • He created a space to help others and help other entrepreneurs.
  • If you can make a profit, you are self-sustaining, and if you can make a profit and scale, you can have an enormous impact.
  • Steve wants to help entrepreneurs have a mission driven mindset.
  • An entrepreneurs job is not just to come up with brilliant ideas.
  • A great way to start a business is by searching for a demand.
    • If you can fill the need, that's good.
  • If you want a business that grows rapidly, you need recurring revenue.
  • The hardest thing to do is to acquire a new customer.
    • Don't let go of your customers. Keep providing value to them.
  • Build an ecosystem where the more your customers participate the more value they give to all the other participants.
  • Surround yourself with amazing people.
  • If you surround yourself with amazing people, they'll do the rest.
  • Most businesses don't last longer than 30 years.
  • Startups fail not by trying too many things but by sticking with the same thing for too long.
  • If you want to know if your product works, ask 100 people.
    • Who is the person that most need what I have?
    • If all your customers say, "That's nice. That's good. That's interesting." then they're just being polite.
    • You need to hear at least 25% of people say, "OMG I need that!"
  • Pick a direction in which you think you can make a difference.
    • You don't have to have all the answers.
  • The first thing you need to do is to build your team.
    • 90% of your time should go into finding people that will help you execute your vision.
  • Next, you have to engage with your customers. Learn as much as possible as fast as you can.
  • Then, experiment with your customers until you get the spark.
  • Finally, take your data to investors and raise capital.

Steve Hoffman's Recharge Round

  1. What habit do you think has led to success in your life? Question everything. Don't accept the status quo.
  2. What's the simple positive action that you take each day to move forward to achieve your goals? He looks at the people around him and imagines what they need to feel good and perform well. Then Steven asks them questions.
  3. What's your biggest life lesson and what have you learned from it? If you are not headed in the right direction, it doesn't matter.

Connect with Steve:

Steve's website

Check out Steve's FREE video series: The Ten Commandments of Raising Venture Capital

Get Steve's books Make Elephants Fly, The Five Forces, and Surviving a Startup





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