Joanie has a conversation with Steve Hoffman, CEO of Founders Space, one of the world’s leading startup accelerators. Steve has trained hundreds of startup founders and corporate executives in the art of innovation and provided consulting to many of the world’s largest corporations, including Qualcomm, Huawei, Bosch, Intel, Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC, Gulf Oil, Siemens, and Viacom. Steve is also a venture investor, serial entrepreneur, and author of several award-winning books, including “Surviving a Startup” published by HarperCollins. Steve has also worked in the television and gaming industries and has some great tips and stories to share.
Q: Steve, you’re known as Captain Hoff in the gaming world. Tell us about your work in the television and gaming industries, as well as what games you play.
Steve is known in Silicon Valley as Captain Hoff because he’s a game player and designer. He started out playing Dungeons and Dragons, RuneQuest, and almost any board game you can think of, as well as video games of all kinds. He worked for Sega on Sonic the Hedgehog, and eventually started a company and created the award-winning strategy game, Gazillionaire, and many other games that are still available on Steam.
Q: What skills did you have learned along the way to expand your ability from developing to lead teams and companies? How did you learn to manage people?
Steve learned the hard way. He was an introvert and extremely shy. Even though Steve comes across as an extrovert now, he said it was all trained. He said he started out being really bad at presenting, interviewing, making sales pitches, and so on, but just did it. He said the way he learned was to notice every time what worked and what didn’t and never do the same thing twice.
He learned how to go from telling people what to do to asking them what they think they should do, what problems they are facing, and what they need.
Listen to the podcast to hear how Steve came to start Founders Space, what some of the most common challenges he see tech startup founders running into, and what kinds of barriers technical founders create for themselves.
Words of Wisdom:
The only way to meet a challenge is head on.
Don’t sell people on what you’re doing; figure out what they want.
You cannot motivate people by standing over their shoulders and nitpicking them.
Get people on board by asking them what they should be doing.
Instead of convincing yourself that you’re the best, ask yourself “how can I be better?”
Contact Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff):
Founders Space: https://FoundersSpace.com