Inspired by Failure
Founders Space by Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman has experience as an electrical computer engineer, television executive, and video game designer. He has started 3 venture-funded and 2 non-venture-funded startups during his career, so he has plenty of startup experience to draw from in his latest venture, Founders Space. Steve realized along the way that he liked helping founders build their vision by coaching and mentoring them.
He says that the key to knowing whether an idea will be successful is the founder. The main questions Steve asks himself when evaluating a founder are: Are they capable? Do they demonstrate leadership? Do they have tenacity? Are they curious?
The other essential team members in a startup are a hustler, techie, designer, and marketer. They each serve their own purpose in the early days of the business, laying the foundation for future growth.
Steve has heard a lot of crazy ideas from founders, and he knows that most of the ideas he hears will not sound so crazy five years from now because of the improvements in technology that will occur between now and then. Many founders are tempted to start working on patents for their ideas early on in the process, but Steve says that they should instead focus on building their business and work on patents only if and when they feel they are vitally necessary.
The biggest challenge that he has seen founders face is not knowing when to give up on an idea and reevaluate. Because so much mental and financial investment goes into these ideas, founders are not quick to give them up, but Steve says that sometimes it is best for them to reevaluate and restart in a better direction.
Steve and his team want to accelerate startups to the next level through training, guidance about venture capital, coaching, and connections. He was once told to invest his time in the most impactful people, and he now passes that wisdom along to the other founders he works with.
Steve makes a clear distinction between inventors and innovators, stating that inventions take years to create, and innovators can find new ways to use the inventions of others
“Founders Space is a global incubator and accelerator for startups.”
“With a weak CEO, even the best idea will fail.”
“When an idea sounds crazy, they are often just a little ahead of their time.”
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