By Darshana Nadkarni, Ph.D.
Jeff Hoffman’s talks are filled with inspirational gems and many consider him an outstanding role model. Hoffman will be speaking at TiEcon 2023 (the largest #entrepreneurship conference) in May in Santa Clara, CA.
Among many achievements that Hoffman is known for include his role as founder and CEO in the Priceline.com family of companies, Chairman of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, and founding board member of the Unreasonable Group whose 289 portfolio companies have raised $6.6 billion in funding. In 2010, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Entrepreneurship and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
His advice to entrepreneurs is simple. You don’t set out to become an entrepreneur. “You follow your passion and get obsessed with solving a problem and then everything else is detail”. He says, “don’t chase money, chase excellence”.
Hoffman’s advice for companies is equally fascinating. He believes that most scalable companies don’t push their products, they get pulled. At a time when companies often get obsessed with competition, Hoffman advises, while companies must track their competitors, they must respond to their customers. Hoffman preaches, “hire the best talent and do everything to retain them including picking up their laundry” and he practices exactly what he preaches.
While we engage in political debate on whether a company is a person or not, Hoffman advices leaders to think of the company as a person and give it a personality that should then guide all external communication. He says, companies must focus on something that powerfully distinguishes them, that customers are likely going to remember and then build a brand around that asset. Hoffman says, “sales are linear, marketing creates growth, but brand creates scale”.
Entrepreneurs, don’t miss the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, connect with VCs, listen to inspirational speakers and rekindle your passion at TiEcon 2023. Tickets are available at www.tiecon.org . Jeff Hoffman once famously said, “Life is not about the journey or the destination. It’s about the people you are traveling with”. Who are your co-travelers in your professional journey? Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your co-travelers who may make this a memorable journey.