2 Big Lessons From Jeff Hoffman, Serial Entrepreneur (Priceline.com, uBid.com, ColorJar)

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3
Jun

2 Big Lessons From Jeff Hoffman, Serial Entrepreneur (Priceline.com, uBid.com, ColorJar)

 

 

 

 

I had the privilege of having dinner with Jeff Hoffman, Serial Entrepreneur (Priceline.com, uBid.com, ColorJar), last night. It was awesome!

I quickly found myself deeply engaged in the stories he shared and the life/business lessons that each one contained.

We talked about how priceline.com came to be, traveling the world, hanging with Israel’s president, working with Obama, Front Row Foundation and the list goes on…

I wanted to share two lessons I walked away with.

1.) Solve real problems.

Years ago, Jeff was trying to book a 4pm flight with a travel agent, but since the agent wasn’t incentivized to provide the option he wanted, they omitted it. He knew there was a 4pm flight available, but they only suggested 3 or 5pm. After pushing them, they reluctantly admitted 4pm was available.

He thought, “If I have this problem, I’ll bet others do as well.”

His frustration led him to developing the first software where individuals like you and I can see ALL the options online and book our own flight. His personal frustration gave birth to the software behind Expedia! Thanks Jeff!

Later, he encountered yet another pain point in the travel industry. After waiting in a long line to print his boarding pass, he thought — there must be a faster way. Presto — Jeff creates the first software for kiosks that allow us to print our own passes. Again, thanks Mr. Hoffman — you’ve given me back hours of my life!

2.) The second lesson I’m taking away from Jeff is the power of partnering with the right people and build the right team.

To make this the perfect trifecta, Jeff solved one more huge problem in the travel business as part of the founding team at Priceline. As he shared the story of how the company came to be, the big lesson for me was that several people each played a critical role. It wasn’t one person alone. Each person brought their talent, ideas, and hard work to the table. The results of this unified effort need no explanation.

I once heard someone say, “I’d rather have 10% of a watermelon that 100% of a grape.” When we partner and build with others, we can often make a bigger difference in the world, and in our own lives.

I leave you with this thought from Jeff about building businesses that change the world.

“Don’t chase money, chase excellence, because money follows excellence” Jeff Hoffman

Now let’s go solve problems, help others, and leave the world better than we found it.

Cheers,
JV

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