Who Is Steven Hoffman
When the chairman of Sega called to design video games for them, Steven Hoffman had no choice but to drop everything and go. Sounds like a crazy adventure, but this just skims the surface of Steven’s reality. Steven has gone down the path of many different start-ups. Some have been wildly successful and some have failed miserably. In those failures, he learned that so much of his suffering came from the negative script he was playing over and over in his head. He learned that there were many voices going on in his head, and he had the power to turn down one voice and amplify another. Doing so, his life started shifting dramatically. He didn’t overly place his value on the success of his company. He focused more on how he would act and react to the things life through his way. Currently he is the CEO of Founders Space, one of the top incubation companies in the world. He loves seeing future entrepreneurs succeed and is so open to chatting with everyone. Seriously reach out to him. He will respond back! We had a great time chatting on this podcast.
Get to Know Steven Hoffman
Generosity and innovation are but a few of the many words that come to mind when thinking of Steve Hoffman. Standing firm in his beliefs and the goals he has set for himself, Steven has carved his way to success and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs make a success for themselves as well. But who is this business giant and master of mindsets, really? Below you’ll find a sneak peek into the life of a man who has met many challenges but conquered them with grit and positivity.
Known to many as Captain Hoff, Steven has been a trailblazer in the business industry and has affected many startup owners’ lives by acting as a mentor, investor and coach. In his earlier days, Steven attended the University of California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering; then he attended the University of Southern California, where he studied and received his master’s degree in film and television. Captain Hoff is a real jack-of-all-trades, which shows in the diversity of work and industries he has been a leader in; from the television industry to the gaming world, entrepreneurship, engineering — you name it and Steven has been there and done that!
The number of achievements one man can reach seems to pale compared to Steven’s life’s work. During Hoffman’s Hollywood days, he worked as a TV development executive, producing more than one hundred TV shows while he was at Fries Entertainment. Later on, he blazed the trail for interactive television by starting Spiderdance, which created interactive TV shows alongside industry giants such as Warner Brothers, NBC, Turner, MTV, and History Channel. Next, Steven moved on to Silicon Valley and started more business ventures in the gaming industry.
Working as Mobile Studio Head at Infospace, Hoffman and the team rolled out major mobile games such as Tomb Raider, Tetris, Thief, and Hitman. As if that wasn’t enough success already, Captain Hoff went on to launch Founders Space, which has now secured its place as the number one incubator for startups overseas globally. His mission with the company was to genuinely help startup owners throughout their journey while building their businesses and equipping them with the right skills and knowledge to make a success out of their businesses. One of the many great things about Steven is his passion and caring nature for other entrepreneurs and their business ventures — his desire to guide and lead by educating entrepreneurs in lessons learned by Steven himself is a true testament to his character. Apart from Founders Space, Hoffman has also offered his expert consulting services to some of the world’s largest enterprises, such as Disney, Huawei, NBC, Bosch, and Gulf Oil.
The father of two now resides in San Francisco but still spends most of his time flying all over the world and visiting startups and investors, sharing his kindness and generosity with everyone he meets. It’s safe to say that when it comes to knowledge, perseverance, and innovation, Steven Hoffman has them down to a science.
Steven Hoffman Podcast Transcription
Charan: Hey, what’s going on guys? This is Charan Prabhakar with Lemonade Stand Stories Podcasts, and I’m here with Steven Hoffman, or Captain Hoff, as I heard as I was researching a little bit about you, Steven. But, man, it’s so interesting as I’ve been discussing with you through email and just discussing you right now and doing some research, we have a lot of common interests. I would say you have done so many amazing, amazing things. Currently, the founder of Founders Space, which is an incubator that hosts a lot of different companies and startups coming together. You also are an author. You have a new book that’s just been published, I believe, called Surviving a Startup, which I’m super excited to dive into because you know what? We’re all kind of doing startups in our own way. Right? Whether it’s a traditional tech startup or just starting up a new aspect of your life.
Charan: So I think there’s so many key principles I would love to dive with you in there. And then also one of the biggest things that I was so stoked about is you worked in TV and film, which is my background, and it continues to be my background. And so a lot of fun things there, but yeah, Steven, thank you so much for coming on board this podcast. Super stoked to have you.
Steven: Fantastic to be here. And Captain Hoff is actually my gamer handle. And then it became my nickname in Silicon Valley, but I’m a huge gamer, and a film person, and an entrepreneur, and the techy, a geek, all of those things.
Charan: Now, did you grow up with those desires or were you just kind of came up over the time? How did that all happen?
Steven: Yeah, I was a total nerd. So I was into everything. Comic books, Dungeons and Dragons, movies, science fiction, you name it. I was into it as a kid. I wanted to be Steven Spielberg at the time. So I made the 50 different movies when I was all the way through high school, with all my friends, and then animations and all this stuff. And then I was also totally into games. I probably designed over a hundred different board games and role-playing games that I would… So all of this was in there. And then my father, he was literally an MIT rocket scientist. He was a professor at MIT, rocket science, and then my mother was an artist. So I sorta got injected with the DNA from both of them.
Charan: Oh man. I love that. So did you always have that entrepreneur mindset growing up as well? Or was it something like, hey, I love creating these things. I want to share them with the world. How did that all come about?
Steven: I was not an entrepreneur by nature. I was a creator. So I just wanted to make stuff and put it out there and see what happens. And surprisingly, being an entrepreneur is very similar to that. I think the most entrepreneurs in the world tend to be very, very creative people.
Charan: Yeah. No. They really are. And it’s interesting, because I never really considered myself an entrepreneur until I realized, oh, wait as an actor, I’m kind of selling myself. Right? Or when I’m making a movie, I’m trying to sell that movie. So in a sense, I am an entrepreneur. It’s just like I had to change my mindset a little bit to make that a reality.
Steven: Well, I would say every film producer is definitely an entrepreneur. Because you have to raise the money. You have to put everything together. It’s a business. At the end of the day, you’re either going to make it or break it. The film business ,because I worked in Hollywood, the parallels to being an entrepreneur — it’s remarkable. It’s the same process. You’re getting investors, you have this vision, it’s going to be a big blockbuster that’s going to change everything, but it’s extremely risky. And very few of them actually succeed. You’ve got to be about one in a hundred that breaks through.
Charan: And it’s true. Sometimes you have to have that mentality of jumping in with both feet and just seeing what happens to see if you’re able to succeed. Right? I think there’s-
Steven: But you.
Charan: Yeah, go ahead. Keep going.
Steven: I say, I worked on Sand Hill Road, which is where all the venture capitalists work, and I’m an investor now, but when I was a startup, I was actually incubated in one of the big VC offices. And I got to see it from the inside at a very early stage. And I will tell you, the business model for venture capitals is the same as the business models for film studios. They go on a portfolio model. And what they’re looking for is 1 out of 10 or 1 out of 20 of their projects has to be that blockbuster. And that pays for all the losers. So literally the same model.
Steven Hoffman’s Lemonade Stand Story
Charan: It is right. It is the mutual fund mentality. Right? You have to have tons of different mutual funds, tons of different movies or tons of different startups and you’re kind of funding them all and just hoping that one takes care of everything else. Right? Is that how it kind of feels? I love that, man. And it’s so interesting. Now I’d love to ask you, because some people when they have a lemonade stand story, when they’re first starting up, it’s one particular business, but it seems like you’ve had tons and tons of different interests, which is kind of like me, tons of different focuses, with gaming, with movies, comic books. So was there a linear path at all for you as far as your first lemonade stand story, your first go at starting a business?
Steven: My life is a zigzag. It’s all over the place. It is. I like to say I’ve had more careers than cats have have lives.
Charan: I love that.
Steven: So I’ve literally… I’ve been a manger rewriter, I’ve done just all sorts of crazy stuff. I made my own animation. I’ve been a voice actor. So I did some of the acting, although I wasn’t there in person. I’ve produced films, directed them, wrote scripts, worked in TV development, work at big Japanese game companies. So it’s been really, really crazy, but I will tell you, I don’t regret any of it. Even the things that didn’t work out. Because if you don’t try, you don’t know. And every time I tried, even if it was painful, even if it was totally imploded at the end of the day, I took away a lot from that experience.
Charan: Yeah. Okay. You said something that I really want to hit on, which is if you don’t try, you’ll never know. Right? But a lot of that involves failing. Involves things being like, oh, it just didn’t work out or that didn’t work out. How did you find the resilience to keep going when things didn’t work out? Because there’s a lot of people I know when things don’t work out, they’re like, “You know what? This isn’t for me, I’m going to go to something a little bit more stable.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a life choice. How did you keep going, though, and keep creating when things didn’t go the way you wanted to them to go?
Steven: In my first startup, I actually got lucky. So my first startup, I’ll tell you that success story. And then I’ll tell you the brutal failure that came after that. And so my mentality, my first startup was I was working for this… Well, first I was working in Hollywood and then I met the founder of this game company Sega, which had just surpassed Nintendo to become the largest video game company in the world. He invited me to come to Japan. He wanted somebody from Hollywood to go to Japan and think of new ideas. So I went to Japan-
Charan: The founder Sega. Is that right?
Steven: Yeah. The chairman, the guy who founded [crosstalk 00:09:02]
Charan: Unbelievable. I love Sonic the Hedgehog. So keep going. Yeah. This is great.
Steven: So this was at the height of Sonic, when Sonic was bigger than Mario for a few months, I guess. And so he invited me to their Japanese headquarters. They wanted a Hollywood person there to come up with new ideas for games. And this is my dream. I told you, my childhood is making games and making movies. And now I got to do both. So of course I left Hollywood to go to the future. And I was there. We were doing this big project with Michael Jackson, of all people. It was this interactive simulation ride. And it was just so cool. I got to meet Michael Jackson, all the stuff I was there. But after a year being the type of person who wants to do my own thing, not work on other people’s projects or be just an advisor idea person, I decided I’m going to be an entrepreneur. I could make these games on my own.
Steven: So I moved back to California, my home area, which is the Bay Area. And in San Francisco, I basically started my first company, LavaMind. And literally, I have an engineering background and I have a film and television background. I don’t have a lot of other things, but I love to animate and doodle and draw. So I literally created this game myself. It was like I was drawing the pictures. I was coding the code. I was writing the stories, putting it all out there.
Charan: Was it all you? Did you have other partners or was it just all you right now?
Steven: I had my wife.
Charan: That’s great. She [crosstalk 00:10:33].
Steven: She was like, I would draw the doodles and she would color them in with Photoshop and other tools.
Charan: Love it.
Steven: This is a homemade game. And we just put this out on the market. We’re like, okay, we’re just going to do it. We want to make this game. It’s called Gazillionaire. And ironically, Gazillionaire, it was the game was designed to teach you how to be an entrepreneur. And you’re like this, you are supposed to become a gazillionaire. And it took place in the galaxy of Gog. You are a US trader and you traded these weird commodities, like lava lamps and jelly beans. And it taught you how to run a business.
Steven: We put this out there, literally uploading it. It was the early days of the internet, almost didn’t exist, but we uploaded it to what are called BBSs, bulletin boards. Right? And uploaded it there. And then we waited and people literally had to mail us in a check because there was no e-commerce. So we were waiting, waiting, waiting, and then we’d get this check our first check. And it was from none other than Lord Deck.
Charan: Who was that?
Steven: On these bulletin boards. But Lord Deck. The biggest game geek in the world. Right?
Charan: Love it.
Steven: He just happened to live in the Bay Area. So we invited Lord Deck come over to our house. And he’s this big dumpy guy with his goatee. Who’s a total nerd. And he was our first… We had dinner with him because he bought our game. We were off to the movies. Our lemonade stand was profitable, not profitable, but we had $15. And then all of a sudden we heard that the largest PC game company in the world at the time was SpectraProse, MicroProse, Spectrum HoloByte and MicroProse was Sid Meyers company, they had launched Civilization, all of these amazing games. And their QA team, their quality assurance team, the testers, basically the people who spend all day testing games had downloaded our game and got hooked on it. They were all hooked on it.
Steven: So they called us in and the president had just come over from Mattel, the big toy company. And he’s this new president of this growing game company. And he basically said, we want to publish your game. We’re like, “Awesome but we want to hold all the rights. We don’t want to give you anything because this is our baby. And if it doesn’t work… We’re already selling it ourselves. We know we can do this and if it doesn’t go, we don’t want you to kill it.” Because all I cared about was that the game would be available forever.
Steven: So we negotiated like a crazy hard deal where we got everything, and we got that deal because they were behind schedule with their big game that they had spent millions of dollars on, Star Trek. They had licensed it and it slipped; it didn’t make the calendar year. So they had to book revenue for their shareholders; they were a public company. And so our dunky little game that we’ve created and drawn ourselves was what they had to ship literally before Christmas.
Steven: And we got every term we wanted, and they shipped the game and it just did incredibly well. We got incredible reviews, even though the game was crude, totally outdated. The game play and I think the personality struck people; people were just like, “I love this game.” So the game did well. We launched a series of these games and they all did well. And then I was flying high and then my partner from film school, she called me up. She was in New York working for RGA, this big design firm. And she said, she had just done a project with an engineer from Microsoft, the first, casual, massively multi-user online game. And she says, I want to start a company with you. And I was like, “Yes, yes, let’s start this company together.”
Charan: It was like e-commerce and that stuff. Right? Yeah.
Steven: Massive. But we found out that a company had just launched online advertising, and we thought, “Oh, online advertising. It’s going to be huge. We have all these users. We’ll just plug it in.” So we redesigned it. We put ads in it; we put it up there and we waited. A month later, we got our first check. And you know what? That first check was less than Lord Deck had paid us for our game Gazillionnare. It was like, we couldn’t even buy a pizza with it, because there was no ad market. There was nobody buying. They were paying pittance for these ads. It wasn’t like today, where Google made all this money off ads, gazillions of dollars. And we had to survive. Let’s face it. We needed money. We were spending money. We had servers hosting; there was no AWS. It was quite expensive to launch one of these projects in these days.
Steven: So we were desperate. And we’re like, “We have to figure this out. We need a bit; we need somebody to pay us.” And then we heard through the grapevine that MTV, which was at its height right then, that was like, when MTV was really huge. And it’s part of Viacom. They want to do the first massive interactive television show. And they had Frank Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa, to be the host. And it was a music trivia game show that would air on MTV, and they needed a company to actually build the interactive piece. So people could play along online and literally in real time put their feed, the scores, the winners online into the TV show so that the players at home could win big prizes. Just like the contestants on air and get their name like on MTV.
Steven: So we heard about this through the grapevine and we kept calling MTV. We got the number of the senior vice president of interactive at MTV. And we leave messages on his voicemail saying, “This is Spider Dance.” That was the name of our company. “And we have the platform you’re looking for.” And you know what? He never called back.
Charan: He never called.
Steven: He just totally ignored them. And then my friend, because she was at RGA, which was very well known. It had done this big project for Microsoft. She got invited to speak at CES, the big conference. Right? And so she got on panel and then she was now, we’re now her own company. So she started to talk about our platform, and she started to describe what we wanted to build. But as if we were building it. She would say, “We have this massively multi-user game system. We’re going to be synchronizing it to television. So we can be the first big interactive TV company.” And she gave her talk. And then afterwards, this guy comes running up from the audience, pushes his way, right through and says, “I need to talk to you.” And she looks at him. He goes, “I am the senior vice president of MTV.”
Charan: I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. Okay. So good.
Steven: And she looked at him and she goes, “I know you; we’ve been leaving voicemails for you.” And she goes, “You have exactly what I need.” Literally a month, within a month, we signed a big deal with MTV. We had gotten our seed funding, our $350,000, which basically, and we promised MTV. We said, “No problem. We can build this.” The fact was we had the massively multi-user game engine. Right? And we had the talent to build it, but we knew nothing about on-air broadcasts. We knew nothing about synchronizing internet with two and on-air broadcast frame accurate. Literally it has to be, because if it isn’t, people will cheat. They’ll see it on TV first and if there’s a lag time, they’ll know the answer and they will cheat. So literally has to synchronized perfectly and then feed that back into… We knew nothing.
Steven: Anyway, we went through nine months of crazy hell trying to get this conceptualize. We had to design it and build it and launch it. MTV freaking out. Because the closer we get to launch date, in these days, big companies didn’t trust startups. It’s not like today. They looked at a startup and they’re like, you’re going to fuck up and… I hope I can say that on your podcast. And we are going to look really bad and like scene of… Basically he was going to lose his job. If things didn’t go perfectly. His job was on the line.
Steven: People get stressed out in the entertainment business when it’s on air; they go, “Television isn’t like this internet stuff. It works every time.” And so we had a tiny team of 10 people. We were completely working day and night before its launch. Then we had a venture capital deal predicated on getting this funded. The venture capital and those bites and these big Hollywood guys, the former head of NBC Universal, the person who Michael Milken, the junk bond king, all these people were in on this deal. And they were like, “We will give you the money, but only if it launches perfectly.” And we’re like, “Okay,” so we have doubled the pressure on us because we’re spending every dime we have to get this project on air.
Charan: Oh man
Steven: We launched it. All eyes were on us. MTV did this massive television market. And we had negotiated, again, a great deal where we own the entire server platform. They were just our customer. And they had to put our name on air, like literally everywhere across the country. So our name was everywhere and we launched this. After all these TV ads, you should start to flood it. Now in these days, there was no scalable system. There was no AWS. We had literally had two co-located servers in a server facility, in Monmouth, that nobody had ever heard of and build that all out ourselves, basically build out AWS. And we had no way to test it, to load test it. There was no way to know how much it was very early. They didn’t have these tools. We didn’t know if it would work. Users are starting to flood into them. And then all of a sudden our servers went down.
Steven: I got a call from the senior vice president of MTV, and you don’t know the expletives he was using on the phone. “What the bleep bleep bleep is going on? Your thing just crashed 10 minutes into the show and nobody can get on.” So I’m like, “Just wait a second, calm down. Let me talk to our engineers.” Engineers, calling them up. “What’s going on?” “The thing is down.” They’re like, “Somebody is doing a denial of service attack on us.” Literally some nefarious person out there.
Charan: No way.
Steven: They had heard about all the TV ads that had gotten so much hype that they wanted to be a troll and bring us down.
Charan: Oh my gosh. [crosstalk 00:22:25].
Steven: If it wasn’t hard enough for us to even accommodate the users.
Charan: Of course.
Steven: Now, we had this massive denial of service attacks. So they were out there blocking IP address manually. They had nothing like CloudFlare or all the tools we have today that will do it for you automatically. Literally, they were definitely trying to block these IP addresses and a couple of minutes later, back online. We were back in business. And we were like, it was a denial of service attack when we got it blocked. We’re back in business. The show went flawlessly after that. And we breathed an enormous sigh of relief. And so today, and we went back out to our VCs and we’re like, “Okay, we’ve spent all our money. We have signed a contract with you. We’ve run up a huge $60,000 in legal fees with our lawyer. We need you to pay it. We need you to fork up the money.”
Steven: And they turned to us and these were Hollywood guys like sharks. Let’s face it. They don’t call them “vulture capitalists” for nothing. But these are sort of vulture capitalist combined with Hollywood sharks, like the worst of the worst.
Charan: The worst of the worst.
Steven: And they looked at us and they basically said, “We know you need our money, but we are going to tell you what; we will invest everything… We promise we’ll give you the 5 million bucks we promised but at half the valuation.” And we’re like, “What? You told us like, [inaudible 00:23:44], why are you changing?” “Well, because we think we should invest at half the valuation.” We became so pissed off. We needed this money. And the smart thing would have been to take the money after evaluation. Honestly. Because we were totally out of money. We had no other VCs interested. We had nothing. We thought this is a done deal, but we were so mad. We were like, “We don’t want those people. We don’t want to talk to those people, let alone have them on our board of directors.” And after you’ve worked with them, after they’re screwing us over.
Steven: So we said no. The problem was, it was literally weeks before Christmas. And as everybody in Silicon Valley knows, everything shuts down at Christmas. All the VCs go home. There is no way you’re going to get funded until after CES. So it’s like in the calendars, you’re like… And that was the worst Christmas we ever had. We were in the pits. I would tell you. We went back to CES expecting to celebrate. Like we had already bought our plane tickets and stuff. And we were expecting to celebrate our funding and our great success with MTV. The show was on air, but right now we had to keep the show on air, which is enormously expensive. We had to beg our employees not to take any salary. We were totally out of money, and we stayed in the crappiest fleabag in Las Vegas you can imagine, and we didn’t even have energy to go to the show. We were so depressed. [inaudible 00:25:08]
Charan: Oh, man. Oh my gosh.
Steven: We can’t go through this again with another venture capitalist. It’s too torturous. We get back. We were like, CSS ended finally, the VCs are trickling back in and starting to take calls. We get in; we don’t give up. So this is a point where a lot of people will give up. We’re like, “We’re not going to give up. We have to get this funded. We’ve put our heart and soul into this. Everything. We’ve suffered so much to get this online and make it work perfectly.” So what happens is basically I get an introduction to a company called Macromedia. Now, Macromedia eventually became Adobe. You know what’s Adobe.
Charan: Oh, yeah.
Steven: And they invited me and we were actually using their product, their early product called Director, which is a precursor to Flash. And the president called me in and says, “I heard about your show on MTV. Will you make your latest version in Flash?” And I go, “Absolutely. If you’ll fund us, we will do it in Flash. No problem. We will figure this out.” And he goes, “Great. Well, I can’t fund you unless you get a VC on board.” And I’m like, “Oh, that’s the problem, if we had a VC on board we wouldn’t really need you.” He goes, “But I will tell you what. I will introduce you to some VCs.” And I said, “Okay, great, great. We will do it in Flash if you introduce us to VCs in drawing the deal.”
Steven: So he invites us to a VC, one of the top VCs on Sand Hill Road. We go into their office. I’ve been trying for a year now to raise venture capital. And I only got that one party interested. I wasn’t a very good salesman at the time. I was literally awful. I didn’t know how to sell. I was a nice guy. I’d always tell them the truth. We were running out of money. I just wasn’t good at negotiating. But I had learned during this past year that it’s like a poker game. You have to be able to play poker. So I realized that Macromedia is the precedent; as nice as they were being to me, this was a test. They were going to bring me into one VC. And he actually came to that meeting to watch me pitch. And he said he would introduced me to a lot, but literally if I didn’t hit it out of the park on this one, he was probably going to walk away. And that’s just what people do. Right?
Steven: So it’s a test. So I’m under a lot of pressure. And our company’s about to go under in two weeks. There’s no way we can pay the hosting fees or anything else they’re… We’re dead in the water. So I go into this meeting and I do my best pitch. I like pitched like crazy. And the VC at the end of the meeting, he was stone-faced. He looks at me at the end of the meeting, he turns to me and he goes, “Can you excuse me for a minute?” And walks out of the room. And he left me there with the president of Macromedia, Adobe. And I look at him and he looks at me and we don’t know what to think. I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s over.”
Steven: He walks back in a few minutes later. And then he goes, “Here’s the term sheet. I want to give you $7 million. And I want you to sign right now.” I was like, “I have waited months and months and months and months to get a term sheet that turned out not to be what it was.” It was giving me a term sheet at the original evaluation the other investors walked away from, but more money than I had asked for, extra $2 million. And I was like, “Sign that term sheet right now.” But then I got a hold of myself. And I’m like, “If you act desperate…” I didn’t tell him we were running on fumes. We were about to go bankrupt. I didn’t tell him. I just told him the good stuff. Our show went flawlessly. We’re on Cabin TV. We’re going to line up other partners.
Steven: And I literally said, “No, I will not sign that term sheet because that is more money than we asked for, which in essence lowers our valuation,” even though let’s face it. I was super happy to have to sign it.
Charan: Of course.
Steven: But what I told them in our poker game was, I said, “You know what? I will accept $6 million, not seven, six, but only if you can close the deal and get that money to me in two weeks.” So he thinks I don’t need the money because I’m ready to walk. And he was like, “Absolutely. We’ll get you the money in two weeks. We’ll close this deal,” because usually it takes a month more to close these deals. Sometimes two months. I’ve been through a process that was several months, that didn’t happen. So I wanted to know in two weeks I needed that money in two weeks.
Steven: He said, “I’ll do it.” And literally I signed the term sheet with the money in the bank two weeks later. We were off. We opened up a Spider Dance in Hollywood. I moved from Silicon Valley down to LA, these big offices on Venice Boulevard, lined up NBC, History Channel, a game show network, Warner Brothers. All the major studios were coming on board with us. It was amazing. We were at the top of our game. And then we actually hit a point where a big public company came to us and said they wanted to buy us. They were like, “We’re going to write you a huge check. We’re going to buy. You are the number one interactive TV company in the world today.” And our investor stepped in and they said no; they said, “We don’t want to sell. They’re not offering enough money. We could get double or triple that, or even more. We could go public. No way.”
Steven: This was the dot-com era. Right? What we didn’t know is that we were six months away from the dot-com bubble bursting. So when we turned down that offer. We couldn’t look at our crystal ball and see what was right around the corner. And you asked for the hardest thing that I ever experienced. Literally six months later after we turned down the deal, even though we had all these major media companies as our clients, total market just-
Steven: Imploded overnight. Literally NBC had an interactive group at the time that was 250 people, which was big for the time, really big. And I went back into their office after the implosion happened; they had three people.
Charan: No way.
Steven: Look, three people, and they looked at me and they turned to me and go, “We are really happy to be running your show. Your show is great. The interactive, it works perfectly, but we aren’t going to pay you anything. And honestly, we were selling out the ads. We can’t even do that. We don’t even have that support anymore. So literally you have to sell out these interactive ads and make the money.” And all our other customers, Warner Brothers, you name it, they all started turning to us, and they all start saying, “Interactive TV is great, but it’s totally experimental for us. We will not pay you for this anymore. You have to figure out how to make money.” But there wasn’t no ad market for normal ads, let alone for these interactive television ads. It was just totally… It didn’t exist.
Steven: So they were basically offering the interactive ads to their customers. Their big customers. Their big advertisers as a bonus. They weren’t really making money. And then they were paying us. But now that the bubble has exploded, advertising revenue on TV was plummeting because all the dot-coms were no longer spending, so that they had to cut everything. So we were left in this precarious position and we had no money, no customers, and no VC wanted to fund anything at this time, unless it was an absolutely sure deal. And we were far from sure. Literally, it was so painful. We watched our baby die slowly. As our money depleted. We have that $6 million. And we layered on top of that a lot of debt financing, millions and millions of debt financing. But we were right at the point then where we are ready to raise more money. We were out of money and literally had to start laying off our employees.
Steven: We could barely keep… It was all back to the day where we can barely keep our servers running. Only this time, our customers weren’t paying us, and VCs just weren’t going to fork up the money. They were all retreating. They were in full retreat mode. The dot-com bubble was over. So there was no way out. All I could do was the venture bank that had loaned us millions of dollars. We might’ve been able to keep running except we had huge interest payments on these millions and millions of dollars that we couldn’t meet. And they had hired an ex-Marine to actually come in and bully the companies because they were in bankruptcy. Because all their companies have plummeted.
Steven: So ex-Marine comes up to me and he’s like, “You must pay us. We want the money now. We’re coming in to repossess everything.” And I turned to him and I was like, “You can have everything, take all our furniture, take it out. We can’t even pay the rent. We’re like way overdue on the rent for our office space. We’re not going to keep that furniture anyway. Or the computers.” And I did a deal with him. I basically said, “Look, you take the IP that we have And forgive our debt, because that’s all we have of value is the intellectual property.” And I cut that deal and we walked away.
Steven: But I will tell you, I’ve given it all up. Right? We had no more intellectual property with all the stuff we built. We couldn’t use. So painful. I can’t tell you. I blamed myself. Right? Because the hardship was I should have taken that deal. Right? I shouldn’t have listened… I could say it was the investor’s fault, but I was the CEO. I owned… And we still, the four partners in company, we own the majority. We actually could have overridden the VC and sold out at the height of the market. We didn’t do that. And so I blame myself and what I learned, I had this negative script running in my head, telling myself over and over and over again, “You will fail. You’re a failure. You shouldn’t be a CEO. How could you possibly go through this again? Where you invest your whole life and soul into this project, always have it a decision you made.” And I go and then I… This went on for months. This kind of depression.
Charan: This negative talk this, yeah.
Steven: I couldn’t get out of bed. Yeah. And I couldn’t forgive myself. It was just awful. But then I start to listen. You’re playing the script in your head over and over and over again about the mistake, human-made, how you are a failure, how you can’t go through this again. If you listen to the script, all of those things will come true. Literally, that will be your life. From this point on, if you’re young, you’re in your twenties. What are you doing? You did an amazing job. You should look at the positive. You achieved an amazing thing. And then incredibly short amount of time. And then life throws you curve balls. You couldn’t have predicted these things, and you never know what the right choices at the time; the information is incomplete.
Steven: So I decided to rewrite the script in my head and tell myself, not say I didn’t make mistakes because that would just be delusional. Right? I could say I would admit I made a mistake. Right? And I could have had a different path but also say that this isn’t the end of things. “This is just the beginning. This is just another one of your crazy adventures that you are about to go on. You’re in your twenties. You have so many more opportunities ahead of you just pick yourself up and go.” And that’s what I did.
Charan: And let me ask you something real quick. How did you get the strength to do that? How did you get the strength to change the story in your head, because it’s a very enlightened perspective to finally pull yourself back almost. And I had an out-of-body experience watching those narratives and being like, “This narrative isn’t serving me. They’re just bringing me down a little bit more, and I need to rewrite the story so I can have a better future. I needed to rewrite it so I can realize, hey, I’m still in my twenties, I’ve got tons and tons of opportunities.” How did you get to that point because it’s-
Steven: That was the hardest part, because when you fail, it’s really hard for me, being a creator. And I think it’s hard for anybody who really builds something to separate your own identity from what you were working on. Because what you were working on is so much part of your identity, is your… And I’m the type of person, like a lot of people out there who tend to be entrepreneurs, is we’re always looking to prove to ourselves through our next challenge, whether we’re really up to par to do it. And I had succeeded in a reasonable way with my first company, but that was a small business. Right? It was a lucrative business, but it wasn’t this huge thing that we were doing in my second company. And then the second one, I felt like I could have done more. I could have seen it coming. I could have pivoted the company. And there probably were things that I could have and should have done, but I didn’t.
Steven: And what I had to do is you have to recognize that your reality is what you make of it. Right? There is no absolute reality. This is my belief. All reality is a combination of your mindset, what you or how you perceive things, how you internalize things and what actually happens out in the world. Right? That you can’t really separate them. But what you have to look for is moving forward. It’s not what happened in the past. What happened in the past happened in the past. You cannot change that, but you can change the direction you go and what you do moving forward. So you need to look at the possibilities and say, I am talking to myself.
Steven: Now, we all have this constant dialogue running in our head. Continuously, we’re arguing, debating, criticizing ourselves, complimenting ourselves. We go through these… I believe every human being is a schizophrenia. We have different parts. One part that looks at ourselves. We might have multiple personalities at one part that’s really critical. One part that really loves ourselves. One part that really, there’s really not another part that is kind of what has some wisdom in it. And all these forces going on in this dialogue. And you can shift between them. I started to say, “We actually have control over these voices… We can influence what voices we listen to in our head.”
Steven: And I decided to amplify the voices that would open up more opportunities for me rather than the voices that were being self-critical and shutting doors and putting myself down, because you could listen to them, and there’s some truth in all of these voices. That’s the problem. Right? But when you can amplify or diminish, turn up the volume or down the volume, these voices are still there. They never go away. They’re sort of part of how we’re programmed as human beings. Right? You never go away. They were influenced by your parents, by your friends, by your own-
Charan: Circumstances. Yeah, exactly.
Steven: And your genetics. A lot of it’s your genetics. Some people tend to be always optimistic. Other people are always pessimistic. I’m somebody who varies between the two. Right? Somewhere in the middle. So I decided to turn down the negative dials, turn up the positive dials, and also listen to the voices that would allow me to learn from what I had done so that I could not just paper it over and make the same mistakes again, but actually admit, “Okay, next time in this situation, what would you do different?” So I went through that whole scenario. Right? “Next time in this situation, I’m going to go with my gut instinct, and what’s my first startup I should have just sold? How rich do you need to be in your first startup?”
Steven: And then you get a good thing on your tracker. That would have been the conservative thing to go to instead of roll the dice. But then again, that’s hindsight too. That you never knew, like I might’ve thrown out a unicorn just to get a much smaller payoff just because I was worried that it wouldn’t pay off. So being an optimistic guy… When I do something, I believe it’s going to succeed. So of course I said, this will be bigger. As an entrepreneur, most entrepreneurs tend to be overly optimistic. Most stressful ones. So was that the wrong decision? Actually, maybe not. Right? It might not have been the wrong decision.
Charan: Not in the long-term.
Steven: Right. And all these things are who you are anyway. So you are who you are. What decisions you make. So I just decided in order to move forward, I need to tell myself the story we’re all creating stories in our life. Our life, our stories. Our lives are stories we tell ourselves and tell other people and see the reflection in their eyes and the proof from real life. So I decided the story I’m going to tell myself is not the story of how I failed miserably, how I screwed up, how it would have done things differently. It’s the story of how this has been an amazing experience, and I was so fortunate to even go have all the good things I had and actually move forward with this. And that story will allow me to open up new opportunities because I’m going to try again. I’m going to do another step. I’m going to do more projects. And I don’t care now if they fail because I know it won’t kill me.
Charan: I love that because now you have detached yourself in a sense your value is not based off of the outcome of your business. I mean, there’s a huge part of it, but at the same time, if it doesn’t go well, you’re still going to keep going. You know what I mean? You’ve to-
Steven: That’s absolutely right. You summed it up perfectly. I should have said that myself.
Charan: No. It’s great.
Steven: That is a perfect… The moral of this story that I’m telling you is that the value shouldn’t be based on outcome, because you can’t control the outcome. You can only control your actions. And then your reactions to what happens.
Charan: I mean, look, 2020 is a perfect example of that. Right? When COVID hit, it shut so many people down. So many industries came down and I have a buddy of mine, he’s an entrepreneur himself. And he came up with a really cool idea involving an adventure hunt, kind of a scavenger hunt for corporations and stuff, where they would go to really exotic places and do all these things. And his business was taking off. And the next thing of course COVID hits and you can’t travel anymore. You can’t do anything anymore. And he’s just like… And I could tell he was very deflated, because it’s like, well, what are you supposed to do? But he’s still trying to figure out different ways to innovate and come up with different things. And now that things are kind of opening back up, it’ll probably pick back up again.
Charan: But yeah, it’s very interesting what happens to people when they’re just, like, something that they’re really going for, putting all their energy into, does not bear the fruit that they want it to bear. And the thing is as an actor, I feel like this is my life. It’s like a life of rejection, but it’s okay. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that. Because I finally got to this point where I’m like, “Wow, okay, I’m still alive. I’m still kicking. I didn’t get that part.”
Steven: Being an actor prepares you perfectly for being an entrepreneur because you have to deal with this rejection. You also have to not internalize it and make it about you. Right? Just because they rejected you for the part doesn’t mean you’re a bad actor. Right? It just means maybe you weren’t who they envisioned in this role.
Charan: Right. And it’s so interesting. I remember I would have so many auditions because… Oh my gosh, I don’t even know how many auditions. I don’t know. Maybe like a thousand, I don’t know so many, and I would have auditions where I would go out and I thought I just did the best job. I thought I nailed it. And the casting director was like really excited about the connection that we had when we were doing the audition. No callback. No, no, nothing.
Steven: And that’s so painful. And how can you not question yourself at that point?
Charan: And then there were times I remember where I went in and I bombed it. I know I bombed it. I was taking myself out the door. I’m like, “Why am I even in this business?” And the next day, they’re like, “Hey, you got the part.” And I’m like, “What is happening right now? Nothing makes sense.” And so I’m like, okay, there is something there’s an outer force at play here. I don’t have control over everything. But like you said, having the ability to know how to act and react to situations instead of panicking and thinking that your attachment or value is based off of how successful your company is. So I love that. I absolutely love that.
Steven Hoffman Talks About Founders Space
Charan: So now, where are you in life? Where has all of those things landed you? Because you said yourself you’re an investor. You’re the founder of a Founders Space. How did that all come about?
Steven: So I have a hundred more stories to tell, but I won’t tell all those that are in between. I’ll jump to the present day.
Charan: Okay. Well, listen, I would love to hear those stories. Maybe we can do another revisit podcast down the road, but this is because I’m just so fascinated by this whole thing.
Steven: So in the present day I ended up starting an incubator. So after I did three venture-funded startups and two bootstrap startups, I decided I am going to do an incubator, because I’ve learned a lot. Right? And I love mentoring and working with entrepreneurs. I loved the ideas. I love the adventure. I don’t necessarily want to go on that roller coaster ride every time but to be an observer of it, it’d be help on the sidelines, is great. So right now we started Founders Space in San Francisco and basically launched in a big way over the past… We’ve been doing it 10 years. So we’ve been doing it some time. And we have worked with entrepreneurs from all over the world. In fact, we have expanded to the point where we have 50 partners in 22 countries.
Steven: And so before COVID, I was traveling 70% of the time everywhere. And when COVID hit, it was really tough on us, too, because an incubator is a physical space. We were physically bringing people in. We had to move everything online and shut down our physical space. And we had actually had a huge success overseas in Asia, in China, in particular. I’m super famous in China. In the startup world, like, everybody knows me. And we had opened our incubators Founders Space in cities, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing. All of these major cities, my books have been bestsellers there. But COVID hit in China, literally closed off. Then came this little bubble.
Steven: Now our incubators are still running in China, but I haven’t even been back since COVID started. I hope now that it’s on the decline, there’ll be a chance for me to travel again. And I’m traveling around the country now, the US, since I got my shot. But life has been crazy. Just like your friend, COVID hit their startup, it hit us. But I always see that as today, those things don’t phase me. Today, it’s just like par for the course. Something crazy is going to happen. When I became famous in China, it literally happened overnight. These things happen. I didn’t know anything was happening. I gave a talk with Tencent, the big company, Tencent. And it was broadcast nationally.
Steven: And I didn’t even know it was broadcast nationally, but then all these people started coming up to me, and they said, “You’re super famous.” And then I had to tell myself at that time it was funny. I told myself, “Yeah, but this will pass too. Whatever happens it’s not going to last.” It actually has lasted, but I can’t get in the country. So it doesn’t really do me no good.
Charan: It might as well be another planet. Right?
Steven: Yeah. It’s another planet. Countries have moved apart. The world has changed so much since I started there. But what I will tell you is that every time one of those things kind of closes off because the situation changes, something else opens up.
Charan: And that’s powerful perspective to have.
Steven: And so what you should do is instead of focusing on what you just lost, because you can’t go there because of COVID or whatever reason, focus on what are the opportunities now that may be even more amazing or at least different, and send you and allow you to create more stories in your life so that you can live this life that you look back upon. You’re like, “Oh my God, it was so amazing. I did all those things that I never thought I would do.”
Charan: I love that, man. And that’s a great way and a great recipe for living a very abundant life I think. Because there’s that saying when God closes a door, He opens a window, that type of thing. Right? And I really believe that that’s true in my own life I’ve seen so many things where projects that I — and I’ll specifically say film projects because that’s where my energy and stuff was focused — a lot of projects did not work. They just did not happen. Right? And you put so much energy and all this stuff and it just kind of crashed and burned.
Steven: [crosstalk 00:51:16] completely.
Charan: But with that I built all these really cool relationships with people, and I’m like, “Okay, cool. Well, we can still do other projects together and do different things.” [crosstalk 00:51:30] learning.
Steven: I’m super receptive to when people contact me. So when people come to Founders Space and reach out to me, I’m like, “I’ll listen. All here.” If they have something interesting, I’ll engage, because you never know where that great thing is coming from.
Charan: No. And that’s what’s so great too. You kept yourself very open and you’re very receptive and helping empower people. And I don’t know. I think it’s just awesome.
Steven Hoffman’s Greatest Source of Joy
Charan: I kind of want to shift topics a little bit now and kind of go more into — I apologize, my computer’s texting. I wanted to kind of talk a little bit about you’ve had some pretty big ups and downs in your, in your career, but now you’re at this place where you’re now, you can empower the future. You can empower the future entrepreneurs and stuff. And you love seeing the sidelines, not necessarily going on the roller coaster, but being able to say, “Hey you know what? I can’t wait to help you guys out in your own journey.” What now brings you the greatest source of joy?
Steven: I will tell you. The greatest source of joy is… I am on the sidelines, but I’m also in the thick of it. So Founders Space is literally my next startup. And it’s full of as many surprises as any startup ever was. So I’m still going on that roller coaster ride here, experiencing the highs and the lows. And the greatest joy to me is still is the same as when I was very young. I told you I liked to create stuff and put it into the world and see what happens. So I started creating movies and games, my own games at a very young age. And I feel like I’m still doing that. I feel like I’m still a kid. So whether it’s an entrepreneur that comes to me and I can help them get over an obstacle, realize something, contribute to their product because I’ve designed a lot of products.
Steven: So I’ll go into not just detail on how they should raise money, what capital they need who they should talk to, but I’ll actually get nitty gritty on the product. Why did you put that button there? And that is really fun. And what’s really working with the users, all those things that when I engage with like-minds. People who are really passionate about what they do, who really have a vision to bring something to life. And I can be part of that and contribute to it. That is my reward. That is my candy every day.
Charan: I love that. You know what? Because the thing is, even as you were speaking about that, I saw you come alive even more. And I think that’s just the key. Right? It’s like, how do you stay young all the time, right? And how do you do those things, right? And for me, it’s like having those experiences or creating things, like you’re saying. It was interesting, because just last week I was finishing up this film I was working on. And as a part of the, our end sequence, there was a sequence where we were, all the actors, we’re all sitting in these demolition derby cars, doing donuts and spinning around pretending to shoot aliens. And I remember thinking like, “I cannot believe that this is my life. This is amazing that this is my life still and I’m having such a blast doing it.” But I think that the idea of being able to empower the people and be part of the product.
Steven: Be part of the product, and then never give up any dream. I don’t want to say, “This is what I do.” People try to pigeonhole people like, “I’m a venture capitalist” or “I’m just a technical person.” So I always want possibilities open. So I’m always looking for new projects. If you were doing another film and you said, “Steve, do you want to come and help out on this film? And I was available. I would probably just say yes.”
Charan: I love it.
Steven: Nothing to do with what I do, but it’d be an amazing experience. I would just jump over there and do that. And-
Charan: Go ahead. Keep going.
Steven: Go ahead. No. I was just going to say I gave up my permanent home. I had a permanent home in San Francisco, but after being locked up in COVID for so long and not being able to go out and experience the world, I decided I’m going to just abandon this living in San Francisco and not have any home at all, because then it will force me to never sit in one place. I will always be moving around and always be having new experiences. So right now I’m literally living out of Airbnb.
Charan: You know what? I think that’s actually really brilliant. A buddy of mine, he and his wife and they have four or five kids. His wife has major wanderlust, is what you’d describe her as. And so they decide to travel the world. They’re like, “Hey, remote schooling and education, they can do education anywhere. Let’s just go have life experiences.” And so for the last couple years, they’ve just been kind of traveling the world, living in like Asia, different places month to month; of course, with COVID hitting, they weren’t able to travel as much, but they still have that same type of mentality of kind of going and experiencing different things. It’s powerful, man. It’s so powerful.
Steven: It’s so powerful. And it makes your life so much richer. So I’ve been staying one week in every location. So I’ll go for one week. And I literally went across the country, Santa Fe, all the way across to the East Coast, up the East Coast. I’m in Boston now. Then I go to Niagara Falls and then I go to Detroit, Chicago, and on across the country. And next I’m going to go overseas. So for now I’m doing the US tour.
Charan: US tour. So is this all one-week stays in all these places? Or do you go longer?
Steven: Like a week, because I’m working as I go. So I want to have some time to see the place, but so then I always have at least a couple days in every location, hang out and just have fun. And then the rest of the time I’m doing my work. I’m running my company.
Charan: No. I love it.
Steven: I’m talking to you.
Charan: No. I love it man. That is awesome. That is so great. One of the greatest joys I’ve had is to be able to travel for work and to act. And so the other day, not the… It was actually a week or two ago, I was in Hawaii filming a commercial. And I mean, dude, I’m flying to Hawaii to film a commercial. That’s just amazing. Right?
Steven: It so much fun.
Charan: It’s so much fun. And so I’m very, very fortunate to have had opportunities where I’m able to get out as well. And like you in that sense, I don’t like sitting around in just one place. I love to be out and doing things and exploring and experiencing things. And if I’m not doing that or if I’m stuck in the same thing over and over and over again, I feel this sense of being stuck or feeling like I’m being trapped a little bit.
Steven: Me too. Yes, like I’m not really living, I’m trapped and I’m claustrophobic. COVID was tough, but now hopefully the “variants” won’t take over, and we will be free to return to our wandering live, our meanderings. And what I hope to do in the future, is my mission is really to empower creators. So it doesn’t matter if they’re an entrepreneur, if they’re an artist, filmmaker, writer, whatever it is; I want to empower them because I really think everybody is an entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter; you have to build something.
Steven: So whether you’re a fine artist, you still have to build something. You have to build your name, your reputation. You have to get your work out there. You have to get galleries to take it. I have a lot of friends doing that and I’m helping them. I’m working with one of my friends in San Francisco. He’s this amazing artist called Brian Goggin, and he is working on his next big sculptural project. He’s been reasonably successful. Hasn’t been like world-famous, but in the Bay Area, he’s pretty successful. I’m trying to help him get to the next level. So just in the same way I would mentor and help an entrepreneur.
Steven Hoffman’s Greatest Fear
Charan: Oh man. I love that. It’s so great. Okay. So I want to wrap up with just two more questions if that’s okay. Last thing is like… well, second-to-last thing is, what is your greatest fear right now?
Steven: I think my greatest fear is always that I won’t be able to do what I’m doing now because of health reasons. People’s health is very precarious. My health is good now, but I’ve seen it with other people, like with my father, he got chronic fatigue syndrome and literally that he was my age when he got it and that literally wiped him out. It was really sad because… And so I look at my own health and I’m very fortunate to be in good health. But if you ask me my greatest fear, it would be to end up like my father and not in a position to really act on all these things that I still feel I want and need to do.
Steven Hoffman’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: Oh, that’s a good answer. That’s great response. And then the last thing I was going to ask you, excuse me, is what advice would you give your younger self? The young Steven Hoffman. The one that’s barely starting LavaMind or the one that’s barely designing all these different board games and he’s “bright eyes.” I mean, you still have bright eyes, but you’ve also bright eyes with a lot of experience. So what advice would you give him?
Steven: I would give my younger self the advice you don’t have to suffer to achieve your dreams. And by that, I mean, self-imposed suffering. You’re going to suffer no matter what; there is some suffering, but you don’t have to make it worse. Because it’s not how hard it is that determines whether you achieve your dreams. You can actually make it a very pleasant, joyful experience going through. You can look at challenges as your enemy. These obstacles that are keeping you down, pushing you back. You can criticize yourself or you can say these challenges are the adventure, right? They are what it’s about. Why do mountain climbers climb a mountain, right? Because they want the challenge. So in your company things are going to go wrong. In your dream, whatever you’re pursuing, there are going to be things that just come and slam you to the ground.
Steven: Instead of laying on the ground, feeling sorry for yourself, tell yourself, “Get up.” I wanted to tell my younger self, “Just get up and laugh at it. It doesn’t matter. If this company goes bankrupt, it doesn’t matter. That’s part of what this story is supposed to be” That’s what I came to understand. And if I understood that younger, who knows? I could have… Well, I might not be the person I am now. So maybe I was lucky to have that experience, but I also, I definitely wouldn’t have suffered as much in my early stages.
Charan: I love that. That’s awesome. That’s great. To get up and laugh at your challenges. That is powerful stuff right there. Well, I appreciate you coming on here, Steven. You’ve given me so many things to think about for myself. And even the way you’re living currently, traveling and experiencing life while working. I’m like, man, can I do that? Is there a way that I can allow-
Steven: Everybody listening can do that. I will tell you, because you can budget it. It doesn’t cost more. It can cost pretty much… A little more for the rent, but food is the same, everything else is the same. And once you’re going, you’re going. You’re free, and you’ll open up a whole bunch of opportunities.
Charan: No, I love that. That’s so awesome. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to be on this podcast. And any last words before we wrap up?
Steven: No, I just want to say, if anybody wants to reach out to me for any reason, if you have some crazy project you’re working on or you want to talk to me or whatever, go to foundersspace.com, and we have a contact form there. Just put my name in the contact form and I will respond for sure. Also, my books are on there: “Surviving a Startup”, “Make Elephants Fly.” They’re all on there. And if you want to reach out to me, I’m also on the social networks, on every social network, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, you name it, Instagram, just search for Founders Space.
Charan: Founders Space. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Steven. I really appreciate you taking the time.
Steven: Thank you. This has been great.
Charan: It’s awesome. Thanks.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to Lemonade Stand Podcast and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback and reviews, and if you’re someone you know has a awesome Lemonade Stand story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much and have a great day.