The Hoffman Collection

CEO's, filmmakers, journalists, and other movers and shakers comment on working with David Hoffman

Brian Dougherty, Founder, Wink Communications and Geoworks
"David is THE master of marketing communications. He has an uncanny ability to get to the heart of a product or technology or company and figure out how to communicate its benefits in visceral ways to target audiences of all sizes. At Wink, we had the challenge of launching a new technology into the cable and satellite television industry. Without David's help we would not have been able to cut through the noise. Today over 10 million homes enjoy Wink's interactive technology. I met David in my previous startup when he was working for a competitor in the mobile software industry. I marveled that his client consistently got link the stories in the consumer and industry press, generated more buzz at conferences, and raised money at higher valuations - even though our company had a superior, more practical technology. Frankly it was frustrating having him work for the other team. In starting Wink, I was fortunate enough to get David on my side early."

Bob Kavner, Chairman of the Board, Idealabs; Former Senior Officer at AT&T
"David is a valuable blend of innovation and determination. He has keen sense of how to do business and a highly creative mind. When I was a senior officer of AT&T. I took full advantage of David's skills. He grew to become a highly respected communications consultant to a large group of executives at AT&T in media relations, marketing, corporate and product placement and speech making. He also produced wonderful material that launched new products, coached me in presentations and wrote a number of important speeches including the keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show.

David developed my trust to an extent that he could tell me what I DIDN'T want to hear while realizing that I needed to hear it and encouraged me to adjust my thinking. He has taken the craft of communications to a level that few have taken in the world of business. Whether he is paid by the hour, on a retainer or with a flat fee, he will deliver more than he promised and will not rest until you are fully satisfied. When you hire David, you hire a partner."
Bill Fallon, VP Product Marketing, EasyLink Services Corporation
"When the task involves articulating and communicating the essential value of a product or service, especially to target audiences, David Hoffman ranks among the best that I have ever worked with. The complexity of marketing things to people who don't think they need them is substantial. You're prone to get carried away with descriptions about the latest technology or "buzz" for journalists and internal pressures from management to get out there and start selling.

Hoffman's way of thinking begins by asking: "why should your audiences care?" You find yourself engaged in a dialogue with someone with the experience and wisdom gained from positioning countless products and services. His whole process isn't about the acquisition and analysis of traditional research as it is about understanding people and how they come to get comfortable enough with ideas to adopt them as part of their lives. Someone who has helped senior executives in companies ranging from the world's largest to newly funded startups. Someone who has created award-winning communications that moved millions of people, worldwide. If the people currently helping you develop and communicate your messages think too much like you do, I suggest that you would do well to get in touch with Hoffman."

Isaac Applebaum, Venture Partner, Lightspeed Ventures
"I am proud of the numerous successes I have had in my life. They are based in part on my knowing and working with superb colleagues. I consider David Hoffman at the top of this list. As a corporate communicator, for companies of any size, he knows no equal. He understands on the deepest levels what makes employees and customers and partners and management teams feel best about what they are doing or not, take positive action, and feel more motivated. He does this using techniques that he developed over the course of his life. They make the resulting work more believable, and possibly more importantly, they make the work more enjoyable. I am proud to add my voice to David's other colleagues in support of his efforts."

Tim Schmidt, CEO, Sunset Technologies; Former CIO, Internal Revenue Service
"I have known David Hoffman for many years. He is tenacious, persistent and blunt. While I was a senior executive at the IRS, I could count on David to understand my needs and to present the best industry talent to my doorstep. I frankly find David amazing in his ability to sense possible synergies, open communication channels, and to set the stage for mutually rewarding and enduring business relationships. Most recently, David assisted me with developing and implementing the marketing and communications strategy associated with a startup supporting worldwide supply chain security. His council has helped us to stay on track and to avoid unnecessary or wrong turns. I would recommend him to anyone having a need to stratify their marketing options and who must stay abreast of the evolving competition and upcoming talent within a specific industry segment."

Jeffrey Munks, Executive Learning Officer, US Navy; former CEO, Arista Knowledge Systems; co-founder, Language Line Services
"There have been a number of professional chapters to my life. Many have been characterized by enormous challenge, great opportunity, eventual success, and David Hoffman. From using the video and the Web to create a breakthrough communication piece that won awards and opened new markets, to using his wonderfully intuitive imagination to suggest new approaches to technical development questions, David has been a source of useable information, actionable strategies, and business inspiration both to me and to my various organizations for more than a decade. There are many compelling dimensions to David's approach. The dimension I appreciate most is his candor - he knows no way to communicate other than honestly and openly."

Joe Kraus, Co-Founder, Excite at Home; Founder,
"There is no better story teller than David Hoffman. That's why I hired him to help put together my conference on Digital Rights. He has a target audience based sense of how to craft messages in ways that are intelligent, concise and to the point and yet also entertaining and full of life. David has a knack of how to communicate at the gut (feeling) level. I think he believes that any topic, no matter how dry and intellectual, can be made meaningful with an injection of reality - adding the people behind the story, and a clear understanding of the people affected by it. David pushes that everyone - customers, investors, partners - make decisions based on emotions and emotions aren't evoked by facts or the "specs." They come from stories. Helping to tell my story is why I hired David."

Barak Kassar - IPG Communications
"David brings something to the currency of corporate communications (the Web, the press release, PP presentations, "industrial" video, trade shows) that is usually reserved for the big-budget TV commercial. That is the perfect marriage of message strategy, storytelling and emotion. David's ability to see the meaning in a product and then articulate it have for me produced powerful results. In one project David uncovered a classic differentiation problem---a new competitor announced a similar product almost every week and we were having a difficult time communicating who we were. Through an amazing process of sitting, talking, asking, trying out message concepts (recorded with that damn tiny tape recorder of his) David isolated the key elements that differentiated us and worked to articulate us in ways that infected my entire organization and impacted our standing in the market, altered our core product development and yielded a tremendous success."

Neil Greer, President/CEO, Impact Engines, Inc.
"I've worked with David Hoffman for years. There are few people who can do what he does; period. As an entrepreneur in the software industry, people ask me about my "proprietary advantage". Honestly, I've rarely found proprietary advantage in the technology. The magic of technology comes from the dramatic, sometimes amazing, impact it has on someone's life - when I could tell a story that emotionally affected someone in my "elevator" pitch. Hoffman unlocked the power of that bottom line proprietary advantage -- because he understands that the affect on the general public target customers from advances in technology are what make technology proprietary. In short, if David Hoffman works on your stories, they will be heard. In my opinion, this makes David Hoffman a 'proprietary advantage'."

Thampy Thomas, Chairman & CEO PostX, Active Venture Capitalist
"I have worked with David Hoffman for more than seven years. During that time David has done many critically important things for my portfolio companies. Among other things, David helped us to recruit a CEO when our headhunter could not find one. David also found (and closed on) several multimillion-dollar strategic partners for another one of our portfolio companies. David's consistently positive attitude, high-energy, and desire to get things done (to sign deals, to improve positioning and key messages, and to bring people together) have made him very valuable to us over and over again."

Kirk Wolfinger, Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Lone Wolf Pictures
"David's film accomplishments are legendary as evidenced through numerous industry awards. What is less recognized by awards is David's laser-like ability to conceptualize, articulate and target the messages of every communications he is responsible for. And now with YouTube and Web video, Hoffman is proving again the success in his lifelong belief that authenticity is critical to be authentic, try to use real people and real stories as your communications advantage. There are many excellent media producers but very few of them understand message making. In my experience, David Hoffman has no equal at this. His corporate clients-- AT&T, Mobil, Fidelity, Merck, UTC, understand this well and continue to utilize David's ability to produce and distribute communications for targeted audiences with tailored messages that work."

Alberto Aquino Alejandro, Co-Founder, Helio Solutions Inc.
"I've had the privilege of working with David Hoffman for a number of years now. On each project, David brings to light the relevance to target audiences your business, no matter how challenging. His techniques on how companies, people, and their stories CAN BE HEARD and FELT, is nothing short of brilliant!!! I have often tried to understand how David does what he does. After observation, it becomes glaringly simple. He LISTENS! I mean; HE REALLY LISTENS, to people and situations. But more importantly he listens and stays absolutely true to the soul of stories and not just to the interesting parts, but also to the mundane stuff that actually ends up being the golden nuggets. I once called David in to articulate a company's branding and communications strategies. David not only uncovered our company's most saleable story, but he pushed us to examine our key messages. Through this process, David was able to get to the heart of our values to our customers and partners, along with a unique human twist. That twist allowed us to clearly differentiate ourselves within our market; completely re-positioned our company; and closed over 25 million dollars of business within our first full year of business.

Kia Walker, Picture People (A wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Corporation)
"I was fortunate to work with David Hoffman to create an orientation video for my company. I chose David from competing producers because I didn't want to make a traditional corporate program that had that old Time pre-Web video canned feel that gets laughed at by YouTube audiences. David quickly assessed our business and got to the heart of what we are about as a company. He then created media that led to the development of new sales tools that emotionally moved our sales folks and our employees and help them to feel more positively about what they were doing. His programs brought our managers to tears of joy and shouts of laughter. Imagine that from a "corporate" video!"

Thomas Dolby, Performing Artist; Founder and Chairman, Beatnik
"David Hoffman cuts to the chase and helped improve my presentations. This has helped me enormously as a composer and performer and the founder of Headspace and Beatnik. His gift for getting things done efficiently, for telling it like it is, but with a touch of spice and a sense of fun, make any process that he is involved with a pleasure. He brings warmth and enthusiasm to every project he touches."

Ronald Shon, President, China Ventures Inc.
"David Hoffman is one of the most innovative communicators that I have ever worked with. As president of my company, I have had to tell my story in many places in many ways. David has help me to focus on key issues, to help me to communicate these issues in very clear and concise ways and to devise on the Web and off the Web strategies that effectively reach large and critical audiences."

Marc Porat, Founder, Perfect Commerce, Private Satellite Network & General Magic
"To those who don't know David Hoffman, I can tell you from experience that he can be entrusted with your most important projects from their start to their finish. You will get not only his genius, passion and unbridled creativity, but also the pure pleasure of working with an extraordinary human being. The experience will help your company and give you insights that I have found, change you in meaningful ways."

Questions? Suggestions? Please send an email to David Hoffman.

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