We had the good fortune of connecting with Joel Hoffmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joel, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always been drawn to entrepreneurialism and despite never thinking I would work for a big corporation, I was recruited by Intel. Suddenly I was in the middle of Corporate American in a mega-sized environment with hierarchy beyond imagination. After 14 years of this, I was offered a “package” that sent me back to my preferred world of small business.
In Phoenix, there are so many homes that need windows cleaned, yet the typical resident buys every service they can find EXCEPT this one. I discovered there was a space for a subscription model that would generate constant cash flow to support me and my son to start. Clearly, we could scale like every other home services business with branded trucks on the road and crews covering the valley.
I discovered there was a better way to wash windows using purified water instead of a bucket and squeegee. This water pole technology was refined in the commercial window cleaning world and allowed the technician to stay grounded while washing glass two stories. With this innovation, I could sell the service against any competitor by working faster, cleaner and cheaper!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My first gig was in middle school, as a window cleaner no less when a local print shop asked me to wash their windows in exchange for raised ink business cards. My little company earned enough to buy the equipment I needed and secure more accounts. However I needed a ride to the job, so I never really accounted for the cost of my mom driving me around to make this money.
I find myself trying to solve problems without any training from official sources like college. I used this jump-in-and-do-it attitude to find a technical job with a company distributing early networked computers and learned how software was key to breaking the rules.
My technology mentor, Gary helped me pitch that networking skill into a business development role at a subsidiary of AT&T called Ameritech. No degree was ever asked for until Intel plucked me from Ameritech’s Advanced Technology Group that Gary was leading. Intel was trying to enter the networking market and needed someone that could explain it to the customers. We ran with that together.
Over time the Intel group morphed into Connected cars which I had already developed a personal interest in. Once again. my passion turned into a job! I love to learn as I go because each new discovery is permanently engraved in my mind for dramatic replay to others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First off we will get a Forbes 5-star massage at Aji Spa on the native grounds just west of Chandler, possibly dinner at Kai if you can afford it! Nearby South Mountain is packed with hikes I love, especially Fat Man’s Pass. Don’t miss Basha’s Art Museum which is FREE and of course you must visit Mill Ave in Tempe and Old Town in Scottsdale to see the people here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out to my son Dakota, who inspired the latest chapter and planted seeds for the first few years living in the valley. He’s a super hard worker, driving uphill like a bulldozer, and has cleared many obstacles we’ve encountered as our business grows.
Other: SEE OUR RADIO INTERVIEW FROM 2016 ON KFNX 1100 TALK RADIO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYNO7qdeeMo