- Alumni News
We were recently given the opportunity to speak with Mr. David Hoffman, an entrepreneur and graduate of the Sage Ridge School Class of 2005. Mr. Hoffman spoke about his time at and after Sage Ridge and gave us an insightful view into his life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his time at Sage Ridge, David remembers the most impactful activity in his education was being a member of The Ridge, Sage Ridge’s student-led newspaper. The newspaper was started during his time by one of his classmates, Sarah Johnstone. Along with a few other people, they began to write, design, and print the newspaper. To David, this was an early opportunity to explore his entrepreneurial interests through a relatively low-stakes activity. The group ended up finding so much success that the faculty advisors suggested they consider this type of activity as a career, and many did, eventually going to participate in Columbia University’s Journalism program. David was also a member of the robotics team, recalling a trip that took him to Florida to compete in the national competitions. David was a member of Sage Ridge School’s third graduating class, which was only nine people in size.
After graduating from Sage Ridge, David attended Northwestern University for his undergraduate education. During his time there, David and a group of friends began a company called Next Big Sound. They built Next Big Sound into the leader in online music analytics. It was one of the first systems to begin to organize and understand trends of music as the industry shifted to online platforms. The system would track listens and engagements with music online. The company sold this technology to record labels and gave artists free access to it. During a time where reporting in the music industry was primarily done by hand through a very cumbersome process, this new technology was certainly a welcome development. The technology proved so useful, in fact, that David and his co-founders were able to sell the company to Pandora Music in 2015. He continued to work for Pandora until 2017, at which point he left to pursue more personal and entrepreneurial ventures.
David spent the last year before the pandemic traveling and working on Beam, a new technological solution to simplify the complicated process of home remodeling by simplifying planning and matching consumers with contractors to help with a remodel. David has also had the opportunity to build a family along with his wife, Liv, who works on her own entrepreneurial ventures as the founder of Blue House Goods, a Norwegian imports company.
David highlights the importance of persistence in enabling him to find success with Next Big Sound, Pandora, and his other professional efforts. David continues to value and exhibit persistence, even during the global pandemic which has forced him to work from home. In the last several months, he has adopted a consistent routine that has allowed him to continue to maximize his productivity and effort as he continues to work on entrepreneurial ventures. In addition to carving out time for creative work, meetings, and administrative work, David focuses attention on keeping in touch with family, spending time with his wife and daughters, spending time outside, and watching Norwegian TV with his family to learn the language.
The Sage Ridge community remains proud of your accomplishments, David, and we continue to stand behind you in your ventures.
- Alumni News
- Class of 2005
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