Entrepreneur and innovator Robert Hoffer
has been working behind the scenes with some of the best-known Internet companies for more than 20 years – from online yellow pages
, to instant messaging
, to web-based scratch-off games
. He has worked with, consulted at, and created technologies for such global companies as Apple Computer
, and Lipton
His work has included executive positions in marketing, operations, finance, and business development, but Hoffer's focus seems to be on innovation. He is known for his sometimes controversial opinion that "everything old is new again" - that is, most of today's inventions are simply repackaged versions of old ideas. This may be the driving force behind his work as co-founder of several Internet companies including: Infospace Corp., an Internet directory services provider; Query Labs, offering third-party directory services to newspapers and media firms; and Typo.net, which launched the hotly debated concept of interstitial advertising
. His vision is often credited with bringing products to market that today are used by millions of people, and have been purchased by companies like Yahoo
, and others for millions of dollars. For example, in 1995, Hoffer was instrumental in bringing the first web-based national Yellow and White pages online, which were later licensed and co-branded with Yahoo, Nynex
, American Express
, and others.
As the co-founder of Colloquis
in 2000, Hoffer created the first commercially viable online robot for instant messaging, securing a controversial patent for the technology. In 2006, Microsoft purchased ActiveBuddy (now Colloquis
) for $46 million.
Today, Hoffer serves as co-founder and managing director of Newforth Partners, a technology-focused investment banking and consulting firm.