CareerPathDiscussionSerial entrepreneurs have a voracious insatiable appetite for new and improved solutions. They are dare devils living on the edge ready to dive into the unexplored even in times of economic uncertainty. They do not suffer from the most common reason people stay in jobs they love to hate; fear of failure.

Michael VanDervort told me he was sending a guy my way who wanted to discuss onboarding. A few tweets and emails later and we were on the phone. It was G.L. Hoffman, a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at or at You'll also find his thoughts all over U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, FastCompany, the Wall Street Journal and other business publications and newspapers.

Of note is his project LinkUp, a job search engine with a twist. What makes LinkUp better than other job websites like Monster or CareerBuilder?

The most significant difference between LinkUp and other job sites on the web is that we only list jobs from company websites. Companies interested in getting their jobs on LinkUp must send us the URL of their company website so we can link to them. This allows us to maintain a much higher quality database of jobs than you will find on any other job search site on the web today. There are no outdated jobs that have already been filled, no ads posted by recruiters and headhunters, and no identity thefts or work-at-home scams. Linkup will always generate the highest quality jobs available.

gl-readingG.L. is quite personable and friendly. He travels a lot and is a never ending fountain of ideas which he has most recently taken to documenting in the form of Gruzzles from his command post in Minneapolis. He wanted to talk about the application of Gruzzles in the onboarding process. That morphed into many other topics of discussion. I had a suspicion Gruzzles might be ruling his life and that he was obsessively viewing everything concentrically.

When did you create the first one? What was it? What inspired you?

GL: I was exploring a new way of presenting a new business plan using simple graphs and language. I was trying to take the executive summary idea to a new simpler level. The task was to find if I could explain a new business with circles, with the connections being the differentators of the business. The Gruzzle came out of this experience.

Are Gruzzles just a fad until you latch onto a new concept or are you completely obsessed with creating them as a lens to explore our existence?

GL: I am a bit obsessed on them now, just like I am when I get involved in a new company. I think there is a commercial product and I am trying to figure out how to do it. That is the fun part. What I am really obsessed about is our new job search engine called is the only place where someone can go to find jobs ONLY from company websites.

How do you take complex situations and questions and simplify them into a few intersecting circles?

GL: I am not sure to be perfectly honest. I do know that trying to make connections amongst three disparate elements stimulates my own creativity, so I thought it might do the same for others.

Do you keep a notebook with you at all times or do you grab napkins in restaurants?

GL: I have notebooks all over. Some I can do in five minutes, but most take a lot longer, days even.

Can you define Gruzzles into categories?

GL: A publisher contacted me and tried to tell me that there was a series like CHICKEN SOUP or DUMMIES in them. I think there might be a place for a Gruzzles for Babyboomers, Golfers, Enrepreneurs and so forth. Although I am finding much harder to create the narrow topics.

How do you think Gruzzles can help mankind?

GL: I don't think they are going to cure cancer, but they might be a new way to communicate in a different, faster, funnier way.

How do you pick your next project? Or, do they pick you?

GL: Good question. I am always receptive to new ideas, new concepts, new projects. The challenge is in picking which one to spend the time on. I am getting better at prioritizing, and knowing where and how to spend my time.

What will you be doing 6 months from now?

GL: Not ice fishing.

I also asked G.L. if Gruzzles keep him up at night. He said no but I'm not completely convinced. I see him up at all hours on Twitter.

What uses do you envision for Gruzzles? Inquiring minds want to know.


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