Interview with Michael Cohen

1. How has your career path changed up until now?
Originally I was focused on growing my business career within the traditional advertising industry, had some early career success, but saw how the technology vendor client side worked and was so intrigued, I transitioned into innovation and tech industry commercialization 8 yrs into my career and never looked back. 

2. Did you have a mentor who helped you get to where you are now? If so, what would you say is the most important thing you learned from your mentor?
I was very fortunate to have a select group of mentors over my career who were instrumental in my growth and success for sure. The most important thing I learned is that business ( all areas and types ) is all about people. Ideas, finance and execution are very important, but when you understand that business is about people and “the inventory goes down in the elevator at night”, you have the key to success.

3. What advice would you give to those pursuing their first business venture?
Make sure that you fully, and I mean fully, collect and go after real world market feedback on your idea, product or service BEFORE you invest your seed capital in prototyping or beta development. Absolutely ensure that you are filling a gap or solving a problem in your chosen market, THEN invest your precious capital and bandwidth.

4. How do you overcome risk when it comes to making business decisions?
See answer #3!

5. Why did you decide to become a mentor/ investor for the Hospitality Innovation Hub Incubator?
I truly enjoy being part of the ideation process of when new smart business leaders have that special spark and ambition. It’s the purest form of business and innovation, and frankly the global hospitality industry needs much more of that energy and successful execution. The NYU Hospitality Innovation Hub is simply a top tier implementation of such.

6. What book are you currently reading?
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose - by Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos

7. What is your favorite vacation destination?
Costa Rica 

8. What is your favorite movie?

9. Any last words you would like to share....
It’s so important to remember to enjoy the journey in your business and personal life. You have one life make the most of it.

Michael Cohen