Sputnik & David Hoffman

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On October 4th, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, humankind’s first artificial satellite.  This 184 lb. round ball of metal triggered a response in the United States which is now called The Sputnik Moment — a period of several years that began a scientific, political and cultural transformation in America and was the beginning of a Space Race.

David Hoffman, The Sputnik Moment’s “unofficial historian,” will be accepting for himself and on behalf of the many individuals who worked on Sputnik and all human technological endeavors since.

David Hoffman has been innovative in a number of different professions and disruptive in every one of them. A 50 year veteran documentary filmmaker producing 178 television shows and series mostly for PBS, strategic communications consultant to corporations like AT&T, UTC, Google, Amazon, and GE among others, a startup guy founding 3 businesses, music producer, publisher of 17 books, greeting card creator, Chief Communications Officer (CCO) to several dozen startups, and currently executive producer of Jay Walker’s LabTV. Hoffman lives and works in Santa Cruz California and continues to produce films–“one man band moviemaking” as he calls it, currently using extremely portable equipment as the photograph above indicates.

Sputnik, pictured in Jay Walker's Library of The History of Human Imagination

Sputnik, pictured in Jay Walker’s Library of The History of Human Imagination

Among Hoffman’s 5 documentary feature films, is Sputnik Mania (2009) and its spinoff, the one-hour documentary The Sputnik Moment. In creating this film, Hoffman spent more than a year uncovering the profound changes that took place in America within the 18 months after the Soviets launched Sputnik.

sputnik mania poster 3Sputnik Mania Poster



Related Links:

David Hoffman – Website

How to See The Complete Feature Documentary: Sputnik Mania

How to Get The 1-hour Documentary: The Sputnik Moment

Social Media:

Facebook – David Hoffman
Twitter – @davidhoffmanca

13 Responses to “Sputnik & David Hoffman”

  1. mary carey says:

    Dear Mr. Hoffman,

    I always knew I was in the presence of a very gifted man when we lived in Maine.
    It is no surprise my life long friendship with Iris remains as great as the day we met. Cheers to Jeanne for all she is and has accomplished. Wow. What a group. I am so proud.
    All the best,
    Mary Carey

  2. How brilliant! This award is perfect for honoring film maker David Hoffman. Creatively un-hingied as an innovator, David brings genius to the story telling role and the fine art of documentary film making.

    Curiosity seeks creativity. The films of David Hoffman inspire, captivate and make us question. A story and a camera represent the superhero cape of David Hoffman. Bravo.

  3. Joyce Boaz says:


    This is so well deserved.

    I am very excited for you and the family.

    I have been a fan of your work for many years. Following Amelia Earhart is one of my favorite films along with Making Sense of the Sixties. No one creates thought provoking films like you do.

    Best wishes,
    Joyce Boaz

  4. Jo Potocki says:

    I’m proud to say David is a friend and most definitely deserving of being recognized for his disruptive innovation.
    All kidding aside, congrats David!

  5. Mike says:

    A big congratulations to my dear friend David Hoffman who is a gracious, gentle soul with a passion filled tiger inside. What impresses me the most is your openness and your ability to turn on the mental juice and deeply connect with curiosity and brilliance in a flash. You are most deserving of this honor!


  6. If there is one thing that characterizes really great work it is what you DON’T see, that was edited out, that you DO see in full in the mediocre work we are submerged in today which overwhelms by its excess rather than its artistic choices.

    When I see something David Hoffman has done I am FULL of his brilliant compression and required to be alert 100% of the time…

    Hoffman stands out all the more among the play pretend media masters of today. They use cheaper media and time is no restraint upon them with digital media. They never had to work about working under Hoffman’s very real cost and media limitations….

    Wordsworth’s sonnet to the Sonnet “Nuns fret not” comes to mind.

    “Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
    Should find brief solace there, as I have found.”

  7. John Johnson says:

    David Hoffman – you are enternally young, deeply curious about all things, and full of love for life and for your fellow Earthlings.

    Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!


  8. David Hoffman doesn’t have to try to be original. He simply is. The way his mind works, the way he talks, the way he conceives an idea and executes it, is always his very own. Having known him for many years and having seen quite a few of his documentaries, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award and many more.

  9. Caroline hoffman says:

    Congratulations David. Well deserved. When I think back about all the films you’ve made since you began in your early twenties, each one has had an element of pure innovation. Your creative mind is bounty-less.

  10. Tom Wills says:

    Much deserved reocgnition, David. Many congratulations!

    As you know, I see you as a role model in more ways than one, and achieving this award (or more importantly, doing what you did to achieve it) is yet another way.

    Here’s to more disruption for fun and profit, for many years to come.

  11. Sara Jessen Burdick says:

    David is one of the most creative, passionate and thought provoking individuals I have met. I have learned a great deal from this man and feel truly blessed to call him a friend. Congratulations my friend!! You definitely deserve this award!

  12. Thomas Dolby says:

    I can think of few people who deserve a Disruptive Innovation award more than David Hoffman. He views life through a unique lens that gives him the vision and insight to cut straight to the heart of the matter. It shows in his films, in his business ventures, and in his relationships. This is why his counsel is so highly valued by the powerful and the influential: he has an ability to sweep aside the BS and tell it like it is.

    David has supported and advised me for nearly twenty years, and has been a loyal friend. I’m continually impressed by his enthusiasm, and the limitless flow of fresh ideas. I am sure David is rightly proud to receive this award, and share it with his large circle of friends and his delightful family.

    Heartfelt Congratulations!

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