Zillow Speaker Series: Hadi Partovi (VIDEO)

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How do you know when a project or idea is doomed from the start?

What’s more important — a great idea or perseverance? Or both?

And, is there science to creating something viral?

These are some of the questions angel investor and startup advisor Hadi Partovi answered as he stopped by Zillow’s Seattle headquarters last week as the latest guest in the Zillow Speaker Series.

Prior to entering the entrepreneurial space, Partovi was Group Program Manager at Microsoft for Internet Explorer and General Manager of MSN.com. He co-founded Tellme Networks (which he sold to Microsoft for $800 million), was a co-creator of iLike (which he sold to MySpace) and he is currently an investor in Facebook, Dropbox, and BlueKai (to name a few), Partovi has had plenty of experience in the startup space.

Partovi shared that he often looks more at the people behind a start-up than the idea itself. For example, when he first became interested in Zappos, he thought selling shoes online seemed strange. The year was 1999 and he felt the slow download speeds would make shopping and viewing multiple shoes time-consuming and slow, but now it’s the way most people buy shoes, he said.

He explained, “I was not psyched about Zappos, but I was psyched about Tony Hsieh, [the current CEO of Zappos.]”

Partovi also said that more than a great idea is the perseverance and execution of the idea.

“It’s doing an idea in a way that is efficient, cheap and your customers love it,” he said.

Interested to hear more? Click the video above to learn more from Partovi’s lunchtime chat.

Imagine a job where you get to have lunch and listen to interesting people like Partovi — for free. We have it at Zillow. Check out Zillow’s job pageswe’re hiring!

Previous Zillow Speaker Series guests include: