Reid Hoffman Techno-dude and all round good guy.
“It took a long, long time for me to start to think about myself as an entrepreneur”.
Reid’s initial plan was to become an academic for social change. Did a postgraduate degree in Philosophy at Oxford and realised that he had no interest in becoming an academic. He had the revelation that software has a huge potential to reach far more people so wanted to learn how to design products, ship products, make great stuff. Joined Fujitsu and Apple before joining Pay Pal in 2000. Pay Pal was a huge ride but incredibly rich learning experience.
Key takeaway from Pay Pal:
- Make all decisions in a time impoverished manner. If you take a long time over a decision, it had better be a very important decision.
After selling Pay Pal to eBay in 2002, Silicon Valley was falling out of love with consumer internet businesses which seemed like a good time to (a) start one and (b) invest in some. (Reid’s angel investments include: www.facebook.com, www.zynga.com, www.linkedin.com, www.digg.com, www.last.fm, www.bioscale.com, www.nanosolar.com, www.taxipass.com, www.naseeb.com, www.technorati.com, www.realtravel.com, www.targetedgrowth.com, www.wikia.com, www.adventsolar.com, www.oorjaprotonics.com, www.bioscale.com, www.ning.com, www.tagged.com, www.kongregate.com, www.intentmedia.com, www.funnyordie.com, www.ironport.com, www.flixster.com, www.care.com, www.grockit.com, www.mashlogic.com, www.opencandy.com, www.knewton.com, www.intentmedia.com, www.winster.com, www.aviary.com, www.grouply.com, www.seesmic.com, www.viglink.com, www.buysight.com, www.onekingslane.com, www.shopkick.com, and www.sixapart.com).
The power of Reid’s network, and his expertise at managing it, meant that he could start LinkedIn in 3 days though he has only started to think of himself as an entrepreneur in the past three years.
His passions now are education and entrepreneurship. Thinks about how you can make a massive difference at scale.
How did LinkedIn grow?
- Now adding 1,000,000 users every ten days.
- 85,000,000 participants now.
It took a long time to get going however. The value of a network depends on the size of the network so in early years it grew slowly. When there are very few participants, there is very little value. You could not start LinkedIn today in the way that it was started 10 years ago as there is too much noise.