Get Closer To LinkedIn Founder, Reid Hoffman, Who Built the Over $4 Billion Company into a Powerhouse

| May 21, 2011 | 2 Comments

Meet Reid Hoffman – the angel investor, entrepreneur and consultant who rules with years of experience both within his companies and without.

His story should be taken very seriously, because he has been in and out of several businesses. Apart from being a cofounder at LinkedIn and partner at Greylock Partners, he has been an adviser to several giant companies including Facebook, Zynga, Flickr etc.

Also, Reid Hoffman is arguably the most successful angel investor in the past decade with 80 angel investments in technology companies.

Reid Hoffman’s Background

Reid Hoffman was born on the 5th of August, 1967. He grew up in California and graduated from Stanford University in 1990 before heading to Oxford University in 1993. It is quite interesting how Reid Hoffman, who intended to become a professor, ended up being a business man and investor.

Reid Hoffman & LinkedIn

Reid Hoffman was the founding Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn, a professional social networking platform for business-minded people.

LinkedIn actually began in the living room of Reid Hoffman in 2002 and was launched in May 2003.

As at 2003, LinkedIn was valued at only $15 million. However, recent valuation puts LinkedIn at about $4.25 billion for a website with over 100 million registered users in over 200 countries and available in about six major languages. LinkedIn receives over 47 million visitors all around the world every month.

Reid Hoffman’s Mind Exposed

In an interview with Reid Hoffman on CNNMoney in 2009, he revealed three essential tools of success for business leaders and CEOs:

  1. It’s okay to be brief
  2. Be willing to change course
  3. Don’t be a perfectionist

Here’s something very important he said, “be diligent about failing fast so that you don’t spend five years doing something that’s just going to fail”. He emphasized the strong importance of efficient time management – having brief meetings, writing brief emails etc.

Image of LinkedIn cofounder, Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman built LinkedIn into a Powerhouse

In another story on CNNMoney, Reid Hoffman revealed a bitter lesson he learned from experience,

“… as much as you are building a really great product, you have to understand your product distribution strategy. How do you get to millions of users, and tens of millions?”

Furthermore, Reid Hoffman spoke from experience when he advised that entrepreneurs should avoid waiting to create a perfect product before launching. He emphasized this point in rules #6 and #7 of his Ten Entrepreneurship Rules for Building Massive Companies which include:

  • Rule #1: Look for disruptive change.
  • Rule #2: Aim big.
  • Rule #3: Build a network to magnify your company.
  • Rule #4: Plan for good luck and bad luck.
  • Rule #5: Maintain flexible persistence.
  • Rule #6: Launch early enough that you are embarrassed by your first product release.
  • Rule #7: Aspire, but don’t drink your own Kool-Aid.
  • Rule #8: Having a great product is important but having great product distribution is more important.
  • Rule #9: Pay close attention to culture and hires from the very beginning.
  • Rule #10: Rules of entrepreneurship are guidelines, not laws of nature.

You should compare these rules with the 16 rules of success in Business & Life in General by the CEO of GoDaddy, Bob Parsons.

Reid Hoffman Career Progression

Reid Hoffman began his working career with Apple Computer and Fujitsu where he was involved in product management. Afterwards, he cofounded his first company, an online dating service, SocialNet.com.

At that time, Reid Hoffman was also on the board of directors at the founding of an electronic money transfer service, Paypal.com before he became a fulltime employee.

Currently, Reid Hoffman is a member of the Board Of Directors of Mozilla Corporation (since August 2005); member of the Board of Directors of Kiva.org (since June 2006); member of Provost Council of College Eight, UCSC (since July 2006); member of the Board of Directors of Zynga (since March 2008); Chair of Westcoast Advisory Board (since September 2008); and Partner at Greylock. Still, he is the Executive Chairman of LinkedIn.

Connect with Reid Hoffman

On LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman is recognized as a cofounder along with Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant, while Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Lee Hower, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante and Chris Saccheri are referred to as the founding team.

On LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman describes himself as an entrepreneur, product strategist and investor living in San Francisco Bay.  Connect him @ reidhoffman.

Further Reading for Business Leaders & CEOs

  1. Revelations from the Life of Jeff Bezos: The Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com
  2. 3 Priceless Internet Business Secrets You Should Learn from Jimmy Wales, Co-founder of Wikipedia
  3. Meet Forbes’ 24th World Billionaire: The Founding CEO of Google, Larry Page
  4. Maximizing Your Social Media Strategies: Advice from Thought Leaders in Internet Marketing
  5. How Cofounder & President, Arianna Huffington Started Huffington Post & Sold to AOL for $315 million

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Category: Entrepreneurs

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