Reid Hoffman

Reid Garrett Hoffman is an American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist, podcaster, and author, who co-founded LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network used primarily for professional networking.
Summary

Reid Hoffman is an entrepreneur, investor, and strategist known for co-founding LinkedIn, a social media platform for professionals. Before LinkedIn, he co-founded and served as CEO of SocialNet, an online dating site, and worked at PayPal, where he helped grow the company into a leading online payment system. 

Reid is also a prolific investor and has backed successful startups like Airbnb, Zynga, and Facebook. His strategic approach to entrepreneurship is centered around the idea of "blitzscaling," a term he coined to describe the rapid scaling of a startup in order to achieve dominant market share. According to Reid, blitzscaling requires a combination of speed, agility, and risk-taking, as well as a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them. He has written extensively on the topic and teaches a course on blitzscaling at Stanford University.

He has also written several books on entrepreneurship and technology, including "The Startup of You," which provides a roadmap for building a successful career in today's fast-paced, ever-changing job market. His other best-sellers and notable books are: “The Alliance”, and “Masters of Scale”. 

Reid is also a frequent speaker at conferences and events, where he shares his insights on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership. He also hosts the popular podcast "Masters of Scale," where he interviews successful entrepreneurs and business leaders about their experiences building and scaling their companies. The podcast has been widely praised for its insightful conversations and practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Reid is a vocal advocate of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to transform industries and solve some of the world's most pressing problems. He has supported initiatives that promote responsible AI development, such as the Partnership on AI, which brings together tech companies, academics, and non-profit organisations to collaborate on ethical AI practices. 

Reid is known for his wider range of interests. Beyond startups and technology, he has made valuable contributions to politics, philosophy, board games, philanthropy, and science fiction. He serves as the Board Member for several not-for-profit organisations, including the Berggruen Institute, Kiva, New America, Endeavor, the MacArthur Foundation’s Lever for Change, CZI Biohub, and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI.

Reid was born on August 05, 1967, in Palo Alto, California, U.S. He earned a B.S. with distinction in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University and has a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Oxford University. Babson University and the University of Oulu also awarded him Honorary Doctorate degrees.

Reid has received various awards for his philanthropic work, including the Visionary Award by Silicon Valley Forum, an honorary CBE from Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom, the "Salute to Greatness Award" from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, the "Marshall Medal" by UK Marshall Commission, and David Packard Medal of Achievement Award by TechAmerica. 

Biography

Professional Career:

Reid Garrett Hoffman is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, investor, and strategist, who has been an integral player behind many of the today's leading consumer technology businesses, including LinkedIn, Zynga, Last.fm, Flickr, and PayPal. He has had a successful career in the entrepreneurial capacity for more than two decades now.

His entrepreneurial journey began with SocialNet.com, which he founded in 1997 to offer online dating and matching services, like matching golfers with partners of similar interests in their neighbourhood.

Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn in December 2002 with two former colleagues from SocialNet. Launched on May 5, 2003, it was one of the first business-oriented online social networks. LinkedIn has been a game changer in the world of professional networking, boasting over 774 million members in over 200 countries and territories. LinkedIn has revolutionised the way professionals connect and engage with each other, making it the go-to platform for job seekers, recruiters, and companies looking for new talent. Over 50 million companies have a LinkedIn page, and 97% of recruiters use the platform to find candidates for job openings. The platform has seen an impressive 55% increase in conversations among connections, with over 5 billion conversations taking place on the platform every week.

As an investor at Aufklarung LLC, Reid played a key role in the success of iconic companies such as Facebook, Zynga, Digg, Fandom, Ironport, and Airbnb. He also helped new companies like Aurora and Convoy to scale. 
In his present role as a partner at Greylock, he focusses on to build market-transforming companies, like Workday, Roblox, Palo Alto Networks, Dropbox, Pure Storage, Convoy, Pandora, Instagram and Discord. He also represents the company on the boards of Aurora, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Magical Tome, Nauto, and Neeva.  

Reid has been one of the pioneers in the field of AI, having ventured into the space since its very inception. He has since been the proponent of the technology, advocating for its applications and investing in companies like OpenAI and Inflection.AI.

Reid also backed the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, a joint venture between the MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

He is a board member of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). The mission of HAI is to "advance AI research, education, policy and practice to improve the human condition".

Reid also launched the HAI's Hoffman-Yee Research Grants to "fund interdisciplinary teams with research spanning HAI’s key areas of focus: understanding the human and societal impact of AI, augmenting human capabilities, and developing AI technologies inspired by human intelligence". 
 

Published works:

Reid is a frequent public speaker, known for his approachability and skill at explaining complex topics with clarity. He also benchmarks this skill by translating his ideas into words. He has co-authored many books, including Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies. The book, which was published in October 2018 by Currency Publication House, provides a general framework as well as specific techniques to facilitate the significant scaling of companies at an accelerated speed. 

The Start-up of You, The Alliance, and Masters of Scale, were his other two books that were New York Times best-sellers. "The Startup of You: Adapt, Take Risks, Grow Your Network, and Transform Your Career", published in February 2012, guides readers to accelerate their careers and gives them direction. "The Alliance: Managing Talent In The Networked Age" was published in July 2014 by Harvard Business Review Press. The book teaches managers how to recruit, manage, and retain the entrepreneurial employees their business needs to succeed in the networked age. 

Reid also hosts "Masters of Scale", a business and finance podcast, produced and owned by WaitWhat. The podcast's first episode was released in May 2017, featuring the CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky. The podcast aims to highlight a comprehensive theory for scaling successful businesses. Reid distilled these collective insights of his guests into a set of counterintuitive principles, and authored them into "Masters of Scale: Surprising truths from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs". The book was published in September of 2021 by Bantam Press. 

His latest book, Impromptu: Amplifying our Humanity through AI, is the product of OpenAI's "latest, most powerful language model". 


Vision

Reid is known for his wider range of interests. Beyond startups and technology, he has made valuable contributions to politics, philosophy, board games, philanthropy, and science fiction. He serves as the Board Member for several not-for-profit organisations, including the Berggruen Institute, Kiva, New America, Endeavor, the MacArthur Foundation’s Lever for Change, CZI Biohub, and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI.
 

He lives by the philosophy that he shared in his book "The Startup of You":
 

“If you’re in permanent beta in your career, twenty years of experience actually is twenty years of experience because each year will be marked by new, enriching challenges and opportunities. Permanent beta is essentially a lifelong commitment to continuous personal growth. Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’."
 


Recognition and Awards
Reid has received various awards for his philanthropic work, including the Visionary Award by Silicon Valley Forum, an honorary CBE from Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom, the "Salute to Greatness Award" from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, the "Marshall Medal" by UK Marshall Commission, and David Packard Medal of Achievement Award by TechAmerica. Other accomplishments by Reid include: Time 100 Most Influential People (2010) Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement (2011) David Packard Award for entrepreneurship (2012) Global Leaders for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum (2003) Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business (2008) Wall Street Journal Innovator of the Year Award (2009) Silicon Valley Visionary Award (2010) Fortune 40 Under 40 (2011) Harvard Business Review's Top 10 Best-Performing CEOs in the World (2015) Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Babson College (2015)

References
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Reid Hoffman
Residence
USA
Occupation
Entrepreneur, product, business strategist, investor, podcaster
Education
B.S. (Symbolic Systems, Stanford University), M.St. (Philosophy, University of Oxford), Honorary Doctor of Laws, Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies (Babson College), Honorary Doctor, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (University of Oulu)
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