Reid Hoffman on Charlie Rose

Meliza Solan Surdi · March 6, 2009 · Short URL:

LinkedIn founder shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship and social networking


Reid Hoffman, who founded LinkedIn, was just on Charlie Rose this week. His professional network site has over 36 million users in over 200 countries and territories. The site adds one new user every second. Hoffman is known as one of the most connected people in Silicon Valley.

His thoughts on "social networking" is embedded here. But for his entire interview, click here.

Below are are some highlights from the interview between Hoffman and Rose.

When Hoffman started LinkedIn, he saw a new generation of Internet applications that would allow people to take their lives with them online. His decision was to invest in the social side of networking. He invested in Six Apart, Wikia, Facebook and Friendster. But he wanted to build the professional side because he wanted to be a part of an individual's life for the 40 or so years that they are working. 

Hoffman believes entrepreneurship is what can accelerate the U.S. economy out of the recession. Silicon Valley is very future and investment oriented and is not as affected as other parts of the world and this country.  LinkedIn can help provide the tools because it is bringing together financiers, employees, customers, advisers, etc. People in the Valley are saying there's a problem and what can they build to help the economy get out of the recession?

One of the most attractive parts of the Internet to Hoffman is finding the kinds of applications that make a difference in life since everyone can now participate. So unlike traditional media, he finds an interest in the fact that millions of people are participating in certain applications can change people's lives.

One of the things Hoffman sees happening within the community is that there is going to be a lot of intelligent use of groups, unlike chat rooms where strangers communicated without a key purpose. Part of the whole Web 2.0 revolution is that now people are taking real relationships and placing those online and letting this kind of interaction be the main influence instead of a chat room. Maintaining a relationship with people that matter to you most or people you have a common professional or hobby with, tends to improve your life a lot more.

Hoffman invested in Friendster and does believe that this company will be successful.Yet it is one of the those cases where "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" is the way he expresses his thoughts on the company. Friendster had the idea but it was easily swept away. They were principally challenged when they could not get their execution together and end up with very slow page load speeds, people just gave up on using Friendster.

(I'll be adding more highlights later. So check back)

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