Reid Hoffman, an Internet Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist & LinkedIn Cofounder

Reid Hoffman is an internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn, used primarily for professional networking. Currently Reid is a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners.

With a net worth of US$3.3 billion On the Forbes 2017 list of the world’s billionaires, Hoffman was ranked 630. His first paid job was at the age of 12 as an editor at the game company Chaosium. Hoffman’s name featured on the box of Chaosium’s RuneQuest role-playing game release Borderlands while he was still 14.

Reid Hoffman graduated from Stanford University in 1990, where he won both a Marshall Scholarship and a Dinkelspiel Award, with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and Cognitive Science.

When I graduated from Stanford my plan was to become a professor and public intellectual. That is not about quoting Kant. It’s about holding up a lens to society and asking ‘who are we?’ and ‘who should we be, as individuals and a society?’ But I realised academics write books that 50 or 60 people read and I wanted more impact.Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman at PayPal

Hoffman was a member of the board of directors while he was still at SocialNet during the founding of PayPal. He left SocialNet in 2000 to join PayPal full-time as the company’s COO.

PayPal had to scratch and claw for every advantage it had, and Reid became an expert at competing effectively in an extremely competitive environment.Allan Blue, Early PayPal member

Hoffman was responsible for all external relationships for PayPal, including payments infrastructure , business development along with government  and legal matters. Hoffman’s boss at PayPal, Peter Thiel has said that Hoffman “was the firefighter-in-chief at PayPal. Though that diminishes his role because there were many, many fires.”

Reid Hoffman as LinkedIn co-founder

Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn in December 2002 with two former colleagues from SocialNet. LinkedIn was launched as one of the first business-oriented online social networks. Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois, who were colleagues of Hoffman’s at PayPal, were early investors in LinkedIn.

For the first four years, Reid Hoffman was LinkedIn’s founding CEO before becoming chairman and president of products in February 2007. Thereafter, he became executive chairman in June 2009. Hoffman owns a stake worth an estimated $2.34 billion in the company. Hoffman, however, believes that many people still do not know how to use the services of LinkedIn and it is the responsibility of LinkedIn  to help them out. In an interview, Hoffman said that “you have to think proactively about how to use a tool that enables your ability to move in ways that you weren’t able to move before, and most of people are not very good at that”.

After Microsoft acquired LinkedIn on June 13, 2016 for $26.2 billion in cash, Hoffman became a Microsoft board member on March 14, 2017.

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