I’m at the Endeavor conference in Miami and today’s keynote speaker is Reid Hoffman (Founder & CEO of LinkedIn). I’m going to try and paraphrase what Reid says – so this blog post is by no means verbatim and just highlights the key themes of his talk.
Part of the thesis upon which LinkedIn is based, is that all individuals are in effect small businesses and need to brand themselves as such and preserve their relationships with the people that you meet.
Entrepreneurs are typically always looking for people for advice, funding, employees etc. By using LinkedIn, you can narrow down and reliably look for people that are in your network who can assist you in your venture.
Innovation: You have to assume that they are ahead
Speed: The company who deploys the product or service first – becomes the leader
Adaptation: Fail fast – fail often – quick learning allows for iterative development and allows you to adapt.
Silicon Valley has a culture of sharing ideas and getting feedback, and then optimizing the business model for that feedback. Don’t operate in a vacuum.
Competitive awareness: LinkedIn saw the rise of Twitter a long time before the rest of the market and built special apps that pick up on it.
Reid invested in FlickR based on a personal introduction – which is a good filter for him. Also, applies to hiring – personal recommendations are much better for hiring people than any other channel.
In terms of find employees, LinkedIn is good for:
1. Finding a huge pool of passive employees
2. Reaching people in your network
3. Reference checking
“Entrepreneurship is throwing yourself off a cliff, and building a plane on the way down” – Reid Hoffman
Success as an individual is often achieved by leveraging the knowledge and experience of your network.
The hallmark of successful entrepreneurs and businesses is the ability to quickly assemble high quality teams to solve problems.