Reid Hoffman is an American online entrepreneur who is most known for co-founding LinkedIn, a professional social networking site. In addition, he is a venture capitalist and the author of two New York Times best-selling books. He is now well-known as a successful businessman and an innovative entrepreneur, despite the fact that only a few years ago he was struggling with his first start-up, SocialNet, which allowed users to connect with friends. Even though he had to abandon the project after only a few years, his early failures taught him a lot about the dynamics of business management, and he went on to become one of the most successful internet entrepreneurs in the United States. From a young age, he has been a creative thinker and quick learner. He went to the Putney School, where he studied while also driving oxen and farming maple syrup. He was a bright student who won a Marshall Scholarship while attending Stanford University, allowing him to continue his education at Oxford University. Though he had intended to become a professor and public intellectual, he finally changed his mind and opted to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. He found great success when he co-founded LinkedIn with a few friends in December 2002, after gaining some work experience at Apple Computers and PayPal and experiencing a start-up failure.
Childhood and Adolescence
Reid Garrett Hoffman, the sole child of Deanna Ruth and William Parker Hoffman, Jr., was born on August 5, 1967, in Palo Alto, California, United States. His parents were also attorneys.
He attended the Putney School, where he participated in a variety of extracurricular activities such as maple syrup cultivation and oxen driving in addition to his studies.
He went to Stanford University after graduating from high school, earning a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and Cognitive Science in 1990. He demonstrated his ability as a university student by winning a Marshall Scholarship, one of the most prestigious prizes in the United States.
In 1993, he received an M.A. in Philosophy from Wolfson College, Oxford University, as a Marshall Scholar. Reid was interested in pursuing an academic career as a professor and public intellectual while in university. Later on, he recognized that his genuine passion was to become an entrepreneur.
Career of Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman joined Apple Computers in 1994, shortly after graduating from Oxford. eWorld, an early attempt at developing a social network that was acquired by AOL in 1996, was one of his earliest projects. He also contributed to projects such as Classifieds, Global Access Assistant, and other important initiatives.
After leaving Apple, he went to Fujitsu for a period. He was seriously considering starting his own business at this point. He co-founded his first company, SocialNet.com, in 1997. “On-line dating and connecting persons with similar interests” was the focus. However, due to his lack of business management skills, he was compelled to quit the project in 1999.
Hoffman joined the board of directors of PayPal, the electronic money transmission business, while still managing SocialNet. In the year 2000, he became the full-time COO of PayPal.
At PayPal, he was in charge of Payments Infrastructure (VISA, MasterCard, ACH, WellsFargo), Business Development (eBay, Intuit, and others), Government (Regulatory, Judicial), and Legal matters. He also assumed responsibilities for PR, Strategy, Payments Innovations, and Customer Service on occasion. He quickly ascended through the ranks, eventually becoming the company’s executive vice president in 2002, thanks to his unwavering dedication.
Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn with some of his former colleagues and friends in December 2002. It was one of the first business-oriented online social networks to be launched. Soon after its inception, the site, which allows registered users to construct professional profiles and engage with one another, became popular.
Hoffman was the company’s first CEO for four years before becoming chairman and president of products in February 2007. By 2009, he had risen to the position of executive chairman.
Hoffman became one of Silicon Valley’s most prolific and successful angel investors after becoming a successful entrepreneur and amassing a large fortune. In 2010, he joined Greylock Partners and now manages their $20 million Discovery Fund. Consumer and services, enterprise software, consumer Internet, online marketplaces, payments, and social networks are all areas of interest for him at Greylock.
He’s also a prolific writer who has contributed to a variety of LinkedIn publications as a “LinkedIn Influencer.” He’s also published a number of op-eds in the Washington Post.
In 2012, he and co-author Ben Casnocha released the career book “The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.” It earned great reviews from critics and became a bestseller in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
With Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh, he co-wrote ‘The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age,’ which was released in 2014. The authors of the book explain how, in today’s unpredictable market, a corporation and its employees may work together toward common goals, even if some of their interests vary, and develop long-term connections. This was also a best-seller.
Major Projects of Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman is most known for co-founding LinkedIn, which at the time of its inception was one of the first business-oriented social networking services. The website has grown in popularity to the point where it is now available in 24 languages, including Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. In more than 200 countries and territories, it has more than 364 million acquired users.
philanthropic activities of Reid Hoffman
In 2006-07, he was a member of the Center for Citizen Media’s board of advisors. The Center is a non-profit collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Harvard University Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
Reid Hoffman is a board member of Kiva.org, a peer-to-peer microlending pioneer that allows anyone to lend money to low-income/underserved entrepreneurs and students using the internet. In 2012, he made a $1 million loan to Kiva.
Achievements & Awards
Reid Hoffman was honored by TechAmerica in 2012 with the David Packard Medal of Achievement Award for his achievements to the high-tech sector, his community, and humanity.
Hoffman won the Commonwealth Club’s Distinguished Citizen Award in April 2014. Hoffman received the annual Golden Plate award from the Academy of Achievement later that year, which celebrates distinguished persons “for significant achievement in their disciplines.”
Personal History and Legacy
In 2004, he married Michelle Yee.
Estimated Net Worth
Reid Hoffman has a net worth of $4.6 billion as of October 2015.