Happy Birthday Reid Hoffman: The Genius Mind Behind the Professional Social Networking Platform, LinkedIn

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The world had no idea what a professional social network should look like, until LinkedIn Corp was founded on May 5, 2003. Soon after its launch, it became one of the most widely used social networking websites for all job seekers and business professionals across the world. Reid Garrett Hoffman, the former Executive Chairman and co-founder of LinkedIn, as well as a venture capitalist, podcaster, and author, turns 56 today. On this occasion, we bring a few interesting, yet less known, facts about Reid Hoffman.

Date of Birth: August 5, 1967

Net Worth:  $2.2 Billion

  1. Reid Hoffman earned his B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University in 1990 and later pursued an M.St. in Philosophy from the prestigious University of Oxford in 1993.
  2. As a teenager in college, Hoffman dreamed of doing something bigger that would have a global impact. He majored in philosophy at Oxford in order to improve his writing and strengthen the intellectual public culture. Indeed, his writing helped him in evaluating where he stood in terms of achieving his goals.
  3. In 1994, Reid Hoffman took his first job at Apple Computer, where he worked on eWorld – a subscription-based online service. This venture caught the attention of AOL, which eventually acquired eWorld in 1996. In 1997, Reid Hoffman co-founded his first company SocialNet.com, a dating website. While working on SocialNet, he joined PayPal as a member of the board of directors. Later in January 2000, he left SocialNet to join Paypal as Executive Vice-President. He was responsible for all external relationships for PayPal, including payments infrastructure (VISA, MasterCard, ACH, Wells Fargo), business development (eBay, Intuit, others), government (Regulatory, Judicial), and legal.
  4. In 2003, Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn, along with team members Allen BlueEric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, and Chris Saccheri. Today, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 774+ million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
  5. In December 2016, Hoffman sold LinkedIn to Microsoft for $26.2 billion in cash. After the acquisition, on March 14, 2017, Hoffman joined Microsoft as a board member.
  6. Hoffman has also been an active angel investor. Between September 2000 and November 2009, he made investments (seed, series A) in over 70 companies, including Facebook, Zynga, Digg, Last.fm, Flickr, Fandom, Ironport, Shopkick. Reid Hoffman’s most well-known investment was in Facebook, which is now the world’s largest social media company. Interestingly, he arranged the first meeting between Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel, which resulted in Thiel’s initial $500,000 angel investment in Facebook. Hoffman had also invested in Facebook’s first financing round.
  7. In November 2009, Hoffman joined Greylock Partners, one of the oldest venture capital firms. His major funding areas at Greylock include consumer internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments, SAAS, and social networks. Hoffman’s other venture capital investments include Airbnb, Apollo, Aurora, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Magical Tome, Nauto, Neeva, and Xapo.
  8. Reid Hoffman currently serves on the Board of Directors for a number of non-profit organisations, including Endeavor Global, Opportunity@Work, Research Bridge Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, QuestBridge, Center for Citizen Media, etc.
  9. Reid Hoffman podcast: On May 3, 2017, Reid Hoffman hosted a podcast called Masters of Scale. Each episode begins with Hoffman introducing a theory on how successful businesses scale, and then tests its validity by interviewing some of the world’s top founders about their path to scale. Guests on Masters of Scale Episodes include Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Starbucks founder and former CEO Howard Schultz, Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings, FCA and Exor Chairman John Elkann and Beth Ford (CEO of Land O’Lakes), Indra Nooyi (former CEO Pepsi), Sara Blakely (Spanx), Robert Reffkin (Compass) and Robert F. Smith (investor) and many others.
  10. Reid Hoffman was ranked 14 in 2023, 40 in 2022 and 22 in 2021 on the Forbes Midas List of Top Tech Investors.
  11. Reid Hoffman’s net worth stands at $2.2 billion as of August 2023, up 5% from 2021. He is ranked 1445 on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires in 2022, and 1575 in 2023.

“I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not”, these words of Hoffman depict his faith in human capability, which led him a long way to success.

“Failure is the stepping stone of success” depicts Hoffman’s life story and how he dealt with failure to transform it into a stunning victory for LinkedIn and for himself.

The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with their exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marrisa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, and Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.


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