Reid Hoffman: personal life and career
Reid Hoffman is an American businessman, author, and entrepreneur, best known as one of the creators of LinkedIn. His brainchild has become the most useful service for making new business connections and finding jobs.
Hoffman was born on August 5, 1967, in Stanford, California. He attended Putney High School and then went to Stanford University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in cognitive science and symbolic systems in 1990. He received a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University in 1993.
Reid Hoffman wanted to do something meaningful, something that would positively affect the world. He realized that while his education would undoubtedly be of great benefit to him, he ultimately wanted to become an entrepreneur. So in 1994 he joined Apple Computer, here were his first attempts to create a social network.
He worked on eWorld, which was acquired by AOL, and in 1996 he took a job at Fujitsu for a while before starting his first company called SocialNet.com. It was basically a dating site, but at the time it was one of the first services of its kind. During that time, Hoffman was also a board member of PayPal. He left SocialNet.com in 2000 and joined PayPal as COO. By 2002, he was a vice president of the company.
Reid Hoffman as the creator of LinkedIn
In 2002, Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn with two of his colleagues from SocialNet. The site, launched in May 2003, was one of the first of its kind. Since November 2012, LinkedIn has had more than 187 million users in 200 countries. Forbes called the site “the most profitable social networking tool available today for job seekers and business professionals.” He first served as LinkedIn’s CEO and became president of products in 2007. In June 2009, Hoffman became executive chairman of the company.
After PayPal was sold to eBay, Hoffman became a successful and one of Silicon Valley’s most creative investors. Known as a “Silicon Valley super investor,” Reid Hoffman has invested in many businesses such as Zynga, Wikia, SixApart, Permuta, Flickr, Ping.fm, Care.com, Kongregate, Tagged, IronPort, OneKingsLane, Edmodo, shopkick, Vendio Digg, Nanosolar, Knewton, Technetto, Wrapp and OneKingsLane. He has been an associate product manager at Apple and Fujitsu, an executive at PayPal, an institutional investor, a board member of public and private companies, and finally the founder and CEO of LinkedIn.
Hoffman frequently attends the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Davos and the Bilderberg Meetings. He is also a frequent lecturer at Oxford University, Stanford University, Harvard, MIT and several others. His accomplishments have been recognized with many awards, including the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nomination in the United States. He was also ranked #3 on Forbes’ “Midas” list of top technology investors.