I am tremendously excited about this month's PandoMonthly San Francisco. Our guest is Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, partner at Greylock, and investor in everything from Facebook to Zynga to Groupon.
Beyond monetary success, Hoffman is a striking figure in the Valley, because he's an incredibly nice guy and a generous mentor. Those don't always go hand-in-hand. And he's not one of those entrepreneurs who comes up with the idea, then passes the company off to someone else to do the hard work. Witness his incredibly long, almost tedious slog to build LinkedIn into the Web giant it is today. It is one of the only early social networks that survived, and one of the only big IPOs of late to perform well in the aftermarket.
As I wrote back at the time of LinkedIn's IPO, Hoffman is the entrepreneur that people should seek to emulate. From that post:
Hoffman wasn’t in his early twenties or a college dropout, and he’d be the first to admit he wasn’t a natural CEO. He’s said in previous interviews that he has a hard time firing people quickly enough – a skill that Mark Zuckerberg has excelled at. He’s left the CEO chair several times, only to come back when other candidates haven’t worked out. But even though he could easily throw out that old cop-out of “I’m just the guy who starts stuff; I’m not the CEO type” and wash his hands of the company, Hoffman cared about LinkedIn too much to ever be very far even when insanely sexier jobs were his for the taking. Even now in his role at Greylock, he spends the bulk of his time working on LinkedIn.
And yet, given all this, it’s LinkedIn that is the first social network to go public, the first multi-billion Web 2.0 IPO. It’s more than double the exit of sexy YouTube. And, in a rare case of startup justice, his day-in, day-out work building the social network no one ever wanted to get excited about has paid him handsomely: Netting him a boost of nearly $1 billion to his net worth. Few entrepreneurs who’ve spent a decade building a company get that kind of personal return, because few personally invest so much of their own cash along the journey.
LinkedIn's solid performance since has only proven that there is no substitute for solid, heads-down company building.
August doldrums or no, this event will sell quickly, so go buy your tickets now. They are only $20.
How on earth can we keep the ticket prices so low? Because of our members and generous sponsors like Andreessen Horowitz, who make this event possible. If you'd like to sponsor future PandoMonthly events please email Jeanne(at)PandoDaily.com.
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