Do you use LinkedIn? OK, you’re all savvy marketers so perhaps the better question is; how do you use LinkedIn?
However you make use of arguably the world’s most useful business networking site, you may not know much about the man behind its success. AP’s Michael Liedtke takes a close look at LinkedIn’s mixed success and profiles its co-founder Reid Hoffman.
Hoffman, 40, has put that principle to work by mining his own vast network of Silicon Valley connections to rake in one Internet jackpot after another.
A college friendship led Hoffman to PayPal and his first windfall when eBay Inc. bought the online payment service for $1.5 billion in 2002. Since then, he has become even wealthier by investing in other Internet startups he discovered through friends and former colleagues.
Along the way, Hoffman also used some of his PayPal proceeds to help start LinkedIn, an online business-networking service that helps professionals like him realize the value of their contacts from the past and present.
If you dig deep, you’ll also find these interesting nuggets about LinkedIn:
- More than 1 million people join LinkedIn each month
- LinkedIn’s projected 2008 revenue is somewhere between $75 million and $100 million.
- The site had doubled users over the past year. It now has 18 million profiles.
- LinkedIn will likely file for an IPO or sell by 2010.
- Hoffman has 1500 LinkedIn connections–sadly I’m not one of them.
What do you think of LinkedIn? Do you use it? What features (if any) is it missing?