Empowering Entrepreneurs with Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman

"Every person is his or her own brand."

- Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman believes strongly in the ability for entrepreneurship and technology to improve the world. By understanding that intellectuals have a limited impact on society, he decided to pursue a career in business and entrepreneurship.

As an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author, Hoffman that co-founded LinkedIn invested in many companies making him an angel investor to many. Hoffman also became an active philanthropist in several non-profits to combat poverty and further support new emerging entrepreneurs.

Early Life

Reid Garrett Hoffman was born in August 5th, 1967 in Stanford, California, from Deanna Ruth Rutter and William Parker Hoffman, Jr.. Hoffman grew up in Berkeley, California.

He attended high school at The Putney School and graduated from Stanford University in 1990 where he won a Marshall Scholarship and a Dinkelspiel Award with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and Cognitive Science. In 1993, Hoffman earned an M.A. in philosophy from Oxford University where he was a Marshall Scholar.

Early Career

Reid Hoffman saw his interests in university studies as an opportunity to make a future for his life. When he graduated from Stanford, his plan was to become a professor and public intellectual, but later realized that an entrepreneurial career would provide him with a bigger platform, impact and opportunity.

Hoffman believes strongly in the ability for entrepreneurship and technology to improve the world.

With his new aim in mind, Hoffman pursued a career in business and entrepreneurship. After working at Apple Computer and Fujitsu in product management, Hoffman co-founded his first company, SocialNet.com, an online dating service.

While working with his company, Hoffman became a member of the board of directors at the founding of PayPal, which he later joined the firm as a full-time employee. In 2002, Hoffman was an Executive Vice President of PayPal responsible for all external relationships for PayPal, including Payments Infrastructure, Business Development,, Government, and Legal when eBay acquired PayPal.


Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn in December 2002 with members from PayPal and Socialnet.com (Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, and Chris Saccheri). The company was launched on May 5, 2003 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

LinkedIn was one of the first business-oriented online social networks. Hoffman was LinkedIn’s founding CEO for the first four years before becoming Chairman and President in February 2007.

Funded by Sequoia Capital, Greylock, Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and the European Founders Fund, LinkedIn reached profitability in March 2006. On May 19, 2011, Linked announced its IPO with Hoffman owning a stake worth an estimated of $2.34 billion. This does not include the benefits from Greylock Partners where he became a Partner in 2009


Reid Hoffman was one of Silicon Valley's most successful investors in the past decade since the acquisition of PayPal by eBay. Hoffman joined and leads the Greylock Discovery Fund, which invests in seed stage entrepreneurs and companies. Hoffman made 80 investments in technology companies

In 2004, Hoffman invested alongside Peter Thiel in Facebook's very first financing round when he first met Mark Zuckerberg. Another company that met his eyes was Zynga in which Hoffman personally invested and joined the board of directors.

Some of his other investments include Wikia, Flickr, Digg, Ping.fm, Permuto, Tagged, Last.fm, SixApart, thesixtyone, IronPort, and others.

The Start-Up Of You

Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha authored a book titled The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform your Career..

The book was released on February 14, 2012 in the United States. The book highlights the parallels between the stories of successful Silicon Valley technology companies and an individual's career.

Wealth And Philanthropy

As of September 2012, Forbes has placed Hoffman at number 229 at Forbes 400 with a net worth of $2.1 billion. His $40,000 investment in Facebook translated into a return of more than $100 million as of August. LinkedIn's stock rose nearly 50 percent between February and the beginning of July, adding $300 million to his net worth. As a partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners, Hoffman has led the firm's investments in Groupon and Airbnb.

Reid Hoffman that was awarded an SD Forum Visionary Award in 2010 and was named both a Henry Crown Fellow by The Aspen Institute and an Endeavor Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011, sits on the boards of several nonprofits. These include Kiva, a micro-finance organization which seeks to combat poverty, Do Something, an organization for young people taking action, The Weekend to be Named Later, Mozilla, and Endeavor Global, an international non-profit development organization that finds and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Hoffman is also a supporter of QuestBridge.