Building a Company to Grow in Turbulent Times and Beyond

Scaling Up

​This week we feature a throwback edition of The Next Wave from our CEO Summit in 2015 –with advice more relevant than ever. Young Sohn's guest is renowned entrepreneur, executive, and investor, Reid Hoffman. A major force in Silicon Valley, Reid has played an integral role in building many of today's leading consumer technology businesses, including LinkedIn and PayPal, and was an early investor in Facebook, Airbnb and Zynga. He is also on the board of directors of Microsoft. The topic is achieving explosive global growth even in these turbulent times.​

Reid Hoffman

Partner at Greylock, and Co-Founder of LinkedIn

Reid is a Silicon Valley stalwart in the modern technology world. An accomplished entrepreneur and executive, he played an integral role in building many of today's leading consumer technology businesses, including LinkedIn and PayPal. As an investor, he has been instrumental in the success of iconic companies such as Facebook and Airbnb and has helped fast-growing newcomers like Aurora and Convoy get to scale.

Reid joined Greylock in 2009 and focuses on early-stage investing in products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants. His unique understanding of consumer behavior and a clear-eyed ability to guide startups from inception through ramped-up “blitzscaling" has made him one of the most sought-after advisors, partners, and investors today. Reid currently is a board observer for Airbnb and serves as a board director for Apollo Fusion, Aurora, Blockstream, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Microsoft, Nauto, Neeva, Xapo, and a few early-stage companies still in stealth.

Reid's core focus is on businesses with network effects. In 2003, he co-founded LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network that today has more than 650 million members and a diversified revenue model that includes subscriptions, advertising, and software licensing. Before LinkedIn, Reid served as executive vice president at PayPal, where he was a founding board member and responsible for all of the company's external relationships.His foundational thesis of the power of networks extends beyond marketplaces and social ecosystems. Recently, it has led to his investments in autonomous driving technology startup Nauto, cryptocurrency startup Xapo, and shipping logistics provider Convoy.

Reid is a frequent public speaker, known for his approachability and skill at explaining complex topics with lucidity. He is the co-author of Blitzscalingand two New York Times best-selling books: The Start-up of Youand The Alliance. He also hosts the podcast Masters of Scale.​​

A California native, Reid spent most of his life in the Bay Area. He earned a B.S. with distinction in symbolic systems from Stanford University and then earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University. He has honorary doctorate degrees from Babson University and the University of Oulu.

Beyond startups and technology, Reid has a wide range of interests, including politics, board games, science fiction, philosophy, and philanthropy. He serves on several not-for-profit boards, including Kiva, Endeavor, CZI Biohub, Do Something, New America, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, and the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change. Reid has received various awards for his philanthropic work, including CBE from the Queen of England and Salute to Greatness Award from the Martin Luther King Center.