Published January 2022 on Spotfiy

611: Reid Hoffman | Surprising Entrepreneurial Truths

1. Introduction

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, shares insights on the importance of building strong networks and partnerships. He emphasizes treating networking as a partnership rather than using people, and how having allies amplifies opportunities. Jordan Harbinger also shares tips on improving networking skills through their free course.+

2. Energy and Diversity

Extrovert Energy:Reid Hoffman discusses his energy levels and how being an extrovert in small groups of six or less helps him recharge, while larger groups drain his energy. Jordan Harbinger shares his experience with professional conversation and the challenges of keeping discussions engaging for everyone.+
Investing in Diversity:Reid Hoffman discusses the importance of diversity in venture capitalism and how having a breadth of perspective can lead to re-imagining the world. He also debunks the idea that female founders need to be invested in by female VCs, emphasizing the importance of partnering and building diverse teams.Show transcript +

3. Learning from "No"

Learning from Noes:Reid shares insights on how to learn from different types of noes in entrepreneurship and investing, emphasizing the importance of iterating and seeking out constructive criticism.+
Learning from "No":Reid and Jordan discuss the different types of "no" an entrepreneur can receive from investors and how to learn from them. They emphasize the importance of seeking challenges and engaging with skepticism to improve your business idea. They also reflect on the evolution of online advertising and the importance of pivoting when faced with substantial criticism.+

4. Investing Insights

Investing Insights:Reid Hoffman shares his insights on investing, explaining how Greylock invests only when there is unanimous consent, and how they pay attention when some people think an idea is great while others don't. He also talks about how Airbnb was initially seen as a risky investment, but turned out to be a huge success.+
Contrarian Ideas:Jordan and Reid discuss the power of contrarian ideas, from the disruptive nature of Airbnb to the success of Peloton's subscription model. They explore how these companies challenged the status quo and found success by thinking outside the box.+
Pitching Ideas:Reid Hoffman shares the best and worst ways for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists. The best ways include getting an introduction from a trusted connection and having a clear hook for the idea. The worst ways include cold emailing with no information or leaving business plans on car windows. A hustle is important, but it should be a hustle as partnership, not a hustle as a target.+

5. Sponsors

Sam Parr and Shaan Puri from My First Million podcast share their insights on how to start a successful business, from side hustles to billion-dollar ideas. They also interview successful founders, celebrities, and billionaires who reveal their business secrets. Get inspired to start writing the story of your first million.+

6. Networking Myths

Networking Myths:Jordan and Reid discuss common networking myths, including the misconception that you don't need to network if you're content in your current job. They share anecdotes about overused application tactics and how to stand out in a crowded field.+
Networking Tips:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of networking and offer tips on how to do it effectively. They emphasize the value of treating networking as a partnership and offering something of value when approaching someone. They also caution against being too pushy or salesy in your approach.+

7. Marketing and Crypto

Marketing Your Ideas:Reid and Jordan discuss the importance of articulating your strategy and vision to help your ideas gain traction. They also touch on the fear of marketing oneself and how it can hold people back. Reid emphasizes the importance of doing great work but also helping those ideas work and be seen.+
The Future of Crypto:Reid discusses the potential of crypto systems in revolutionizing the financial side of the internet, including for the unbanked and global assets. However, there are still challenges to be solved, such as the payment side, before it can truly function as a currency.+

8. Investing and Co-Founding

Investing Mistakes:Reid discusses his investment mistakes, including passing on Pinterest, and emphasizes the importance of making both type one and type two errors in investing. Jordan shares his own experience of not understanding the appeal of Warby Parker.+
Co-Founders and Startups:Reid explains why co-founding teams are super strong for startups, citing diversity of skills, ability to trade off work, and resilience as key factors. Jordan agrees, highlighting the importance of having someone to share the pain of early-stage struggles. They discuss what to look for in a co-founder beyond technical skills and shared passion.+
Building Trust Fast:Reid Hoffman shares insights on how trust is built through consistency over time and how entrepreneurs can build trust faster with vulnerability and transparency, such as being clear about the risks in their business when pitching to investors.+

9. Sponsors

Jordan Harbinger discusses the importance of at-home COVID-19 testing with QuickVue, which provides rapid results in just 10 minutes in the privacy of your own home. Title: Sustainable Lingerie Topics: Adore Me, sustainability Summary: Jordan Harbinger discusses Adore Me's sustainable lingerie options, including matching bra and panty sets made from recycled material, sleepwear made from organic cotton, and digitally printed swimwear to save on water and energy. Title: Audiobooks and Iconic Companies Topics: Audible, Masters of Scale Summary: Jordan Harbinger recommends Audible for consuming audiobooks, and specifically recommends Reid Hoffman's Masters of Scale, which provides an inspiring behind-the-scenes look at how iconic companies dealt with unexpected challenges before becoming successful.+

10. Shared Risk & Leveraging Crisis

Shared Risk:Reid discusses the importance of transparency and shared risk in business, using the example of Spotify's innovative business model and how they navigated potential legal issues with the record companies. He also mentions the importance of proving data and working out a business model before negotiating with other players.+
Leveraging Crisis:Reid emphasizes that crises can be leveraged to discover new possibilities and alternatives. Great entrepreneurs use adversity as a leverage point to gain energy and do something bold.+

11. LinkedIn in China

LinkedIn in China:Reid discusses how LinkedIn navigates the tensions in China and stays true to its mission of empowering individuals for their best economic opportunities, while staying out of the general discourse arena.+
Social Media's Erosion:Jordan and Reid discuss the negative effects of social media on civic trust and the erosion of values. They touch on how LinkedIn has evolved and how it's not the place for activism, but rather a platform for professional growth.+
Limiting Political Discussion:Reid discusses LinkedIn's policy on limiting political discussion and hate speech, while still allowing important conversations about the rule of law and treatment of minorities in the workplace. The conversation also touches on the challenges of operating in China and the balance between censorship and maintaining a presence in the market.+

12. Modern Machiavelli

Reid Hoffman discusses LinkedIn's stance on censorship and their commitment to providing economic opportunities. He also talks about his interest in rewriting Machiavelli's The Prince for modern-day Silicon Valley, and how it relates to building new social systems. Jordan Harbinger suggests having Ryan Holiday do the heavy lifting on the project.+

13. Outro

Super Fans and Shower Thoughts:Jordan discusses the importance of interacting with super fans and using their feedback to shape the show. He also explores the creative process and shares how successful entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely and Brian Chesky come up with their best ideas. Jordan invites listeners to share their own creative processes with him.+
Networking Tips:Jordan shares his tips on how to manage relationships and network effectively using software, systems, and tiny habits. He also promotes his free Six-Minute Networking course and encourages listeners to share the show with those who could benefit from the advice.+