The startup-approach and the theory for human nature (feat. Reid Hoffman)

S161 Reid Hoffman on the entrepreneur’s theory for how things evolve in human nature

Draft research material, paraphrasing Reid Hoffman, at Reid Hoffman Fireside with Josh Elman, on the vision and need entrepreneurs must have in order to pursue the path for a startup idea. Reid elaborates about how he decided to get into LinkedIn.

They don’t really have a real good robust theory of human nature, which is how the internet changes the way that we think of our identity, how we communicate with people, how we connect, how we navigate this world. — Reid Hoffman
Look: it’s always when you have the right idea and it’s the right time you just go do the startup that’s period.
However, the thing that I realized was the entire valley had gone crazy. Because they were patterning off this old method of: there is this gold rush for each new technology stream and you go do that gold rush, and the winners, and you know, failures, are all sorted out. And then you go to the new gold rush, and so they have just thought the consumer internet was another gold rush. And there was a certain set of companies,.. Paypal is one of them, and that was done.
And now, they were looking at ‘well do we go back to enterprise software?’, you know, in a shift to cloud, which is actually one of the things that actually did work out pretty well. Do we do clean tech? didn’t work out as well,..
And so, and I went, these guys are crazy! the consumer it’s just starting, like, they had said… ‘the internet is gonna change all these things!’ And, yeah, it isn’t there yet because they haven’t really thought about it — they don’t really have a real good robust theory of human nature, which is how the internet changes the way that we think of our identity, how we communicate with people, how we connect, how we navigate this world.
And, I, and, so, they’ve all run the other direction. And I have a little bit of money from Paypal and I can go into this, and like, so, what I’m gonna do is: I’m gonna start investing and I’m going to start LinkedIn because when I looked back at Socialnet, the thing that I thought that I most regretted it was, I had, look, everyone kind of understood the dating services and we did better, but, it was kinda like being better, you know, like being one a 2x better or 1.5 times better, versus 10 times better isn’t really transformational difference. And people, like, yeah you know, I use match rather than that, etc.
And so, that was the bad theory. But the people didn’t realize that actually our careers are super important to us, and, how to transform navigating that,.. and our design for what we called working network, was entirely bad.
And I had a much better idea for that and that’s what essentially got me into Linked in. (Greylock, November 10th 2016, 8m:21s)

References

Greylock Partners. (November 10th 2016). Reid Hoffman Fireside with Josh Elman, #ProductSF 2016. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEMh3-cZWVg

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