the author: bloomberg businessweek
hoffman is the earliest angel investors in Facebook, is the world’s third largest social network LinkedIn founder, “if you would like to venture in silicon valley, hoffman is the first you should look for”
in the autumn of 2004, the United States menlo park sand hill road on both sides of the oak tree such as the golden giant umbrella propped open. Reid Hoffman (Reid Hoffman) led the harvard sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) walked into an ordinary office. Hoffman PayPal former colleagues, venture capitalist Peter teal (Peter Thiel) are waiting for them.
zuckerberg didn’t wear a suit, short-sleeved shirt, jeans and adidas rubber flip-flops, sitting on the sofa into a meditation, once in a while to answer a few questions, then stare blankly hoffman and teal.
filed with zuckerberg first, my eyes hoffman a sly smile. In Beijing on May 24th afternoon, light the four seasons hotel 26 layer, maqiao sitting on a piece of soft brown leather sofa, hoffman shake to us out of the investment, mixed some of silicon valley’s gossip.
hoffman is the earliest angel investors in Facebook, is also the founder of the world’s third largest social network LinkedIn, he in silicon valley, notably because PayPal payment platform. In silicon valley, a renowned entrepreneurship and angel investor groups call PayPal gang (PayPal Mafia), hoffman is one of their spiritual leader.
“if you would like to venture in silicon valley, hoffman is the first you should look for the people.” LinkedIn co-founder and vice President of product design Allan bloom (Allen Blue) said in an interview with bloomberg.
first zuckerberg, hoffman was founded more than a year of professional networking site LinkedIn users is close to 1 million, he thought that social media is the trend of The Times. That time, zuckerberg’s campus dating sites Facebook is less than half a year has gathered 200000 users, but have a money problems. Hoffman and teal is considering whether to give the young man a sum of money.
zuckerberg didn’t put on AIRS, he said a few simple ideas, such as add Wirehog in Facebook share this kind of community service, make it real pictures to share. This impressed hoffman and teal, and decided to invest 500000 dollars. Facebook in 2012 on the nasdaq, the $500000 was one of history’s most visionary investment in silicon valley, 20000 times ten years appreciation. As of June 27, 2014, its market value has reached $172.3 billion, more than 1 billion users, a commanding lead in a new generation of silicon valley companies.
“zuckerberg almost have all the qualities, excellent entrepreneur feels he has a very good product and technical ability, and growing fast, he is worth the investment.” Hoffman said. In the past decade, he invested a total of 140 start-up companies, including Facebook, the company, the company, growing company, Flickr, Digg, etc., of which 80% with “social nature”. Now he is the top VCS Greylock partners partners, and also social to be bestowed favor on newly in silicon valley Shopkick, Wrapp and Edmodo eight directors of the company.
“can I help you?” Usually hoffman meeting with all the people say the first sentence. The worth of $3.1 billion, by Forbes magazine as the world’s most powerful and the most widely contacts in silicon valley venture capital, there is always the personality pedagogic. In 2013, he was President barack Obama appointed a special envoy for President global entrepreneurship to help entrepreneurs to creation and development of enterprises.
hoffman laughed a little shy, when it comes to their successful experience, he did not deny their have some tricks. As TED (global famous sharing platform in the field of technology, entertainment, design) and the famous American talk show “the Charlie rose show” regulars, he sees himself in the past 20 years in silicon valley’s entrepreneurial and investment experience comes down to one point: to become a “network”.
when hoffman walked into an office, sixth sense will emerge. He saw the ghost, but the network. He received 40 entrepreneurial business plan a day, 700 emails, all the year round with the company is located in mountain view, office and some kilometres between Greylock menlo park office.
“not all entrepreneurs can be a good investor,” he raise your head slightly, “must have extensive contacts, and learn from those successful entrepreneurs, sometimes investment opportunities is near.” Hoffman, few investments, but not in. He admitted that there are five or six companies development is not very desirable.” But the investment is always right.” He said were silent for a while.
control network is equal to control everything
in silicon valley, circulating among entrepreneurs a word: “have you ever talk to Mr Reid hoffman?”
this day morning, interviewed hoffman will get out of bed at half past six, is the northeast dumplings for breakfast. As LinkedIn founder and chairman, he 9 o ‘clock in the four seasons hotel to have a talk. A few days ago, he received a phone call from an entrepreneur. On the phone, the entrepreneurs to hoffman introduce myself and hope to get an investment.
after put the phone down, hoffman immediately the entrepreneurs to mention a few references to verify. Sure, after this person on less than two days, has reached a cooperation agreement on Wednesday, Thursday, hoffman has been to China.
the 46 years old, height 190 cm, the big man of California, with a laugh and grow fat four words describe accurate but again. Over the past two decades, hoffman deduced a Wolf totem: silicon valley startup or whatever you want to invest, mastered the connections had learned everything.
entrepreneurs looking for him, have a plenty of in order to get his investment, have a plenty of in order to listen to advice, have a plenty of in order to get his connections, more often, is that I wish to gain inspiration from his sensitive to science and technology in the industry. The fat guy in his bones with a Jiang Huqi extending in all directions. Hoffman’s friends, focus on the founder of venture capital fund, President of teal in an interview with Forbes said: “I don’t know, how do you say the opposite of the social, that kind of person he is.” According to the capital Research Center (the Center for Venture Research), according to data from 2011 in the United States, there are 318480 active “angel”, invested a total of 66230 companies, of which 60% from science and technology, such as the Internet, the number ten years doubled. According to the silicon valley technology investment report, in 2013 alone, angel investment reached $31.5 billion in silicon valley.
compared with big high risk high return of venture capital, angel investors more idealistic. Return is not high, the risk is bigger. American venture capital research center at the university of New Hampshire, according to a report in 2011, more than half angel investment case played a millpond.” The godfather “in silicon valley, Google’s angel investors Ron Conway (Ron Conway) even portrayed his investment as charity. Hoffman said, is the angel investment to silicon valley innovation thrives. He published in 2012 bestseller “essential relationship” (The Start – up Of You) to alert people, Detroit is how to decline due to The lack Of creativity.
“if a company can make hundreds of millions of people involved in the action to change your life, that is the greatest return on investment.” Hoffman said. MIT media lab, Ito, to make a (Joi Ito) is hoffman’s friend, he told Wired magazine (Wired) said in an interview with the British version: “hoffman is always from a social aspect to think about business.” If Bill Gates, Steve jobs and mark zuckerberg these entrepreneurs are dream maker, hoffman is those who provide mattress dream maker, inexpensive but very practical.
open the door, then help “villian” throw to the cold eyes. This desk, wine glasses and CARDS, hanging on the wall a giant painting of the Renaissance. If there is no photographer, or people think break into the Italian Mafia party. This is the fall of 2007, a fortune to cover.
in the “aggressive” guy is destined to become one of the most ambitious group in silicon valley, he worked for the electronic payment company PayPal, all of them and have a daydream making a person’s name: PayPal Mafia.
hoffman sitting in the center of the picture a red velvet sofas, brown hair neatly combed. Around the neckline of betting his expression, open a gold necklace. Sit the front is teal, has a black head of hair, Max Lev jean (Max Levchin) was the founder of the website Slide, Elon Musk, established the U.S. space exploration company (Elon Musk) (capsules) and tesla motors, and Steve Chen (Steve Chen) jointly established social video site, YouTube, David sachs (David Sacks) is the enterprise customers, the founder of the social networking websites, mot m e r… In addition to the investment, PayPal gang members also created dozens of enterprises alone, worth nearly $30 billion in total so far.
“if she is not my friend, no PayPal, may never change my destiny.” Hoffman shrugged. 14 years ago, Huffman met first adversity in life. Was born in intellectual family, marked a graduated from Stanford university and Oxford University department of philosophy, life has been so smooth. He always want to do something to change the world.
“I have been on how to use Internet service to create a good is very interested in the public and private space. People is how to establish correct connection through social networks?” Hoffman told the businessweek/Chinese version. He believed that social network to simulate the original social attributes: date. Hence, resigned from apple in 1997 SocialNet hoffman started a dating service web site, is considered the prototype of the social networking site, zuckerberg was in junior high school at that time. Due to the lack of search applications, such as SocialNet unsustainable in business.
“I make a phone call to hoffman, he was very upset.” Teal in a bloomberg interview recalls. That was the summer of 1998, teal and Max are planning to do PayPal electronic purse, he invited a failed hoffman to join our company. A fund run by the teal company will provide $20000 in start-up capital. Hoffman said yes, and become the payment services department director and COO.
progress was not all plain sailing. In the spring of 2000, on the northern coast of California’s grandfather, hoffman, teal, and Max and elon to risk a risk. At that time, PayPal only depends on trading of Palm handheld PDA software. When PayPal start fast burning money, they realized that the Internet has changed people’s pay habits.” We decided to give up PDA to embrace the Internet, that is the only chance.” Hoffman said.
hoffman thinks that willingness to take risks is an important feature of PayPal Mafia, “at that time in the Internet to do financial platform is the business of bank want to all dare not to, but is just a group of people who do not understand the financial make.” He said. This spirit of adventure, later also in hoffman’s own business and investment philosophy.
this moment also became a PayPal Mafia origin of all people. They not only gain the friendship, but also established a unique network.
“PayPal Mafia is a very effective network.” Hoffman explained. In the fierce competition in the silicon valley, the Mafia embodies the best connections characteristics: long term business. At the end of 2001, bought by eBay PayPal for $1.5 billion, the members have left, their business or invest in other companies. Although they are more liberal, strongly dependent on their own feelings and judgment, but it is still a regular party, who want to have financial difficulties, will help each other.
in 2002, hoffman put a long holiday for herself. Then, just experienced early in 2000 the dotcom bubble, the silicon valley company also concerned about the Internet. He paced back and forth on the beach in Australia to think about the two questions. One is that capital is turned to the software and clean energy technology, but ignored the consumers to the company’s future. 2 it is social network there are two possible: individual applications and business applications, the latter’s market is still blank, perhaps this is the best time to set up a professional social networking site. He decided to take the plunge. However, in the face of bubble, new companies without any investment at all.
hoffman thought of teal in the first place. The teal fund company has done well, he immediately said to support, and provides the first round of financing. The last week of November, 2002, USES the existing network recruited seven SocialNet hoffman and former colleague of PayPal. The next day, a line of people with cell phones and computers moved into the mountain city makeshift office, hoffman of the day before a friend just arrived from the move. Hoffman print a bearing the words “LinkedIn” posters on the wall, as a sign of the company. Until the fifth year, LinkedIn to profit.” Whether an enterprise can grow up to see what value it creates, “hoffman says,” find a job in business, consulting, share knowledge, and network platform as long as insist to 1 million success.”
in addition to LinkedIn, teal venture capital funds are also involved in the capsules, Yelp, conduct many PayPal gang the early investment of the company. nullnullnullnullnullnull