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Reid Hoffman - From the TotalPicture Podcast Vault

In 2005 Peter Clayton interviewed Reid Hoffman at the MIT Enterprise Forum

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn - TotalPicture Radio interview with Peter ClaytonReid Hoffman

In 2005, I traveled to an MIT conference held in Boston, Mass., to interview the visionary co-founder, then-CEO, and Chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman.

Reid graduated with distinction from Stamford University with a BS in cognitive science, and Masters Degree in Philosophy from Oxford University. Among Reid's many awards and honors, President Barack Obama named Hoffman as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship "to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs." in April, 2014.

2005 is also the year this podcast started, (called Landed.fm at the time), thanks to our founding sponsor, Deloitte. I was reminded about my interview with Reid last week while recording a new podcast with another West Coast visionary, Jason Nazar, the co-founder and CEO of Comparably.

LinkedIn came up in our conversation, and I told Jason the story of attending the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, where Reid was the closing keynote speaker.

As every conference attendee knows, when the last presentation ends, a long queue of people gather next to the stage, in hopes of having a personal word or two with the speaker. I've covered hundreds of events like this. Usually, after about four or five minutes, someone hurries on stage to whisk the speaker away. (They're very busy, you know.)

Not Reid. He came down from the stage and spoke to everyone in the queue, taking almost two hours. I've never seen anything like it before, or since. To my mind, that amazing display of curiosity and interest in other people makes Hoffman the perfect person to have started an online professional network called LinkedIn.

Prior to LinkedIn, Hoffman was on the Board of Directors at PayPal, and became EVP, prominently involved in the sale for 1.5 Billion to eBay in 2002.

When Reid and I recorded this interview, LinkedIn had about 2 million members. Today, there are more than 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

In December, 2016, Microsoft Corp. closed its roughly $26 billion deal to buy LinkedIn, cementing the largest acquisition in the tech giant's history.

Now, here's a 24-minute slice of LinkedIn history with Reid Hoffman.

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Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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Interview Channels,
Innovation: Interviews with Visionaries