We’re here at Madrone Theatre for PandoMonthly’s fireside chat with Reid Hoffman. The past year has been a massive one for Hoffman. He’s been involved in five companies that have gone public, including behemoths Groupon, Facebook, and LinkedIn. He’s acquired loads of publicity from the past year of successes, but for Hoffman says it’s about “proof of theory”. Hoffman says he’s motivated by thoughts on how the world works, how people work, and how entrepreneurship works – and from those factors he wants to discover truth.
With increasing media attention surrounding him, Hoffman says, “I’m motivated by how I’ll change the world. I actually don’t like publicity. If you actually asked me what I prefer, I’d actually prefer to be anonymous to everybody but my friends, because that’s not the goal. The goal is ‘How do you change the world?’”
Strangers approaching Hoffman on the street is one factor he’s not quite used to. “That’s a negative.” says Hoffman, “Having strangers walk up to me on the street or in the airport and introduce themselves to me is not positive.” He says that’s not a driving factor behind him pushing forward with his companies. His reason for trying so hard is to seek out ways to improve the world. For Hoffman, this year has been one where he can think, “‘Good, a set of these ideas and theories are working’ [...] and also a little bit of relief, because a long hard slog and then ‘Okay, at least some of it worked’”
He says he’s still getting used to his friends thinking he’s their No. 1 resource for everything, even joking that a family member called him to ask for investment advice. He said he responded that he really didn’t know, but I could probably hire someone that could give expert advice.
Find all the footage on our YouTube channel.