Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman is an entrepreneur and investor. In 1998, he was a founding Board member and executive vice president of PayPal. In 2003, he co-founded LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking service. He was an angel investor in Facebook and Zynga, and in 2009, he became a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. He currently serves on the boards of Airbnb, Apollo Fusion, Aurora, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Gixo, Microsoft, Nauto, and Xapo, as well as not-for-profits Kiva, Endeavor, CZI Biohub and Do Something. Hoffman's latest book is Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies.

From the transcript of Hoffman's Q&A with Fareed Zakaria:

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about politics. You have been pretty active, and you say a lot of people who are in business share some of your dismay with what Trump stands for and what he's doing but they don't want to -- they don't want to say anything. Why?

HOFFMAN: Well, I think, you know, the classic thing is, "Hey, it's business; I've got a responsibility to shareholders; I have a responsibility to customers," and all of that. But I actually think that -- I have this phrase, "Spiderman ethics: With power comes responsibility."

And so I think, personally, that's it's part of having business leaders; you need to speak up about that future that you can see for all of us and you need to have your voice be heard. And so I have leaned into politics unlike ever I have done before because I think it's so dangerous, the path we're on, and we need to correct.

ZAKARIA: What do you say to people who point out that the Trump administration is presiding over, you know, record unemployment levels -- in other words, record lows; growth seems strong; what are you complaining about?

HOFFMAN: So I think there's at least two things. So one is I think Obama and the previous administration did a lot of good things. And so I think there is a tailwind from that. But I also think that people are underfactoring the amount of stimulus and just debt that's going into propping this up. And so they're using subsidies to try to block the impacts of tariffs and other kinds of things. And so I think we are taking a loan against the future that we need to be very cautious about....[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue