Amazing Senior Entrepreneurs: Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Greylock Partners

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For the last couple of weeks, we have explored today’s senior entrepreneur. After focusing on millennial entrepreneurs and how they have re-shaped the business world, we looked at the value that the more mature entrepreneur brings to the table. With their experience, wisdom, and lack of fear, the aged entrepreneur can often be more disciplined and determined to be a success than his or her younger colleagues. For the next few weeks, we will focus on awesome senior entrepreneurs and how they made age work for them. Today’s focus will be on American entrepreneur Reid Hoffman.

His Early Years

Even as a child, Reid Hoffman was a hardworking genius. Wikipedia explains that as a boy, Hoffman loved role-playing games, and turned that love into his first job. When he was just 12 years old, Hoffman took a position with the game company Chaosium as a game editor. At the time, that company was located in Oakland, near Hoffman’s home in Berkeley. At the age of 14, Hoffman’s name was featured on the box from one of that company’s games, right along with the game designers. But technology was not his only work as a child. While going to high school at The Putney School, Hoffman also drove teams of oxen, learned to farm maple syrup, and studied epistemology, or, as Wikipedia describes it, “the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief.”

Hoffman first attended college at Stanford University, winning both the Dinkelspiel Award and the Marshall Scholarship while in attendance there. He graduated from Stanford with a B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems and Cognitive Science in 1990 and went on to earn a Master of Studies in Philosophy from Wolfson College at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar in 1993. It was during his college years that Hoffman decided entrepreneurship would give him a platform from which he could “influence the state of the world on a larger scale.” Hoffman went to work for Apple in 1994 and helped make one of the first-ever attempts at a social network with eWorld, which was later acquired by AOL. SocialNet.com, considered by many to be the world’s first dating sites, was the first company that Hoffman ever co-founded. Those are his earlier conquests. We will learn more about Hoffman and his accomplishments in our next article.

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