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 more about American entrepreneur Reid Hoffman.
Taking PayPal to the Top
Along with such names as AOL and Chaosium, Hoffman has had a part in several huge companies. According to Forbes, he is a part of what is known as the “Paypal Mafia,” where he was one of the first employees. He left SocialNet in January of 2000 to become the COO of PayPal. He became responsible for all of the company’s external relationships such as payment infrastructures with Wells Fargo, ACH, MasterCard, and VISA. He was the executive vice president of PayPal in 2002 when it was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion.
Bringing Social Media to the Business World
The year 2002 was a busy one for Hoffman. After PayPal was sold, he went on to co-found LinkedIn with a former college classmate, a former colleague from Fujitsu, and a couple more colleagues from SocialNet. The world’s first social media outlet for business was launched in the Summer of 2003, with investments from both Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois from PayPal. Forbes calls LinkedIn, “far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.” Hoffman has gone on to be involved in many other projects, including becoming a partner at Greylock Partners. He was one of the first to invest in Facebook and is one of the most successful angel investors in Silicon Valley. In 2019, Forbes listed his net worth to be $1.9 billion.
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