LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman was an early investor in Facebook, and has seen founder Mark Zuckerberg grow from a kid looking for an investment and to a powerful peer in Silicon Valley. Hoffman joined Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” and shared how Zuckerberg has evolved.
Reid Hoffman: One of the great delights in working with Mark through kind of the early days to now is that Mark has demonstrated literally the most spectacular learning and adaptation curve that I’ve ever seen in a young entrepreneur to now, an experienced and highly capable CEO. I am learning from a bunch of things that he does. And it started with being kind of quiet, because I think he was trying to figure things out, not particularly graceful in a meeting, to being a very smart executive who understands principles of management, and then continues to make bold bets that initially other people think are kind of crazy, like buying WhatsApp, or Oculus. Oculus, we’ll see we’re it plays out, but WhatsApp is clearly a massive bet that turns out to be super smart. A number of people – myself included – thought that the purchase of Instagram was sharp. But again, it was like “what, you spent a billion dollars for a company that has 13 people in it and no revenue?” That kind of thing is simply amazing. And I think the truth of the matter is, a combination of Zuckerberg has an amazing learning curve, and also has a true north, where he’s trying to say “how do I make the world more connected, in a way that enables people to understand each other better, to communicate better, to share experiences better?” Because if we do that, overall the world will be a better place.
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