“Hard work isn’t enough, and more work is never the real answer.”
– Reid Hoffman
In this special episode, we explore the “10 Commandments for Startup Success” as taught by the one and only Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn, Twitter). Reid has been on the show before, and he is often referred to as “The Oracle of Silicon Valley” by tech insiders, who look at his company-building and investing track record (which includes Facebook, Airbnb, Zynga, Flickr, and more) with awe.
Reid is Co-Founder of LinkedIn, which has more than 300 million users and sold to Microsoft for $26.2B. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President at PayPal, which was purchased by eBay for $1.5 billion. At PayPal, he was nicknamed “firefighter-in-chief” by CEO Peter Thiel. Noted venture capitalist David Sze says of Reid, “[he] is arguably the most successful angel investor in the past decade.” They are now both partners at Greylock Partners, a top-tier venture capital firm.
The “10 Commandments” in this episode are drawn from the entire first season of Masters of Scale, one of my favorite podcasts, also hosted by Reid. But that’s not all… there is plenty of new footage, including 6-10 new questions posed by yours truly to Reid, some of my own startup observations, and lots of great cutting-room floor material from people like Brian Chesky (Airbnb) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).
On Masters of Scale, Reid shares his theories on how companies scale from zero to a gazillion, and he explores them with famous founders. It’s one of the few podcasts that has a permanent home on my phone.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast featuring Reid Hoffman? — Listen to this prior conversation. In this episode, we discuss the habits and behaviors of highly successful people, using board games to develop strategy, the 3 types of CEOs, best lessons from his network, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Reid Hoffman:
- Reid’s last appearance on this podcast: The Oracle of Silicon Valley, Reid Hoffman (Plus: Michael McCullough)
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- 5-Bullet Friday
- The Muse
- Bevel Shave System
- Global Citizen Year
- Y Combinator
- My angel investments
- Eight Years after Eve.Com Collapsed, a Founder Returns to the Game with Minted by Dan Kaplan, VentureBeat
- 10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: What I Learned by Ben Casnocha
- Foot Faults and the Rage They Can Cause by Greg Bishop, The New York Times
- The Rome of Augustus, Harvard University
- OODA loop
- Ocean Spray
- Google’s Best New Innovation: Rules Around ‘20% Time’ by Kathy Gersch, Forbes
- Pure Software
- Musk Launches Company to Pursue ‘Neural Lace’ Brain-Interface Technology, Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
- The original Netflix culture deck post at SlideShare
- The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) by Joseph Campbell
- America’s Silent Jewish Majority: ‘If I Am Only For Myself, Then Who Am I?’ by Jeffrey E. Schwarz, Huffpost
- The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
- The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
- The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Reid Hoffman Could Spend Hundreds of Millions to Fix Some of the Country’s Biggest Political Problems by Tony Romm, Recode
- Moringa Leaf Powder
- How Linkedin’s Reid Hoffman Jumped off a Cliff and Built an Airplane by Drake Baer, FastCompany
- The Unemployed Philosophers Guild
- Commandment 1: Expect rejection. [09:14]
- Commandment 2: Hire like your life depends on it. It does. [19:26]
- Commandment 3: In order to scale, you have to do things that don’t scale. [25:37]
- Commandment 4: Raise more money than you think you need — potentially a lot more. [36:18]
- Commandment 5: Release your products early enough that they can still embarrass you. Imperfect is perfect. [44:45]
- Commandment 6: Decide. Decide. Decide. [1:00:16]
- Commandment 7: Be prepared to both make and break plans. [1:03:13]
- Commandment 8: Don’t tell your employees how to innovate. [1:07:21]
- Commandment 9: To create a winning company culture, make sure every employee owns it. [01:12:32]
- Commandment 10: Have grit and stick with your hero’s journey. [1:23:22]
- Bonus Commandment 11: Pay it forward. Use the momentum of your own success to move the success of others. [1:26:03]
- What would Reid’s billboard say? [1:29:25]
- Books most gifted and influential. [1:29:48]
- What has Reid changed his mind about in the last few years? [01:30:52]
- Recent purchase of a hundred dollars or less that has had the most positive impact on Reid’s life. [1:32:09]
- Advice for a college senior about to enter the “real” world. [1:32:36]
- Reid’s advice for a thirty-year-old version of himself. [1:33:15]
- Favorite failures? [1:33:58]
- The worst advice Reid hears commonly dispensed in his field. [1:34:54]
- What’s an unusual habit or an absurd thing that Reid loves? [1:35:56]
- Rules or criteria that lead to a “yes” from Reid. [1:36:40]
- Dan Carlin
- Joe Rogan
- Brian Chesky
- Peter Thiel
- David Sze
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Reed Hastings
- Mark Pincus
- Sheryl Sandberg
- Kathryn Minshew
- Tristan Walker
- Dan Kedmey
- Abby Falik
- Eric Schmidt
- Larry Page
- Sergey Brin
- David Fischer
- Paul Graham
- Joe Gebbia
- Sam Altman
- Garrett Camp
- Travis Kalanick
- Mariam Naficy
- Bill Gross
- Ben Casnocha
- Augustus Caesar
- Tom Cruise
- Marc Andreessen
- Margaret Heffernan
- Elon Musk
- Indiana Jones
- Linda Rottenberg
- Pedro Aspe
- Lorenzo Zambrano
- Carlos Slim
- Emilio Azcarraga Jean
- Hillel the Elder
- Joshua Cooper Ramo
- J.R.R. Tolkien
- Cheryl Strayed
Posted on: June 25, 2017.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.