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Reid Hoffman’s Argument for Social Networking
Reid was LinkedIn's founding CEO for the first four years before moving to his role as Chairman and President, Products in February 2007. While CEO, Reid built the company to over 9 million members and profitability. He now drives product and business strategy for LinkedIn.
Prior to LinkedIn, Reid was Executive Vice President of PayPal. At PayPal, Reid was in charge of all business relationships: business development, corporate development, international, government relations, and banking/payments infrastructure. During his tenure at PayPal, Hoffman was instrumental to the acquisition by eBay and was responsible for partnerships with Intuit, Visa, MasterCard and Wells Fargo. Reid also has held management roles in large technology companies, including Fujitsu Software Corporation and Apple. Currently, in addition to LinkedIn, Reid serves on the Board of Directors for SixApart and Mozilla Corporation. Reid graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and from Oxford University with a Master's degree in philosophy.
Question: How can social networking sites help businesses?
Reid Hoffman: So, most people when they think of kind of professional networking and social networking sites, they think of recruiting. And recruiting is obviously a very strong utility, both for people looking for jobs in companies, and companies looking to get, you know, high quality talent into the company. But in addition to that, these sites, you know, mostly on the professional networking, really helps with everything from, for example, if an individual professional is reaching out to other professionals to know, you know, what are good technologies, tools, techniques, in order to stay current in their professionalism and their job, finding experts in order to help solve problems, say for example, a distribution problem.
So, you know, like one of the success cases at LinkedIn was this guy figuring out how to move 12 million tons of cement from, you know, China to Dubai. You know, getting all of that kind of network competitive intelligence for every individual professional as a way to how to execute your job is one of the really key things for a good competitive advantage.
When thinking about how to deploy kind of professional and social networking into your business, it’s really not a question of if, it’s a question of when. And the reason is, just think about the fact that those businesses that adopt new technologies to operate efficiently and use them to get a competitive edge are the businesses that in fact, you know, it becomes one more competitive advantage. Whether it’s a fax machine or a mobile phone or a new way of doing financing or any of these things, you know, these are key things to do.
So, the key question is not to try to look for excuses as to, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a fad, I’ll put it off,” but to think about what do you think will be actually there in the future and then arrive at the future early in order to establish a competitive advantage against your competitors. And that’s both true as an individual, because every individual is essentially now a small business and entrepreneur and as a business, as a collection of businesses. And these are, I think this is a key thing of like which piece of these technology do I need to adopt and then adopt them early in order to get a competitive advantage.
Question: Can social networking ever be detrimental to businesses?
Reid Hoffman: You know, people generally worry about social networking more than they need to. In kind of consumer internet investing and on social and professional networks, I kind of look at time spending and time efficiency. You know, time saving sites. So on time spending sites, things where you play lots of games or that sort of thing, you might worry about a productivity loss if people are spending a lot of time doing that. So if there’s a lot of kind of addictive gaming going on during work hours, that won’t be as helpful to you.
Whereas things that help you get your job done better or help you get, you know, stay informed, you know, know what current, you know, kind of professional success is, those can be helpful.
So the risks really kind of come down to, are there ways that this will essentially end up taking a lot of time from employees as opposed to giving them leverage and scale.
Recorded on August 11, 2009
The founder of LinkedIn makes a case for why all companies should deploy this technology.
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Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".