Source: The Wall Street Journal
For a stretch of asphalt that has seen trillions of dollars of wealth creation, Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif., the Main Street of venture capital, is rather unassuming. A few bikers heading for the fog-covered hills, a Tesla passing a Prius, low-slung office buildings. One building houses Greylock Partners, where I sit in a conference room with entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, who has been in the middle of this wealth creation and now sees some of its destruction coming soon. “If companies haven’t embraced that they are operating in a networked age,” he says, “then they will probably be on their way to not surviving.”
The 47-year-old knows networks. Mr. Hoffman built his reputation by founding the business social-networking platform LinkedIn and serving as chief operating officer of the e-commerce site PayPal, both billion-dollar powerhouses. He was an early investor in YouTube, Yelp, Flickr, Zynga and, oh yes, Facebook.
He has a theory on what makes ventures work: understanding that information is no longer isolated but instantly connected to everything else. Call it the move from the information age to the network age. Mr. Hoffman thinks that the transformation is just getting started and will take out anyone who stands in the way. Read the rest of this entry »