Friday, 6 March, 2009

Reid Hoffman: "Every individual is now an Entrepreneur"

Reid Hoffman shares his views on the his investment successes and most particularly in the vision that he has for web 2.0's next generation user interactivity. This is the charlie rose show featuring him:
An interesting viewpoint and a quote that redefines the difference between individuals today compared to the generation before:
"I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not. Because it used to be that you got a job at one company and you were there 20, 30, 40, years. That’s been dead for decades. That’s even dying in Japan. The salary man no longer even exists in Japan. Average job length is two to four years. That makes you a small business. You are the entrepreneur of your own small business. How do you get to your next gig? How do you do your career progression? All these things now fall on the individual shoulders. And so, they’re essentially an entrepreneur. Now, they’re not an entrepreneur a la, I’ll go create, you know, Google, LinkedIn, a business. They’re entrepreneurs in terms of the business of themselves and how they drive that. So it’s how they get, like, their next job opportunity, how they get a promotion. All of that stuff comes from how they manage the network around them. Which is, by the way, what gave me the idea for LinkedIn."
On Risk and investment:
"I think that one of the key things — the reason why I think risk tolerance is important is because what happens is people delude themselves they’re not taking risks. They say, oh, I’m going to get a job at, you know, Hewlett-Packard or I’m going to get a job — and that’s not risky. Well, look at current economic climates. Everything in life has some risk, and what you have to actually learn to do is how to navigate it. And people who take risk intelligently can usually actually make a lot more progress than people who don’t.
(On Bad risk:) Yes. Well, there’s a huge difference between intelligent risk taking and stupid risk taking. Now, the trick is to know the difference.
I mean, this is actually one of the things that makes me mildly nervous even on the stimulus package, because if you think about, well, our problem is leverage. What is the stimulus package? Borrow money, spend it.
So I think it’s really…
Well, and therefore, I think to do it successfully, you actually have to make sure that the stimulus that you’re spending it in is actually creating sustainable jobs. So I’m a huge believer in the way that you actually get out of these economic downturns is through entrepreneurship, because that creates new kinds of jobs that actually have longevity and strength to them.
If you’re investing in an industry that has, for example, known problems, you’re just delaying the problem. That’s not necessarily a good thing."

Techcrunch has covered the interview excerpts here.

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