What should I ask Reid Hoffman?

For a CWT.   Thank you all for the assistance.


Did WeWork blitzscale too much or not enough?

Already discussed: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/wework-blitzscaling-blitzflailing-reid-hoffman/

according to your bio, you were at RPI in the late 80s.

upstate NY is a great place - as I know from long experience - but ....

it is not, now, what you thought it would be back then, is it?

you know why not, and I know why not.

How many other people know why not, in your opinion?

As he is a successful angel investor, I would be interested to hear what he perceives as being the "next big thing". Could maybe work into a section about your own thoughts on the Great Stagnation and if he thinks there is promising technological development that may shake us out of it (if it happening in the first place).

What has the Jeffrey Epstein debacle taught him?

How can I stop all the linkedId junk mail?

Yes, please ask Hoff to stop spamming our inboxes ....

You still look at your inbox?

Has he read Nicholas Leman's book 'Transaction Man?' If so, what does he think about Leman's thesis?

How do you think your participants feel about the tools you provide to their employers to see who is updating profiles and resumes (presumably looking for a job?
Why is he so fat? Most rich, upper class people are thin.

Not a question, but it amazes me how much came out of the sale of Paypal. Thiel, Musk and Hofman have generated so many other SV companies just from the money from that sale it seems.

In a world with GDPR and CCPA, what rights do/should tech companies have on their user data? From a first principles perspective, what is a person's right to privacy on a site they don't control?

How badly should companies, "tech" or "non-tech", be punished for breaches/hacks that expose customer info? Are we currently too harsh or too lenient?

What does he think on the media’s attacks on FB? What does he think of Benioff’s tech critiques?

Who was the bigger slacker at Paypal? Thiel or Musk? Between those two, who would win in a boxing match?

Which strategic / cultural missteps stopped Ebay (including Paypal) from joining FAANG? Which other tech companies have squandered the biggest opportunities?

What does the incredible results achieved by small engineering teams that built Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook, Doom, Python ect. tell us about the distribution of talent, and the sociology of work in tech sector?

Why doesn't Google offer financial services beyond Google pay - payment processing, financial data-feeds, current account, credit ect?

What heuristics can you use to judge the strength of network effects? Did companies like Uber/WeWork misjudge their industry's network effects and damage unit-economics too much in attempts to scale fast?

Congressional grandstanding and its effect... underrated or overrated?

I get that he's an accomplished business leader and all, but in all his public interviews I've never heard him say anything interesting.

So, perhaps you should ask the Peter Thiel interview question: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

Given his roots in product dating back to AAPL, where does he see LinkedIn going to boost engagement, increase its value in a more meaningful way to a professional audience and change peoples' perceptions of what it is as a social network?

Why did it take the internet for people to connect? And having connected, why has it proved to be so profitable for the owners of the firms doing the connecting? And why do people want to connect in the first place? Is connecting just a fad? Or is connecting today's religion?

Ask him what Facebook should do with political ads? What about twitter? Ask about Warren's views on separating 'platform' from 'apps' for tech companies. Ask about other regulation needed/not needed? What's the next "big" tech revolution?

University system as subsidy to HR firms

Ask him whether he thinks universities are a large scale HR subsidy & filter [they obviously are] what's a good alternative? Is it Linkedin? That doesn't sound right since Linkedin is built on top of & uses the University filtering process. Linkedin is downstream. Is it Lambda School? That doesn't sound right either since in order to have winners we must have losers. Lambda School seems to be win-win. You can't filter 1000 applications down to an interviewable number like 5 with win-win.

I think the answer is places like HackerRank or other contests like Kaggle competitions perhaps even Y Combinator since they do filter. However I can't see YC scaling to university level.

Reactions? Thoughts? Comments?

Another possible alternative might be coding bootcamps but outside of Silicon Valley they seem much much more risky.

LinkedIn promotes its users to actively seek to change jobs. I'm sure that this is by design, as users who are seeking a new job will spend more time on LinkedIn, thus earning LI more revenue. Is this overall good or bad for productivity on a macro scale? If all employees are constantly actively seeking new jobs, I would argue that they're less engaged in their current job and will sacrifice productivity. On the other hand, those actively seeking a (better) job may work harder in their current job (at least for a time) to build achievements that will make them more attractive on the market. What's the equilibrium?

When you think about all the improvements that have made the world of work more efficient and precise, why hasn't the talent acquisition space kept up?

It seems like there is common knowledge established in the 60s and 70s by I/O psychology that still fails to inform the decisions of talent acquisition and hiring managers in virtually all but the most sophisticated firms. Is I/O psych underrated?

How good is LinkedIn at matching job seekers with employers? Along what metrics? What are the innovations there and how effective are they at delivering high quality candidates? What does the future of this process look like?

You've put a fair bit of money into non-profits that do low/middle skills workforce development projects. What's been most successful there? Why?

If you were near the beginning of your career today and decided that you wanted to start a business, how would you go about it? What kind of research would you do, and how would you decide what kind of business to start?

How did your master's degree in philosophy from Oxford help you as an entrepreneur?

Reid first became friends with Peter at Stanford. They once mentioned in an interview together that they read Shakespeare together on a road trip up the coast of Northern California.

Ask him "Peter Thiel pits Marx against, not Adam Smith, but Shakespeare. What does Shakespeare have to tell us about startups and politics? What did you read with Thiel that led you to become a progressive and he a conservative-libertarian?"

Ryan Zimmerman's first manager was Frank Robinson, who played in two midsummer All Star games with Satchel Paige when Satchel Paige was in his 40s.

How many people at Oxford have any clue what that sentence means?
How many at RPI?

People who know Reid will say he is too involved with his side projects to let them scale successfully. Ie Reid is the critical ingredient in many of them, and there’s only so much Reid. Does he see it this way, and if so, how does he reconcile that with his “Masters of Scale” philosophy?

How are your political side projects going and why did you pick those projects?

What important truth do Democrats not understand?

Do we under invest in solving hard problems like space flight and curing cancer? If so, is this the fault of VC, are they just adhering to their incentive structure, do we need a different investment mechanism with different incentives?

Reid spawned a newish podcast called "Should this exist?" There's this "techlash" against innovation these days, and Reid and now YC and others seem to be encouraging the innovators to take responsibility for the creative destruction they cause. I'd be curious to hear 1) whether he really believes this or is it just good PR? and 2) where is the line? For example, the invention of cars put blacksmiths out of business, making their lives worse. How should innovators think about the question "should this exist?"

Should California (want to) secede from the US? Why? And/or should California be broken up into multiple states (within the US)?

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