LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman has become known for giving solid advice — both to the entrepreneurs in which he invests, as well as the general public with his recent book The Startup Of You. So when he came backstage at Disrupt SF earlier this week after his fireside chat with Michael Arrington, we just had to ask him: What is some bad advice that people often give to entrepreneurs that they should ignore?
According to Hoffman, one big mistake is listening to others talk too much about making money. He said:
“People frequently try to talk about business models too early. The question comes down to, when you’re a seed stage company people say, ‘Well what’s your business model?’ And the answer is, as a seed stage consumer company, you hopefully have some puzzle pieces and you’re thinking about what the business model might be, but if you say it with confidence, you’re wrong. Because most often those change.”
We also asked about why he thinks LinkedIn has had a more well-received initial public offering than, say, Facebook. His answer was that it mostly comes down to expectations:
“I think we benefited from the fact that we never had a period in our lives when we were described as the ‘total world killer.’ So, no one ever had this expectation of us that it was like, the whole world’s gonna change when we IPO [or] a year after we IPO. And so it’s been easier for us to beat people’s expectations for us.”
It’s really just a pleasure to talk to Hoffman, so watch the entire video above to hear him also discuss which young entrepreneur he’s most excited about (hint, he hails from Sweden), what is on his 10-year-plan, and more.