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Network Intelligence:
Your Company Can’t
Thrive Without It
My name is
Reid Hoffman
and I’m an
and investor.
I cofounded
LinkedIn in
2003. Today we
have more than
around the
What was the last really hard
problem you solved at work?
Here’s an example from my career.
When I worked at PayPal, we had to figure
out how to beat a competitor: BillPoint.
And they were backed by Wells
Fargo and owned by our most
important business partner: eBay.
To beat BillPoint, we
needed to outthink them.
I asked all the members of my team to
talk with friends, business partners,
and even BillPoint employees to get
as much ma...
We found out two important things.
1. BillPoint thought its
relationship with Wells
Fargo mattered most to
2. …and eBay users (the
customers) didn't care about
BillPoint’s bank relationships.
They just wanted
an easy to use produ...
Armed with that knowledge,
we focused on ease of use,
among other things.
We beat BillPoint. eBay ended
up buying us for $...
What’s your current challenge?
Here’s what most people do when
problem solving.
They schedule a meeting with all the
That’s a good first step
— talk to people.
The most valuable professional
information is often in
other people’s heads.
People — not Google, not books, not
blog posts — have the information you
need to solve tough problems.
People can offer advice that’s time-
People often know things that
are not yet public on Google.
People can t...
Great information and insight
from the people you know can
be a significant competitive
We call it…
When it comes to knowledge
in a highly networked era…
who you know
is often more valuable than
what you’ve read.
Now, when you are facing a
truly hard problem, you
should also look outward.
There are more
smart people in
the world who do
not work at your
company than the
total # of smart
people who work
at your...
Your team is bigger than you think.
If you’re a manager…
Your team becomes a whole lot bigger.
If you do…
If you have 5 people working for you
and they each have 75 different
contacts outside the company…
The network intel team ...
CEOs tend to be big networkers —
they talk to a lot of people in the
industry at large.
…But they forget
their employees can do the same.
When your employees share
what they learn from the
people in their network (about
technologies, competition,
talent), they...
An externally networked workforce
is critical to an innovative company.
It’s also great for your
employees’ careers. By helping
them strengthen their external
network, you’re improving their
So encourage them to engage
their network on a regular basis.
Ask your employees:
“Who are the 3 smartest
people you know who don’t
work at our company”?
Empower your employees to
network with those smart
people on company time...
And the company dime.
HubSpot’s Learning
Meals program allows
employees to expense
meals with interesting
people in the industry
so long as the
“My one regret is that
we didn’t put the
Learning Meals
policy in place from
the start at HubSpot.
- Dharmesh Shah
Encourage your employees to
be active on social media.
Celebrate employees who have
large Twitter followings and
lots of LinkedIn connections.
For their annual conference, HubSpot
wanted to bring in a big name speaker
like Arianna Huffington.
To do so, they tappe...
The organizers made a list of employee
Twitter accounts and went through
them to find the employee with the
strongest conn...
HubSpot employees also have two
times the average number of LinkedIn
connections, and those employees
share, comment, ...
HubSpot attracts two times the average
number of candidates for the job
opportunities it posts on LinkedIn.
The pa...
is a part of
between company and employee
The employee’s career is transformed.
A strong professional network is one of
the most important career assets a
person ...
The company is transformed.
Network intelligence from all
employees helps managers make
better strategic decisions.
THE ...
An Alliance will help you
recruit, manage, and
retain great people to
your company. And solve
key problems faster.
Get the book today ▸
Learn more in my book
with Ben Casnocha
and Chris Yeh: The
We show you how to
set up netw...
Get the book today ▸
And we show how
these programs help
you solve challenges,
and ultimately help
you recruit, manage,
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And they were backed by Network Intelligence: Your Company Can’t Thrive Without It

And they were backed by Wells
Fargo and owned by our most
important business partner: eBay.

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And they were backed by Wells Fargo and owned by our most important business partner: eBay.


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