Tag Archives: jeff weiner

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LinkedIn’s Lament: 50% Growth Isn’t Enough If P/E Is 1,000


Investors this year have treated LinkedIn as a can’t-miss goldmine, snapping up the stock on dips, rallies and anything between. Shares surged a whopping 83% in 2013′s first four months, creating a stock-market monster with a price-earnings multiple of more than 1,000. It’s hard to keep that mania going for long — as investors found out when the careers-minded social network this afternoon provided its 2013 growth outlook.

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Get ready for revenue growth of 50% to 52% in the second quarter, LinkedIn told investors, with full-year 2013 revenue climbing 47% to 50%. Most companies can only dream of such growth rates. But for recent LinkedIn buyers, that isn’t good enough. They pressed the “SELL” button in after-hours trading, sending LinkedIn down more than $20 at one point from its record close of $201.67 a share earlier in the day.

Attention is likely to focus now on how rapidly and profitably LinkedIn can grow over the next three to five years — and on how sober-minded investors should value that growth. In a conference call with investors, LinkedIn’s chief executive officer, Jeff Weiner, and the company’s financial officer, Steve Sordello, rattled off a wide range of ways that LinkedIn keeps growing. Among them:

- Membership grew a record 16 million people in the first quarter and currently tops 225 million people worldwide

- Members’ page views grew 63%, year to year, fueled largely by increased mobile usage

- LinkedIn’s biggest money-maker, its Talent Solutions division, which provides advanced candidate-search tools for recruiters, grew 80% versus the prior year

- Net income more than quadrupled, to $22.6 million, or 20 cents a share, from the year earlier.

Citing comScore data, Weiner said that LinkedIn now ranks as the 22nd most visited web property in the world, if the company’s core site and its SlideShare unit’s traffic are combined. That’s a huge leap from a few years ago, when members seldom visited the site once they had built their profiles. LinkedIn has been busy building up its own web content, adding contributors such as former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart.

LinkedIn said it is switching this year to a self-maintained data center — a trend that has become popular among major social networks. That switch will add $5 million a quarter to costs this year, Sordello said, but it should generate substantial savings in the years to come.

Sordello and Weiner also voiced optimism about the appeal of LinkedIn’s recently upgraded iPhone application, as well as a doubling in SlideShare’s traffic and a 10% improvement in the company’s sales force productivity.

Another trend worth watching: LinkedIn’s profitability is climbing. The company has invested heavily for growth in recent years, aggressively building its engineering, product development and sales teams. With the benefits of scale, LinkedIn appears to be finding that each additional dollar of revenue doesn’t need to carry such sizable expenses with it — and can contribute more to the bottom line.

While the company posted $22.6 million in net income for the latest quarter, under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), its non-GAAP net income (which excludes some stock-compensation expenses) was a heftier $52.4 million. Wall Street analysts generally focus on the non-GAAP number. By that measure, LinkedIn’s price-earnings multiple still is in the hundreds, but not quite so lofty.

Still, as LinkedIn gets bigger, its growth rate inevitably slows down. The company’s year-to-year revenue growth rate topped 100% throughout 2011, but it ebbed to 82% in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 74% in the quarter just completed. Without addressing LinkedIn’s long-term growth rate specifically, LinkedIn CFO Sordello said the company should benefit from the diversity of its offerings and the size of its market opportunity. In addition to seeing LinkedIn as a vital tool for career development and hiring worldwide, the company has been experimenting with ways to use its tools in the even larger sales sector.

(VIA. forbes)

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LinkedIn CEO: We’re so much more than a Rolodex


LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner really wants you to stop thinking of LinkedIn as a digital resume.

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At a venture summit in Palo Alto today, he said LinkedIn used to be the place people went when they needed to find a job. They’d update their profile, connect with a few colleagues and abandon the site as soon as they got the job.

That’s increasingly no longer the case. In recent years, LinkedIn has tried to transition into a daily destination for people to read articles relevant to their professional life. In mid-2011, the company hired former Fortune Magazine editor Dan Roth to serve as LinkedIn’s Executive Editor. Earlier this year, LinkedIn purchased the mobile newsreader Pulse. Expect more investments in the content space, Weiner said.

“If you look at the last 15-plus years… the most valuable companies created the most relevant content platforms,” Weiner said.

In a packed, 30-minute fireside chat, Weiner’s comments ranged from the company’s continuing evolution, its focus on mobile (“mobile has become absolutely paramount to us”), rapid product iteration cycles and how he’s built LinkedIn’s corporate culture.

Asked about where he sees LinkedIn in 10 years from now, Weiner says the company will eventually grow beyond the professional graph into the so-called “economic graph.” His vision is to identify the 3.3 billion working professionals on the planet and perfectly match them with career opportunities near them.

He described being able to look into a specific community and see every job opening there, which jobs are growing the fastest, and suggest the best way to get those jobs.

“We’ve got a brand promise to our members to help them transform the trajectory of their careers,” Weiner said.

(VIA. Biz Journals)

LinkedIn Gone Wild- ’20 Percent Time’ to Tinker Spreads Beyond Google

LinkedIn Gone Wild: ’20 Percent Time’ to Tinker Spreads Beyond Google


LinkedIn Gone Wild- ’20 Percent Time’ to Tinker Spreads Beyond Google

First Google offered workers “20 percent time” in which to tinker, then Apple reportedly followed with a similar program called “Blue Sky.” Now LinkedIn is quietly offering its own take on letting workers run wild with InCubator, a program that may well top what Google offers.

Under InCubator, engineers can get 30 to 90 days away from their regular work to develop ideas of their own into products. Their ideas must first be developed into prototypes and clear two rounds of judging, with founder Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner involved in the final round. Many ideas submitted to InCubator come from LinkedIn’s monthly “hack days,” in which workers can win awards for small bits of quickly written software.

“It’s a little bit like a venture capital thing,” says Kevin Scott, LinkedIn’s senior vice president for engineering and a former Googler. “When we find something we really like, we want to make it successful…. To have Reid Hoffman sit down with you one-on-one to help you make your hack successful is great.”

If LinkedIn can extract profitable, high-impact products from InCubator, it could become a model for other companies trying to foster employee experimentation with their own versions of 20 percent time. At the moment, Silicon Valley companies seem eager to tap into employees’ ideas with such programs, but their approach is largely split between startup-friendly hackathons, which are like short sprints, and Google’s 20 percent time, which can be like a grueling marathon for workers. LinkedIn seems to be trying to find a middle way by making medium-sized investments in the most promising hacks.

The results have been encouraging thus far. The first group of four InCubator projects included some breakout hits, including an internal system for reserving meeting rooms and a toolkit for pointing out new features to users as they surf LinkedIn’s site. That success led to a second round of InCubator projects, which have just been funded and which, according to Scott, “are much more aggressive.” LinkedIn is already planning to bless a third batch in February.

LinkedIn is taking a systematic approach to InCubator. Not only are programs screened by top executives before entry into the program, but InCubator also features a series of checkpoints along the way. Only projects showing promise at 30 days graduate to become 60-day projects, and only those that have made sufficient further progress at day 60 will be allowed to make it to day 90. Along the way, project leaders get coaching from executives like Hoffman, who also works as a venture capitalist.

This structure sets InCubator apart from the more informal 20 percent time at Google, LinkedIn’s Mountain View neighbor. At Google, workers and their supervisors have traditionally been left to sort out for themselves the implementation of 20 percent time, which was more of a policy ideal than a mechanism unto itself.

InCubator is also carefully integrated with LinkedIn’s hackathons. The most promising hacks, for example, can win a “golden egg,” which exempts them from the first round of judging should the project be submitted to InCubator for consideration. This helps differentiate LinkedIn’s hack days from those at many other tech companies. Hackathons have become de rigueur in Silicon Valley but in many instances are not connected with an employee-driven product development pipeline of the sort LinkedIn is building with InCubate.

“There were amazingly creative and inventive applications or services or utilities that people were building [during hackathons], but there’s a time bound on what you can build in a day,” Scott says.

There are, of course, exceptions (which I cataloged at length in a book on this topic). Atlassian, an Australian business software company that convened some of the earliest corporate hackathons, has developed a system in which managers can “steal” engineers from other departments for short periods of time if they like their hacks. Workers, likewise, can obtain more and more time to develop their hacks by getting permission from progressively higher tiers of management. And at Facebook, workers can rotate through other departments for short periods of time.

But offering three full months away from regular work to tinker goes beyond all that; it’s not something generally seen in the tech world. At least not yet. Like any other good idea in Silicon Valley, it’s bound to be copied, riffed on, and maybe even expanded by others. In the meantime, LinkedIn will be an evolving case study.

(VIA. WIRED)

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Small Business Powerhouse Intuit Teams Up With Professional Social Network LinkedIn


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Venture Beat – Small business software powerhouse Intuit has released information concerning a possible partnership with professional social networking website Linkedin in order to assist small business owners make stronger hiring decisions. The initiative, know as “Hire Smart,” kicks off with a free event featuring a host of speakers, including “apprentice” winner Bill Rancic, Intuit CEO Brad Smith and Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner.

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Was LinkedIn Smart To Acquire SlideShare?


Slideshare, the most effective way to share professional documents and presentations across the web, has just recently been acquired by Linkedin for a hefty sum of one hundred and eighteen million dollars. Was this a good move? The largest proffesional network buying out the largest ‘professional slide sharing’ network?

one statistic worth noting may in fact have Linkedin competitors thinking they should have jumped on the slide share band wagon a bit earlier. Last March alone, SlideShare saw a total of twenty nine million unique visitors.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner stated: “Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity.”

Image Via. watblog.com

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Linkedin Has A Twenty Million User Increase


On Thursday Linkedin made notice of a twenty million user increase from their November total of just under one hundred and thirty million. These numbers were announced in a Q4 press release.

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, Member, Board of Directors at DonorsChoose said, “Q4 once again exceeded our expectations for member engagement and business growth. It was a fitting end to a memorable year in which we reinforced our position as the pre-eminent professional network on the web,” and continued “We believe continued focus on our members and technology infrastructure positions us well for accelerated product innovation in 2012.”

Linkedin initial prediction for total revenue was one hundred sixty million dollars. Their final total income in Q4 surpassed their initial prediction by more than seven million and brought their total Q4 profit up to one hundred sixty seven million dollars.

Linkedin has seen a more than one hundred percent increase in total revenue this same time two years earlier (2010.) ‘Hiring solutions’ was their main source of revenue, which brought in more than eighty million dollars in the final quarter alone. Linkedin stock is currently up more than five percent.