“The good relationships and alliances you create define your mutual ability to be effective,” says Reid Hoffman, which is a fancy way of saying that friends really matter. Hoffman, 42, is a powerful friend to have. In the early aughts, the founding PayPaller established himself as one of Web 2.0’s most influential angel investors, funding and coaching a bevy of once unknown startups (Facebook, Digg, Flickr, Zynga). He steered his own brainchild, LinkedIn, to profitability by embracing the trend of building the Brand Called You. “People need to run their careers like real businesses,” he says. Hoffman, a whirling dervish of connecting, coaching, and philanthropy–he agreed to advise the microlender Kiva after hearing a parking-lot pitch–routinely dazzles friends with his progressive views. Now, as a VC at Greylock, he seeks entrepreneurs who are smart and energetic, with scalable ideas. “I want to know that they care about people more broadly than themselves,” he says. “How do we make the world a better place by having been there?”
collectionsNewslettersInnovation FestivalCurrent Issue
World Changing Ideas
New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system.
The major tech ecosystems that battle for our attention and dollars.
What’s next for hardware, software, and services.
The brave new world of automation, from AI to drones.
How our urban centers are building toward the future.
Most Creative People
See members of our Most Creative People in Business community: leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways.
An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens.