Today hundreds of millions of professionals around the world use LinkedIn to connect with other people and businesses, manage their online identities, highlight personal skills, and find their dream jobs! But how did it all get started?
In an intimate blog post by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, he describes their journey till now:
Ten years ago, I co-founded LinkedIn in my living room with the mission of connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Inspired by the invaluable role relationships played in our own careers, we launched LinkedIn with the tagline “Relationships matter.”
At the end of our first month, we had 4,500 members in the network. 10 years later, we’re honored and humbled that so many of you have made LinkedIn a part of your daily professional lives.
2003 – Launch
Reid recruits a team of old colleagues from SocialNet and PayPal to work on a new idea. Six months later LinkedIn launched, growth was slow at first, with as few as 20 new signups per day, but eventually showed enough promise to attract an investment from Sequeia Capital.
2004 – Experimentation
The introduction of address book upload in late 2003 accelerates growth to over 1 million members. LinkedIn also added a group feature and partnered with American Express to promote its offerings to small business owners.
2005 – Revenue
LinkedIn introduces its first business lines: Jobs and Subscriptions.
2006 – Foundations
After launching public profiles, LinkedIn becomes the go-to profile of record or your online resume. Also in 2006, the company turned profitable and added core features which include Recommendations and People You May Know.
2007 – Growing Up
After four years as CEO, Reid brings in Dan Nye to lead the effort. LinkedIn then moves to Stierlin Court and opens a Customer Service center in Omaha.
2008 – Going Global
LinkedIn becomes a global entity by opening its first international office in London and also launching French and Spanish language versions of the site.
2009 – New Leadership
Jeff Weiner joins LinkedIn as President before becoming CEO, and helps bring focus and drive to LinkedIn’s core mission, values and strategic priories.
2010 – Acceleration
The company enters hyper-growth reaching 90 million members and about 1000 employees in 10 offices around the world.
2011 – Next Play
LinkedIn becomes a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange and hosts a town hall meeting with the President of the United States.
2012 – Transformation
A completely revamped site and business strategy enabled rapid product innovation and transformation focusing on three concepts: simplify, grow and everyday.
2013 – LinkedIn Turns 10
On their 10th birthday LinkedIn unveiled a new mobile app and has a reach of 225 million members and is growing at 2 members per second!
In 2003, we were a handful of guys in a living room. Today, 3,700+ employees are celebrating “Cinco de LinkedIn” around the world.
Our vision at LinkedIn is to create economic opportunity for every professional in the world. We look forward to helping you accomplish much more in the years to come and growing the relationships that matter most. Thank you for being a part of our journey. – Reid Hoffman