Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Solomon interviewed Greylock partner and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman at the Builders + Innovators Summit in Sonoma County, California.
The duo discussed Hoffman’s motivations to become an entrepreneur, the future of social media and the evolution of artificial intelligence.
On what prompted him to become an entrepreneur, Hoffman said: “I understood about technology entrepreneurship and about the fact that if you create these products, you can redefine the scope of society, the nature of global humanity.”
On characteristics to look for in an entrepreneur, Hoffman said he’s on a lookout for “a combination of persistence and flexibility”.
“There’s kind of this yin-yang of these things, where it’s like, on one hand, I have a vision I’ve thought about deeply, I’ve got conviction in what I’m doing. On the other hand, I am learning, I’m adapting, I’m asking questions.”
On getting a “useful no” you can learn from: “Always go and ask people ‘What’s wrong with my idea? What’s wrong with my strategy? What’s wrong with my business? What’s wrong with it?’ because then you get potentially useful feedback. If you show up and say, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ Then people say, ‘Oh, you want reassurance? Oh, it’s great.’ That’s not very helpful.”