LinkedIn Gets a New Boss

June 25th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

Yesterday LinkedIn announced its new President, Jeff Weiner.  You can read all about it on TechCrunch’s post: Changing Of The Guard: Jeff Weiner Takes CEO Spot At LinkedIn.

I don’t really know Reid (although we’ve exchanged a couple of messages, and he said he’s aware of my book and DVD).  I don’t know Dan Nye at all – he was the CEO until last December – but I wasn’t crazy about the direction of the company back then (easy for me to complain about).

Actually, my biggest beef was how they did the LinkedIn API stuff, and only opened LinkedIn Applications up to a handful of companies… I would have loved it if they would have been more open to communication with people like me (as the author of the LinkedIn book) or people like me (as the owner of JibberJobbe.com, which I think would be a great LinkedIn application) or me (again, as the owner of JibberJobber.com, who wants a tighter interface for stuff like importing contacts, etc.).

On the other hand, I totally respect their position on taking this slow so they don’t get all the crap and spam and vulnerabilities that come – things that Facebook applications and iPhone applications have led to.

I’m guessing that Jeff Weiner’s background and experience at Yahoo, and his experience as “Executive in Residence” (EIR) at two major VC firms will really have an impact on the direction that LinkedIn is headed – in terms of social, functional, etc.

It’s also interesting to read in that TechCrunch article that LinkedIn is still saying they are going to go public (as opposed to try for an acquisition), and focus on three revenue streams:

  • Premium Subscriptions -I have some thoughts on how they could easily multiply the number of subscriptions they are currently getting, and
  • Corporate Solutions – no comment there, not sure what their corporate solutions are, although it seemed for a while like they were trying to offer some internal corporate directory or intranet stuff, and
  • Advertising – I actually have been playing around with the advertising – granted, I’m at a very, very low budget, but I’m not impressed… however, I think they can really optimize the ad revenue from institutional ad buyers as well as making it easier and more effective for individuals like me to actually spend a few bucks each month (a few * (a percentage of their 42M signups)) can add up quickly.

I’m hopeful to see what LinkedIn, and Jeff Weiner, do this next year!

  1. 2 Responses to “LinkedIn Gets a New Boss”

  2. By Andrew Buck on Jun 25, 2009 | Reply

    I think the thing that has differentiated social networking from other matured presences on the Web is that there is a higher degree of tolerance of flaws in the architecture as it grows…that is so long as those flaws eventually are addressed, otherwise it’s simply neglect. So feature development is obviously going to drive their business, and it remains to be seen whether LinkedIn opens up a little more.

    From my personal standpoint, the value proposition in a LinkedIn premium subscription isn’t there. The entry level offers little more than the free membership; were that to change and be more robust, I would give serious consideration to what LI could offer. But the “value-for-money” isn’t there right now, and flipping the switch to “paid-only” as a part of going public using their current model is likely to have a very negative impact. I hope Jeff considers that in his review.

    As for advertising, aren’t advertising budgets hacked and slashed in this recession, and if so, what incentive are they offering compared to other Web venues?

  3. By Susan Ireland on Jun 25, 2009 | Reply

    Nice post, Jason. I’d be interested in what advertising program they have in mind for us little guys, too.

    I’m not crazy about LI making money from our profiles and LI activity. Seems we should be able to opt in or out of ads on our pages, with financial incentives to opt in.

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