Proudly supported by vanity fair


Receive regular updates about forthcoming events and other news from Intelligence Squared


You have been added to our mailing list and will now be among the first to hear about events.


LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman on Building a Billion-Dollar Business at Lightning Speed

The LinkedIn founder reveals the methods he used to speed LinkedIn’s transformation into the billion-dollar business it is today.

Video not available.

Some of the world’s most successful and powerful companies began as tiny startups and became global giants within only a few years. The list is long and includes world-changing companies like Amazon, Google, Airbnb, Facebook, Uber and Alibaba. But what are the secrets to these startups’ extraordinarily rapid successes?

According to Reid Hoffman, the man who founded LinkedIn, turned it into the world’s most important recruitment website and oversaw its sale to Microsoft for $26.2 billion, the secret is ‘blitzscaling’ — a philosophy which prioritises speed over efficiency and allows businesses to scale up at a furious pace. Blitzscaling means throwing out many of the old rules of business: it means embracing chaos, spending capital in ways that conventional business wisdom would consider wasteful, and tolerating practices traditionally thought of as bad management — all with the goal of growing as fast as possible.

In November 2018 Hoffman came to the Intelligence Squared stage for an exclusive London event where he revealed the methods he used to speed LinkedIn’s transformation into the billion-dollar business it is today and described his revolutionary strategies for companies to win in a world where doing things incredibly quickly is the best way to beat the competition.



John Thornhill

Innovation Editor at the Financial Times

Innovation Editor at the Financial Times and a regular columnist on the impact of technology. He was previously deputy editor and news editor of the FT in London. He has also been Europe editor, Paris bureau chief, Asia editor, Moscow correspondent and Lex columnist.

Reid Hoffman

Co-founder of LinkedIn

Co-founder of LinkedIn, which started in 2003 and now has more than 200 million members globally. It was acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion in 2016, the biggest acquisition in the tech giant's history. He is the co-author of Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies with entrepreneur and writer Chris Yeh. He is a partner at the leading VC firm Greylock Partners and was an early investor in Facebook, Flickr, and Zynga. He was also a member of the board of directors during the founding of PayPal.