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  • Reid Hoffman is the billionaire cofounder of LinkedIn and served as its CEO for four years.
  • He’s also an investing partner at Greylock Partners.
  • Hoffman was on the early executive team at PayPal and created web-based social networks in the 1990s.

People talk about Reid Hoffman as a philosopher of Silicon Valley. That’s by design.

Before he was the billionaire cofounder of LinkedIn and a partner at Greylock, he planned to be a “public intellectual.” Hoffman says his philosophical training guides his business and investment strategies every day.

“Formulating what your investment thesis is, what the strategy is, what the risks with the approach are, what kinds of things you would be doing with it, are all greatly aided by the crispness of thinking that comes with philosophical training,” Hoffman said on Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It.”

He’s now one of the foremost experts on entrepreneurship and careers, sharing his theories through his podcast “Masters of Scale,” presentations, essays, and books. He’s built one of the most robust networks in Silicon Valley — Tesla/SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are among his many friends — and he’s always gathering insights from them.

On this episode of “Success! How I Did It,” Hoffman talks about how he sees his place in the world, his 30-year friendship with his political opposite Peter Thiel, and his love of playing board games.

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