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My idle thoughts on tech startups

Happy birthday LinkedIn

Lee Hower
May 15, 2008 · 1  min.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t extend warm happy birthday wishes to LinkedIn and the team there. We launched the site publicly five years ago in May 2003 after about 6 months of planning, architecting, and coding which began at the end of 2002. Roughly a year after launch we celebrated the milestone of 500K registered users pictured here with our celebratory bottle of Macallan. Today there are over 22M users in more than 200 countries.

One of the things which I think has helped LinkedIn sustain it’s growth has been the remarkable continuity of much of the core team. A handful of us from the early days moved on to other things… Konstantin joined Jaxtr as CEO, Cohler became one of the early execs at Facebook, Josh Elman became head of product mgmt at Zazzle (and recently joined FB too), and I of course turned to the VC dark side. But LinkedIn’s VP Product Allen Blue, VP Engineering Jean-Luc Vaillant (now CTO), Chief Architect Yan Pujante, and CEO Reid Hoffman (now Chairman & President of Product) are all still there making a big impact even as the company has grown to nearly 300 employees.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the next five years brings.

Lee Hower
Lee is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has spent his entire career as an entrepreneur and investor in early-stage software and internet startups.