The Many Faces of LinkedIn

Having taken a look at LinkedIn’s financials, I also want to drill down a bit and look at the product from a user perspective.

LinkedIn is clearly going to have an extremely good IPO, whether they end up valued at $3 billion or $4 billion.  So it’s odd to say they’ve done a bad job of leveraging their assets, but it’s true.  The reason is that LinkedIn is really three or four very different products bundled into one.  The company has done a good job of developing and exploiting the recruiting product, but they’ve been pretty mediocre on the other ones, whether due to constrained resources or a lack of attention. Continue reading The Many Faces of LinkedIn

Is the LinkedIn IPO a Good Deal

Among social networks, LinkedIn is a fascinating outlier.  It’s by far the largest professional network, and as such it personifies the debate over whether people want different networks for different purposes.  I think the answer is yes.  Both Facebook and LinkedIn are based on webs of relationships, but no degree of privacy controls or slapped-on features can turn Facebook into an effective business networking tool.  Perhaps I’m biased.  For me, Facebook is a place to socialize, while LinkedIn is a place to promote myself professionally.  Just because two products look similar, it doesn’t mean they do the same job.

Let’s take a closer look at LinkedIn now that the company is moving towards an IPO. Continue reading Is the LinkedIn IPO a Good Deal?