Le Web: LinkedIn gets down to business

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Allen Blue

How is life after the LinkedIn IPO? Exciting, loads of new faces and very little turnover, suggests Allen Blue, Co-Founder & Vice President of Product Management, LinkedIn. But that doesn’t come easy, he suggests. You have to work hard to build a future and opportunities for each employee, so that they feel that the best opportunity is right where they are.

LikedIn wants to help in three big areas:

  1. Better decision making
  2. Better innovators
  3. Help get things done

They think about mobile in that way. In 2000, BlackBerry was the mobile king, but it was also a problem, as people were spending all their time on the mobile and not on their lives. So the next stage will be about balance.

LinkedIn offers “outbound intelligence” – the ability to research and make connections before walking into meetings – they call it meeting intelligence. And then the news product is the first step towards keeping people informed. And lastly, they want to support face-to-face meetings. Which brings us to Cardmunch, which is a lovely little app that allows you to upload photos of business cards from your mobile, and upload them for processing. Works great for me. LinkedIn wants to declare victory over business cards – but hasn’t quite made it yet.
MG Seigler MG Seigler raises the issue of co-existence with Facebook, and Blue seems unchallenged by the idea, given that professional gives them a defensible position against the social giant.

LinkedIn Answers suffered because often asking a question is admitting ignorance, and thus professionally dangerous. They contemplated anonymous question asking as a response, but settled instead for creating a better environment. The real professional identity concept is important to them.

What they are building is a data resources about people and their professional networks – they’d love to see that built into more applications through the API.

Not the most earth-shattering session – but confirms my impression of an established web product hitting its stride in terms of usefulness.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.