Eric Ly, one of the founders of LinkedIn, the world’s largest workplace social platform, is nearly 50 years old.


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In recent years, the blockchain craze has swept traditional finance and Internet industries. Every company and technology geek does not want to fall behind the trend and has begun to emerge in this emerging field and seize the high ground. For the blockchain and cryptocurrency fields, the news of people in traditional industries entering this field is the most exciting, such as Tesla CEO Musk, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Morgan Creek founder Anthony Pompliano, and well-known Wall Street investors Paul Tudor Jones, etc., lesser-known is actually LinkedIn co-founder Eric Ly.

Eric Ly, a veteran of the Internet bubble era, chose to devote himself to the blockchain industry at the age of “knowing the destiny”. There are many labels on Eric Ly: Vietnamese refugees of Chinese origin, serial entrepreneurs, Stanford University scholars, Silicon Valley “King of Networks” Reid Hoffman’s entrepreneurial partners, etc., but the most well-known should be the co-founder and co-founder of LinkedIn. The first CTO.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest business customer-oriented social networking service website. It was founded in December 2002, listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 20, 2011, and was acquired by Microsoft on June 13, 2016.

It can be said that Eric became famous because of LinkedIn and entered the blockchain field because of LinkedIn. In the ten years since LinkedIn was born, countless people have achieved effective communication through LinkedIn. However, with the increasing number of LinkedIn users, fraudulent resumes and fake academic qualifications are common on LinkedIn. Eri believes that building trust was difficult before the advent of blockchain. Blockchain can be used to benefit social networks, such as LinkedIn.

Stanford student leader, continuous entrepreneurship

Eric was born in Vietnam in 1969. When he was six years old, he followed his parents to the United States as refugees.

In 1987, the diligent Eric Ly studied undergraduate at Stanford University in the United States. Professor Erry Winograd has always believed that “computers can eventually be used as communication tools for people.” Eric was influenced by Professor Winograd, and he developed a great interest in human-computer interaction.

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After graduating from university, he went to MIT Media Lab in 1993 to study intelligent agents and voice user interfaces. After that, Eric went back to Stanford University to pursue a PhD.

Before joining LinkedIn, Eric had created two companies, one of which was successfully acquired by a listed company. Eric has held positions at IBM, Sun Microsystems and General Magic. In 1995, Eric created Netmosphere, an e-commerce communication platform, a website designed to build customer relationships for Fortune 500 companies. In 1999, Netmosphere was sold to the Internet company Critical Path.

Four months later, Eric founded Tresidder Networks, a human-computer interaction platform company, to provide customers with personalized content and wireless services.

Why is Eric particularly trusted by Hoffman? Before founding LinkedIn, Hoffman was the executive vice president of global payment giant PayPal. Eric and Hoffman are classmates of the same major. During the university, the two had a close relationship with each other personally, and often discussed future technological trends in their spare time. Even after graduation, they did not disconnect. Over time, Eric has become one of Hoffman’s most trustworthy entrepreneurial partners, both academically and personally.

“Created” LinkedIn, which was later acquired by Microsoft

Before LinkedIn was founded, Facebook and Twitter hadn’t become popular, and changing jobs too frequently in the United States could lead to losing contact with former colleagues. Some of the original methods of job hunting and contact have begun to fail. Hoffman realized this, and later LinkedIn.

In 2002, Eric, as one of the “founders” of LinkedIn, co-founded LinkedIn with Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke and Jean-Luc Vaillant. These five people should have become the earliest users of LinkedIn. At that time, all five people were assigned tasks and each had to find 100 users.

Eric serves as the chief technology officer of LinkedIn, helping to create and develop product features that will enable the company to profitably and rapidly grow users. Eric spent 6 months to complete the development, and the whole team completed the construction of the website. On May 5, 2003, the LinkedIn website was officially released.

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Compared with traditional social networks, what is the difference between LinkedIn? Guericke said: “We founded LinkedIn to do a business, not something cool. MySpace and Facebook do a good job and can also profit from it (maybe by adding more e-commerce elements). But in In my opinion, the opportunities and potential of professional social networking are greater.”

The result is indeed the case. In November 2003, Sequoia decided to invest $4.7 million in LinkedIn. In October 2004, venture capitalists invested another $10 million in LinkedIn. In 2004, the number of LinkedIn users reached 500,000. In January 2011, LinkedIn had more than 90 million registered users. By January 2012, LinkedIn had more than 150 million registered users. In 2016, Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion.

In fact, Eric left LinkedIn in 2006, which is growing rapidly. Eric said: “LinkedIn products can make people communicate, but can they also achieve the purpose of communication through the daily activities of managers? I want to try.”

In 2006, Eric created the web conferencing system Presdo, which is an application software that helps people search for and manage surrounding activities, and aims to enhance people’s meeting interaction and connectivity.

Founded Hub to create blockchain application scenarios

Maybe you are wondering why Eric entered the blockchain field? This was a difficult leap for him, and it was also a denial of the past. Because the decentralized blockchain seems incompatible with the traditional centralized Internet.

When referring to his resolute entry into the blockchain field, Eric said: “In the 1990s, I have witnessed the development of the Internet field. In the past 25 years, we have seen many excellent Internet solutions, even we The world of life is driven by the Internet. I just feel that the new concept brought by the blockchain can provide an opportunity. In the next 20 years, we will witness the emergence of this opportunity. What happened 25 years ago and the block The things that the chain can bring to us today are extremely similar. “Perhaps it is based on the knowledge and intuition of a technical geek that blockchain technology has given Eric the motivation to start a business again.

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Eric later said this often: “When we were at LinkedIn, we often said that we are building cars while driving. This is very risky.” This may be another reason why Eric switched to the blockchain field. Blockchain can give these Challenges bring more possibilities.

In 2017, Eric founded Hub, a blockchain technology company. Hub is committed to solving the problem of trust and reputation, hoping to create a new economic value for the Internet and the people who use the Internet. Eric emphasized in an interview: “What Hub wants to create is a blockchain technology application scenario, not a better blockchain.”

Eric has always wanted to tell everyone that blockchain is not just a variety of tokens, its technology can benefit the entire human race. For Eric, a serial entrepreneur who has been in the traditional Internet industry for more than 20 years, blockchain is not only an opportunity, but also a challenge. Hub contains Eric’s vision-to establish a trust mechanism between strangers and create more useful blockchain applications. After more than three years of establishment, has the Hub project and team’s original intentions changed? What substantive progress has been made? What blockchain application problems have been solved? We will wait and see!

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