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Linked-in to $9bn

Amazing debut for Linked-In today. The noise around valuations and a tech-bubble doesn’t really reflect the work this team has put into building an amazing brand. These guys put in the hard yards. TechCrunch says it well:

… these are all my observations after ten years of interviewing him about LinkedIn, watching him shake his head at the unfairness of the hype cycle and keep slogging away at building LinkedIn regardless. Hoffman should be the role model for entrepreneurs star-struck by the seeming glamour and ease of Silicon Valley’s consumer Internet world. He’s the living incarnation of the reality of the Valley: It may be easier than ever to start a product, but building a company is just as hard as its ever been.

As for the brain-dead commentators wondering if LinkedIn’s IPO represents a bubble, somewhere Hoffman has to be laughing and shaking his head again. What part of spending a decade of building a business with more than 100 million users that no one hyped, that represents one of the few large-scale working examples of a freemium business model screams “BUBBLE” to you people? These are the same people that said Google was wildly overvalued when it priced at under $100 a share.

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