LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman to teach secrets of Silicon Valley at Stanford

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman will co-teach a course at Stanford University this fall on the secrets of Silicon Valley.

In a post on LinkedIn, Hoffman, now a partner at the venture firm Greylock Partners, said that while many other regions try to imitate the Bay Area-based tech industry, most are missing a critical element that makes Silicon Valley unique.

Hoffman says what makes the Valley special is something he calls “technology-enabled blitzscaling.”

From his blog post:

So, why does Silicon Valley continue to produce so many industry-transforming companies? The secret has moved past startups to scaleups. As the networked age has increased the competitive importance of speed, the key secret is now scaling up at speed. Two areas of the world do this well with many companies: Silicon Valley and some cities in China.

When you scale at speed, you can capture the market quickly and also outmaneuver potentially global competition. Given the parallels with military and sports strategies, we can call this blitz-scaling. Literally: lightning-scaling.

Hoffman’s class, technically called “CS183C,” will bring tech industry leaders into the classroom. Among the confirmed speakers are Sam Altman of Y Combinator, Jeff Weiner, the chief executive of LinkedIn, Elizabeth Holmes, the chief executive of Theranos, Jen Pahlka of Code for America and Nirav Tolia of Nextdoor.

The class will meet at Stanford each Tuesday and Thursday, from 4:30 – 5:50 PM.  It will likely have about 80 students plus 20 from the communityDeadline for applying to the class is Sept. 18. (There are links to application information on Hoffman’s post for students and community members).

Hoffman will be teaching with John Lilly, a fellow partner at Greylock and the former CEO of Mozilla.

Video of each class will likely be posted online within the week, said Lilly. Reading materials will be available to the wider public on LinkedIn and Medium.

Above: Stanford University. (Konstandinos Goumenidis /Daily News).


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