Ask the CEO

Last week, many of our blog readers may have noticed an interview with our CEO Dan Nye on New York Times’ technology blog BITS, an acronym for Business. Innovation. Technology. Society. The interview and subsequent blog post by Saul Hansell, shed a little more light on our API plans, which we had blogged about a few months ago (Read Lucian Beebe’s earlier post on the LinkedIn API).

Here’s something to ponder:

So LinkedIn will have to approve any company that wants to tap into its system. Mr. Nye says he is looking for two kinds of applications. First, there are deals that enable LinkedIn members to tap into their connections in other places, for example, while using applications like Salesforce.com. Second, some applications will be allowed to add features to LinkedIn’s own site. Mr. Nye offered, as an example, a module connected to a trade show or conference that integrated travel planning and other features. (Read entire article here)

As an adjunct to that post, Dan, is also answering questions posed by readers of the New York Times. The questions asked ranged from LinkedIn features like Groups, kudos, competition to tips on usage. Here’s a snippet from Dan’s response:

All (18 questioners so far) –

Thank you for your questions. I appreciate your interest in LinkedIn, thank you for being members/subscribers and look forward to addressing your issues and concerns about the service.

LinkedIn is a young company that is pursuing a big dream and big idea. Our goal is to build a productivity tool to help professionals to be the even better at what they do. We do this by helping people a) present themselves in a professional way on the internet, b) find people with unique skills, knowledge and experience, c) reach people who can help them accomplish their goals, d) get advice from their networks and LinkedIn at large, e) find opportunities, f) acquire new clients/deals.

Of course, the underlying foundation of LinkedIn is the relationship network built. However, it is the quality of the people, the user generated content, utility of the applications and the breadth/quality of content that make it useful.

I receive email and InMail messages daily from members who write to express their excitement about the service. I hear stories about members finding friends and colleagues they haven’t spoken to in decades, entrepreneurs who find business partners, professional service providers acquiring new clients through the Services recommendations, recruiters who find candidates, companies who find talent, members who find the “perfect job”, line managers who are amazed by the quality of the advice they receive from the Answers area or a decision they made after conducting an “off-line” reference check…etc.

While these positive stories and comments are rewarding, we are well aware that LinkedIn can be improved and that many members haven’t yet discovered the power of the service. For those of you who fall in to that category, I assure you that we are working very hard on features and product designs that I think you will love.

With this as background, I will respond to your questions as follows (For the rest of the responses, please check out the New York Times blog post here)

The questions to Dan can be accessed on this blog thread here.

Dan’s answers thus far are summarized here.