VIDEO: Celebrating LinkedIn’s 8th Birthday

May 10, 2011

As we celebrated LinkedIn’s eighth birthday on Cinco de Mayo this past week, I think back to LinkedIn’s birthday celebrations over the years. I had just started in the newly formed sales team the August prior to our fourth birthday and remember it wasn't much of celebration. Our fifth birthday was celebrated in a much more memorable fashion, with an actual party.  We were five years old and had a reason to celebrate with close to 10 million members. At that point, I thought, this is cool but what kind of company celebrates a birthday and why?

Since then, LinkedIn has grown at a much faster pace and so have our teams across the globe. So, when our sixth birthday rolled around, our new CEO, Jeff Weiner, asked me to put together a real party. So, in our office kitchen, we had margaritas, Mexican food and cupcakes from Kara's on Cinco De Mayo. It was a fun afternoon of connecting with co-workers whom I didn't see regularly any more given the pace at which we were growing.

When the date rolled around the next year, the question was “are we celebrating again?” And with a resounding "Yes", the tradition stuck. Since last year, we’ve moved the party outside to fit everyone. The tradition is now something we look forward to every year just like a little kid getting excited about the bouncy house arriving in their driveway. This year, we even had an English Bulldog mascot (my dog, Willow) besides balloons, drinks and many more tacos.

Recently, I transitioned from the sales team into a role where I am responsible for making work at LinkedIn fun and inspiring, through such employee events. As I planned the party this year, it felt like a dream job come true as I was – for the first time – organizing our birthday party in an official capacity.

A few things remain the same each time this special day comes around. One, it's a fun afternoon of connecting with co-workers, the talented people with whom I am truly privileged to work. I always catch up with someone I haven't talked to in a while; this year it was Steve Ganz, one of my colleagues who has recently relocated. I always leave the day with sore feet from wearing my heels with the Mexican flair.  And, I always eat one too many Kara's cupcakes.

Now, I think, why don't all companies celebrate their birthday?

Happy birthday LinkedIn!

[Thanks to our colleagues Jeremy Johnstone, Brian Li and Chad Paculba for contributing photos to our birthday party album. Stay tuned for more. - Ed.]