How LinkedIn Has Turned Your Resume Into a Cash Machine
LinkedIn’s chief executive, Jeff Weiner, doesn’t want to talk about Facebook. No, no, no. “I’m not going to get into comparisons with them,” he declares. And yet a few minutes later Weiner rises from his chair, walks over to a whiteboard and energetically sketches a diagram that the world’s other giant social network can’t match.
Weiner draws three concentric circles to show how LinkedIn makes its money. The outer one is subscriptions. Next, marketing and advertising. And in the center is LinkedIn’s richest and fastest-growing opportunity: turning the company’s 161 million member profiles into the 21st-century version of a “little black book” that no corporate recruiter can live without.
“That’s the bull’s-eye,” he says.
Recent attention in the social space has focused almost entirely on Facebook, with its 900 million users, 28-year-old celebrity CEO and bumpy initial public offering. In the first month after its May 18 IPO Facebook stock skidded an embarrassing 17%. Hardly anyone noticed, meanwhile, that LinkedIn shares have leaped 64% this year. Mark May from Barclays Capital says LinkedIn is on track to gross $895 million and net $70 million, up 71% and 100%, respectively, from 2011.