General Information

According to their website, LinkedIn was founded in 2003. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. LinkedIn leads a diversified business with revenues from membership subscriptions, advertising sales and recruitment solutions. In December 2016, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn, bringing together the world’s leading professional cloud and the world’s leading professional network. Their vision? To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Their Mission? The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

Product Innovation

LinkedIn has products to serve B2B and B2C transactions and is aimed to appeal to professionals, job seekers, recruiters and other human resources professionals. Like many other products and applications, individuals can create a LinkedIn profile and account free of charge. To access additional services not offered with free accounts, you must add subscription services. Some common products focus on job ingestion, job wrapping, easy apply and many others. LinkedIn has a company goal to understand the job seeker and job search process better anyone else, so they can create better jobs than any other job platforms out there. They want to build a common taxonomy across the various products to make each product more seamless.

Innovation Process

When LinkedIn was founded, like most companies, they started with disruptive innovation to gain niche customers. After you gain that customer base, innovation becomes incremental to build and improve the product and to gain new customers. With smaller companies and startups many small, iterative changes happen and there is less research. With these companies, you could try many different things. More established companies like LinkedIn have more support, lots of data, research and feedback and less technical taxonomy. Innovation happens but there is a larger process to get it done.

When a person at LinkedIn has an idea for innovation, they can submit that idea to the company idea bank. In this process, you come up with your business case, explain the resources you need in your business case and the idea is reviewed by stakeholders.

To make innovation happen within LinkedIn, product managers, researchers, designers, developers and other staff work collectively to help build, test and ideate products in the company. Collaboration across various teams happen in daily scrums and weekly meetings to discuss processes and progress. Tools like JIRA, Confluence and Wiki are used to keep track of meetings and product roadmaps. Their processes are evaluated on how much opportunity and milestones are made and adjusted quarter to quarter.

Innovation Metrics

LinkedIn uses various sign-post metrics and performance metrics for each of their products and various day-to-day metrics to supplement their company-wide metrics. They focus on information available in the present and fine tune their products based off results.

Advantage of Cluster

Like other companies, there are various companies that are competition for LinkedIn. To understand how to make a compelling job searching platform, you must understand the importance of what works well with your competition and applying it to your product.

According to Ted Tomlinson, senior software engineer manager, the biggest cluster advantage is the talent ecosystem. Being in Silicon Valley gives you the ability to be around great people and you get the best talent from local schools.

Fun fact

LinkedIn has various locations worldwide. Their Mountain View Campus is like a college campus with 13 buildings, 4 Gyms, Personal Chefs and other awesome resources to make you feel like home!

Memorable Quotes

“I can be my best authentic self here.” Renee Reid, Senior UX Design Researcher

“You need to have the passion and the idea and advocate for it.” Ted Tomlinson, Senior Software Engineering Manager