Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of career oriented social media platform LinkedIn, is defending Facebook.
Hoffman, who was an early investor in the company, is pro-Facebook, despite the controversy that has surrounded the social media giant this year.
“Some people argue, well, it [Facebook] wasn’t quite fast enough,” Hoffman said in a Yahoo Finance interview at TechCrunch Disrupt recently.
He continued, “Well, you would kind of have to foresee that, wow, foreign governments are kind of manipulating the platform. It might have taken a little longer to see them than you’d ideally want to. Who knows [if they] would have been better at that? But they are taking it very seriously right now.”
He adds, “I think it’s reasonable to say that when these people were creating businesses, they didn’t realize that foreign governments were going to use them to try to manipulate U.S. elections and other elections.”
“If you launch a product that embarrasses you, that’s emphasizing speed,” he explained. “Get the minimum viable product out. Start getting data. See if you have product market fit in order to be able to accelerate in speed and be learning about it. So the focus isn’t on, ‘Oh, I failed. I wasn’t embarrassed.’ It’s, ‘I failed. I didn’t move fast enough.’ But moving fast means you’re going to do something small. You’re going to do something that kind of embarrasses you as a way of doing it.”
Hoffman is currently a partner at Greylock Partners. He has written a book called “blitszcaled” in which Facebook is one of several companies that he discusses.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently gave her testimony on Capitol Hill. According to Hoffman, the company has ramped up its efforts to combat foreign interference and the spread of misinformation.
“That’s essentially what blitzscaling companies should do,” Hoffman said. “As they go through each level, they go, ‘Ok, I’m recomputing. Do I have big risks for my customers? Do I have big risks for my society? Is there little stuff I should do now? Is there big stuff I should do now? Is there big stuff I should do later? That’s actually a part of how they create these companies, and you’re seeing that at Facebook.”