Before LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman Founded An Overeager Dating Site

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Reid Hoffman Web 2.0 4x3The idea for LinkedIn didn't just spring fully formed into Reid Hoffman's head. He had been experimenting with the idea of social networks for years.

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His first try was a dating service in 1997 called SocialNet.

It was an ambitious idea. Not only would SocialNet find you a date, it was supposed to help with professional networking, finding roommates, it even included something called Just Play for finding tennis partners, Hoffman told Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang.

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He describes SocialNet as a learning experience that gave him "scars" and spilled a lot "of blood." In a previous interview with Business Insider, he said of SocialNet, "If you're not embarrassed by your version one release, you released it too late."

But that pain lead to LinkedIn.

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"One of the things I learned from that whole experience, was that you should focus on one domain that really matters to people and just do that really well," he said to Chang.

Focus on something that really matters and do it well. Good advice.