Linkedin co-founder and American entrepreneur Reid Hoffman joined Cheddar to discuss his new podcast and some hot stories out of Silicon Valley.
One company's he's focused on is Snap. The messaging app has managed to create a platform very popular with Generation Z and younger millennials, but compared to rivals like Facebook and Instagram it's struggling to engage new users and monetize content.
In its earnings call this week, Snap announced it would overhaul of its app, an effort to make it more user-friendly and grow its audience. But investors did not seem impressed. Shares fell 15 percent after the news.
But Hoffman wouldn’t write the app off just yet, he said, as the company has an amazing product and the attention of a young demographic.
“I wouldn’t, by any means, count Snap out,” he said, adding that the team can turn things around.
Still, “they obviously have a fair amount of work to do in order to scale beyond this incredibly loyal and fantastic base to a much broader area.”
We also talk with Hoffman about the current environment in Silicon Valley, given recent reports that Russia used social media platforms to meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections. Hoffman says that tech companies were ignorant to this security issue, but they will gear up to make sure they don't happen again.
“Now that we understand it, let’s attack it in ways that we understand,” he said.
Hoffman also discussed his podcast, “Masters of Scale,” which focuses on what it takes for a company to grow its business. The upcoming second season compares the minds behind fast-growing tech companies to athletes. One episode features venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
“When you look at each of these iconic, world-transforming Silicon Valley companies, they ultimately end up defining their own ecosystem,” He said. “They get so big that they essentially break free of the competition.”