It’s time to talk about the LinkedIn mafia

The PayPal mafia has done well, but it may be time to turn its attention to alumni of a less-fashionable internet pioneer: LinkedIn.

Send the news: Dylan Field was a data analytics intern at LinkedIn in 2010. He later founded Figma, which last week agreed to sell to Adobe for $20 billion.

  • His LinkedIn team was led by DJ Patil, who later became the US chief data scientist and an early exec at both RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce) and Devoted Health ($15 billion valuation).
  • Patil, who first met Field when the founder of Figma was just 16 years old, tells Axios, “In my team, we had an explicit hosting framework of (1) Would you give 10% of YOUR equity to this person? (2 ) Would you consider starting a business with this person/or sitting in the ditch with them for hours (proxy for spending a lot of time together and having to be able to resolve conflicts) (3) Can you see them doing something great in four to six years? “
  • Field also worked closely with the group led by Adam Nash, who later went on to lead robo advisor Wealthfront, is CEO of Daffy and was a seed investor in Figma.

Other Unicorn Company Founders LinkedIn backgrounds include: Mike Gamson (Relativity), Russell Glass (Ginger, now CEO of Headspace), Steven Galanis (Cameo), Akshay Kothari (Notion), Jay Kreps & Neha Narkhede (Confluent), Arvind Rajan (Cricket Health), Sid Viswanathan (Truepill) and Gordon Wintrob (Newfront Insurance).

  • Plus a bunch of near-unicorn founders (e.g. Curated’s Eduardo Vivas, Superhuman’s Rahul Vohra), and a slew of VC firm founders and top partners.
  • And yes, there are through-lines between the PayPal and LinkedIn groups. Notably, Greylock’s Reid Hoffman (who has played an outrageous role in LinkedIn’s alumni network) and Founders Fund’s Keith Rabois (who also co-founded unicorn company Opendoor). Additionally, Field participated in PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s fellowship program.

What they say: Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO for over 11 years and current chairman of the board, explains: “If an organization is truly purposeful (from vision to values), the underlying ethos that develops may not be unique or owned by it. purpose of the company. , but very supportive to people trying to make a positive impact in other ways and at other companies.

  • “That’s not to say we didn’t work hard to retain our top talent — we did. However, when we realized they were destined to do great things elsewhere, as was the case with Dylan at Figma and others to follow.” To pursue our own startup dreams, many of us would try to be as supportive as possible through introductions, mentorship and capital.”

Go deeper: Adobe-Figma deal likely to be scrutinized by antitrust

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