Posted: 6:52 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
By Eric Markowitz
CEO Jeff Weiner wants you to think of LinkedIn--for pretty much all your professional needs. Here are three ideas he's hoping will accomplish that.
Right now, LinkedIn has about a quarter of a billion users and about 4,200 employees. The company generated nearly $1 billion in revenue in 2012. But for Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's CEO, this is just the beginning. If Weiner has his way, you won't simply use LinkedIn to network or find job candidates. You'll go to LinkedIn for almost every work-related need you have--because LinkedIn will become the ultimate "professional" layer of the Web.
Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco Monday, Weiner laid out three ideas he hopes will expand LinkedIn's services.
First, Weiner plans to revamp profile pages for small- and medium-sized businesses. According to Weiner, one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is recruiting talent away from larger companies. By expanding profile pages--which about 3 million businesses use right now--Weiner believes small businesses will be able to compete more easily with larger companies. He didn't reveal any specific new features that may come out of new company profile pages. But the idea is to let companies offer more "insights and data" about themselves. Essentially, Weiner wants companies to be able to market themselves better to potential applicants.
Second, Weiner mentioned the company is building a Yammer-like communication tool.
"We'd want it to be specific and unique to what we offer today," he said. "You would see greater emphasis on professional identity, for example. But again, there's no definitive plans to offer that as a product. What we're trying to do is leverage LinkedIn and help employees get as much value from that."
Third, and perhaps the most interesting plan Weiner announced, was what he called the world's first "economic graph" driven by LinkedIn's data. The map would include profiles for every company, every college, and literally every worker around the world.
"Our longer term vision is to develop the world's first economic graph and mapping the world's economy," he said. "Increasingly jobs are fragmented so it’s not just about jobs. The people in jobs need to have the right access to information."
What does that mean for your business exactly? Weiner didn't say, but think data, data, and more data eventually available to you--about potential new hires, competitors, and your industry as a whole.