LinkedIn lives the Silicon Valley dream, celebrates “In the black” party

Left: Founder Reid Hoffman welcomes guests and introduces CEO Dan Nye.

What are the chances of a web startup making it? 5%? 2%? not very good for most? We should take a lesson from business networking tool LinkedIn.

LinkedIn celebrates over 14 months of profitability, which is an amazing feat for the thousands of web companies in Silicon Valley that sprout. I first started using LinkedIn in 2000, when my Exodus colleagues were being scattered to the winds during the fallout. (Before I used my blog as a networking tool, I was one of LinkedIn’s early evangelists)

While for many bloggers like myself, we rely on our blog as our primary online networking tool, LinkedIn has many benefits. For those that don’t have hours to spend blogging each week, LinkedIn is the likely one of the best ways to increase one’s network online.

LinkedIn matters for many business folks, as it helps them to keep track of colleagues, alumni, college friends and find new opportunities. We know that 30% of all employers “Google Search” a candidate before being hired, and for many, due to heavy Google juice (page rank of 7 out of a possible 10), a personal LinkedIn profile will come up first, this is the case for many of my friends.

How has LinkedIn been helpful to me? I’ve had a handful of interview requests because of this tool, in one case at a previous employer, our competitor found out who was in the role they were seeking and asked me to come interview, smart. I’ve also been able to keep track of numerous colleagues at a variety of previous jobs and college alums.

LinkedIn has quietly kept to itself over the past few years and has emerged a winner, thanks to Mario Sundar, LinkedIn’s community evangelist for inviting us to this wonderful gala of fine food, wine, cheese, and decadent chocolates at San Francisco’s ferry building. Update: I’m told that Dave Sanford of LI had a lot to do with the wonderful pairings.

Congratulations to LinkedIn’s founders, members, and investors.

Above Video: I did my usual video walkthrough of the event.

Update: If you can’t see the video, access it directly on Viddler’s site.

Below Images: Pics I took of the fantastic spread, feel free to leave comments or tags.
LinkedIn "In the Black" UpstairsJoseph Smarr and GirlfriendWine BarMario Sunar, LinkedIn's Community EvangelistMMMM ChocolateCheese Table was AmazingSan Francisco Ferry Building and EmbarcarderoIn appreciationAwesome SpreadDave McClure samplesMr. and Mrs. Jeff ClavierLive Jazz