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Reflections on the LinkedIn IPO and the Usability of LinkedIn Itself

Courtesy of Mish

In Mania is Back: LinkedIn IPO Soars as Much as 173% in One Day, I discussed the mania over the LinkedIn IPO.

I have a few more comments that I also added as an addendum to the above post. ….

Addendum:

People chased the IPO as high as 122.70. After hours the price is down to $92.40. Those who just "had to have it" at any price are now down 24.7%

I suspect insiders will be bailing like mad as soon as the restricted lock-up period is over.

Reflections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has 100 million accounts. How many are active? How often? For what purpose other than everyone being "linked in" to everyone else? 

The key questions are:

  • How will the growing number of accounts translate into actual earnings?
  • What valuations will investors place on that growth?

It’s fair to point out just because I have little use for LinkedIn at the present time, does not mean others feel the same. Indeed, I may even change my mind and find a use later on.

Merging Profiles

I setup a LinkedIn account primarily because hundreds have asked me to be "Linked In", not because I had a particular need.

In fact, I have two LinkedIn accounts, both in my name, one under an email account I no longer have. I do not know my password for that account. I would like to merge the profiles because people find the wrong (inactive) "Mike Shedlock" profile all the time.

Unfortunately LinkedIn offers no convenient way to merge profiles. Worse yet, I get invites all the time with no real way to reply to them. It is a mess.

People have been bitching about this for something like forever as a search for merging linked in profiles shows.

LinkedIn has a cumbersome solution that involves inviting everyone from one group to another.

Log into your old account and click on My Contacts.
Scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on Export Connections
On the next page make sure that "Microsoft Outlook (.CSV File)" is selected from the drop down menu and then click on Export.
In the pop up window select "Save to Disk" then click on Ok.
Make sure that the file was saved to your computer
Log into your new account and click on "Add Connections" with the green button in the upper left.
On this page click on the link at the top which says ‘Import Contacts’.
Choose the source you would like to import from and follow the instructions.
All of your Contacts should now be uploaded. The system will then ask you if you would like to send an invitation to them. Say yes and you have successfully transferred your connections from one account to another.
Then log in to the old account you want to close. Go to "Account & Settings" (top right of page) and select "Close Account" in the right column. Make sure it’s the right profile that you want to delete as there is no recovery..
Log into your account – DO NOT change the email at login or you will create a new (different account).
Go to "Account" >> "Personal information" >> "Email addresses".
Add a new email and click on "Verify" so LI will send you an email containing a link.
Then choose the one you want as default. I recommend not using a work email as primary.
Note: If you simply try to change it, you will create a duplicate account.

Got that?

How difficult can it possibly be for LinkedIn to automate that?

I did not bother. I do not want to pester people with LinkedIn requests even though I do not mind others asking to be LinkedIn.

By the way, If I do not reply to your request to be LinkedIn, it is because you found my profile that I no longer have access to.

One Final Point on Income

In order to justify the absurd valuation and growth metrics of LinkedIn, expect to see some high-profile announcements of earnings improvements in the first few quarters to come.

These deals will have been arranged in advance, but that will not make the growth sustainable. However, the paced announcement of stacked-up deals will provide time for insiders to unload shares to greater fools expecting the perpetual growth that is priced in.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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