Reid Hoffman didn't just found LinkedIn and hold on to more than half its voting stock — he's also the author of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age. And his book has been a big hit in at least one way: LinkedIn has spent $500,000 buying 20,000 copies of it "for marketing and branding purposes," the company said in a filing today.
The big book purchase was spotted by Michelle Leder, an editor at Footnoted, a site that mines the small print in SEC filings for useful and revealing information.
Hoffman received approximately $3 in royalties for each copy sold, the company said, meaning LinkedIn's bulk buy landed him about $60,000. The company said Hoffman has donated $60,000 to the LinkedIn For Good Foundation, where donations "are used primarily to support youth employment programs and nonprofits championed by employees." The company has donated $1.35 million in total to the foundation.
A LinkedIn spokesperson declined to comment beyond the filing.
So what is The Alliance all about? "The employee relationship is broken, leaving managers with a seemingly impossible dilemma: You can't afford to treat employees like family (which they never were)" says a description of the book on its website. "But you can't build a lasting, innovative business when every employee acts like a free agent."