SlideShare and LinkedIn sitting in a tree…

May 3, 2012

About five years ago, we launched SlideShare. Since then people have uploaded millions of presentations to the site, sharing them with others, making SlideShare what it is today. I want to tell you about the next step in our journey. SlideShare has agreed to be acquired by LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Internet.

We could not be happier about this. We think this is the right step for the SlideShare community, the site, and the team. When we started, the idea of sharing presentations on the Web was a twinkle in our eyes.  Jon dreamed up the idea while at a conference. We coded up the first version of the site over four months, and the site went live with simply a story on TechCrunch. The day we launched, we were completely unprepared for the volume of presentations that were immediately being uploaded from all over the world.

We mostly grew by word-of-mouth and virality. The only business deal I aggressively pursued was when I heard that there might be a LinkedIn developer platform in the works. I activated every connection through advisors, investors, and friends, determined that SlideShare be part of LinkedIn’s platform.

Since then, we have collaborated with LinkedIn on many more projects and have deepened our relationship, and it’s been clear how great the fit is. Today’s news is a natural culmination of this partnership.

So, what does this news mean for you – our dear users? I want to address the question that often comes up with acquisitions. People often worry whether the service they use is going to go away. If not today, then tomorrow. I want to assure you, that will not happen here. The SlideShare you have come to know and love will remain a place where you can continue to upload, share, and find presentations that help you grow professionally.

What does this mean for SlideShare the company? I will continue to run SlideShare and our team will continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is to develop new features and make the site even better. Over time you will see some integrations that take advantage of the great fit between SlideShare and LinkedIn.

You could ask why did we agree to sell? For one, I firmly believe that SlideShare will grow faster with LinkedIn. Second, I have watched as LinkedIn has grown from being a place to share your resume to a much richer site, where you go to keep up with what your professional network is doing and sharing. We like the path they are on, and are excited to join them on this journey.

Lastly, we felt a natural alignment between our two cultures as you’ll see in this fun presentation about our news today with LinkedIn:

[slideshare id=12789180&doc=sesamefinal-120503123849-phpapp01]

I think this coming together means great things for professionals everywhere and certainly means there will be more to come.

- Rashmi