10 years on LinkedIn

I just noticed on my LinkedIn account page that I’ve been a member of LinkedIn since February 28, 2006. This is almost exactly 10 years ago, and back when it was invite-only. I figured this is a nice time to reflect on the giant heap of trash it has become.

LinkedIn is one of the shittiest popular applications I feel obligated to use. Even though it’s incredible database of professionals must be an extremely valuable one, for some reason they’ve been unable to build a compelling product around it.

LinkedIn is riddled with so-called Dark Patterns which basically means it’s continuously trying to trick me into doing things I don’t actually want, such as uploading my address book, or spamming my existing contacts (whether they are or are not already on LinkedIn). These practices were recently actually deemed illegal by a Californa judge. Almost every action I do presents me with a screen that I’ll immediately want to close. That is: if I’m focused, because sometimes I’m not, and I end up spamming people again. LinkedIn is a giant opt-in spam engine masquerading as a directory and address book.

My only issue is that I feel, as an independent contractor, I’m obligated to maximize my potential in acquiring new customers. I don’t yet have the luxury to shut down an entire channel for new leads, despite the fact that LinkedIn has actually done very little for me in that regard. On top of that LinkedIn has become so ubiquitous that it’s actually become a standard question during some interview processes to ask for my profile. I feel that “I don’t have one” because of “principles” is never a great opener when you just made a new connection with someone.

Here’s to the next 10!