I love what LinkedIn stands for but I hate how they go about doing it. If I was a product person at LinkedIn, I would do the following -
1. Redesign the feed home page, to optimize discovery. I don't know if there is a strong science behind the recommended news and follow items, but it is not working. Not for me, and not for a lot of people I know. I want to see 'connection possibilities.' Connection possibility should be based on identifying people who are working on similar missions in their life. Somebody who cares about education, should be able to find similar people who care about it.
What we are doing here is allowing each other to find the tribe they should be part of. And, facilitate a possibility of connecting with the right people based on topic and not just mutual connections.
2. LinkedIn connection model is (still) based on mutual connections. People abuse that a lot. There are random connection requests all the time and people don't know half of their connections. They are stale. It is too much work to keep that list clean. This is because the connection model is based on an agenda - of selling something today or in future.
What if LinkedIn was a platform to collaborate and solve some real problems in the world? What if LinkedIn was a platform that built a diverse team of people with different backgrounds and skills needed to solve global problems?
3. Some of the things the platform does are quite rudimentary and it feels to me that the people who designed it don't love their product enough.
The notifications are silly at times. Why congratulate someone for 'Current unemployed and looking for an opportunity' because they changed their status? These are simple table stakes for a serious platform.
4. I understand that money might be somewhere else. The paid platform for professionals and recruiters has more bells and whistles. I was a paid member for a while, but the benefits were not in terms of better insights, but rather around less restrictions (search capabilities, Inmail credits, etc). I didn't find a lot of value in it.
5. Another of 'I don't understand my users and my product well' scenario is that the side panel of influencers rarely changes. Even after you follow the recommended influencers. It just sits there with a check mark. What a waste of real estate and an opportunity. Again, table stakes.
The core group of users use the platform to stay in touch with the industry. They want to connect with people who share not only similar interests but is able to offer intellectual growth. They want to connect with people who they can rally together with to solve a problem that they care about. The world can be a better place this way and LinkedIn has the chops to do it, but it is sad to see that they take an easy route to maintain the status quo.
I want to see this. I believe in the leadership and I know few excellent people there. But some gutsy experiments today will take LinkedIn to the next level.