In 2010, when Matthew Shoup first started at LinkedIn’s Mountain View office, he had a simple enough title: “Technical Marketer.” He had expertise in online advertising. Today, though, Shoup is known by a range of different monikers. Officially, there’s his current title, the stark and enigmatic “Hacker-in-Residence.” And then there are his nicknames: “Mr. 10X” (for the internal tools he built that have helped LinkedIn scale) and “The Swiss Army Knife” (for his general jack-of-all-tradesiness), among them.
Within months, Shoup was building a reputation as a creative employee at LinkedIn, and he has since moved from a fairly circumscribed job to a very free one. He wears a lot of hats, works on a lot of projects, and acts as a hub connecting a lot of people--and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He has essentially transformed his job from work into something more closely resembling play. “The common thread between all of the hats I wear is that I get to traverse multiple disciplines to solve business problems with creativity, and bring innovative ideas to life,” he tells Fast Company. “And I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do with my time.”
How did he do it? And how has LinkedIn managed to hold on to such an entrepreneurial character? We spoke with Shoup to find out.