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Reid Hoffman
LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman in Seattle on Friday. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was the special guest at Tech Alliance’s annual luncheon in Seattle on Friday, and he had plenty to say about the current state of technology. But during a lightning round at the end of his talk with tech executive and angel investor Sarah Imbach, we got to the heart of Hoffman’s true passions.

"Settlers of Catan."
“Settlers of Catan.”

After asking Hoffman, among other things, whether he prefers Android over iOS (iOS!) or scotch over bourbon (bourbon), Imbach asked him to pick between the board game “Settlers of Catan” and “Trumped Up Cards,” the game he created as a response to then-political-candidate Donald Trump.

For the less geeky out there, “Catan” is a game that mimics settling an island, with players competing for control of land and resources. The player who is able to build up their civilization and earn 10 points first wins and ends the game.

Hoffman’s answer revealed a bit about his passion for startups:

“‘Settlers.’ It’s a better game. It’s a better designed game. I mean, ‘Trumped Up Cards’ is fun. … I think ‘Settlers of Catan’ is such a well-designed board game — it’s the board game of entrepreneurship — that I made a knockoff called ‘Startups of Silicon Valley.’ It’s literally, it’s the same rules, but just a different skin set to it. And I don’t sell it or anything because you know, you honor entrepreneurs and the people who created ‘Settlers.’ … But it’s kind of the, ‘Look, here’s a way to think about this as an entrepreneur would.'”

Hoffman recently took a seat on the Microsoft board, just months after the tech giant acquired LinkedIn for $26 billion. He also sits on the boards of Edmodo, Blockstream, and Seattle-based Convoy. But it sounds like he should also take a seat in front of a board game, and join us for the next GeekWire “Settlers of Catan” tournament.

Watch the full video of Reid Hoffman’s talk at the Tech Alliance below.

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