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Peter Thiel and Max Levchin at Inforum SF It was a sold out event: Peter Thiel and Max Levchin at the Inforum Club SF - the club for under 36 year old members of the Commonwealth Club. Mr Thiel and Mr Levchin are two prominent members of what some call the "PayPal Mafia."
Many people, including Vator's Bambi Francisco, refer to PayPal as the quintessential example of a company that pivoted before pivoting and agile development were popular movements. Scott Banister , an early PayPal investor, told us that PayPal's original plan was thrown out the window. "PayPal had probably 40 people before the full transition from Palm Pilot payments onto eBay payments," he said. Eric Ries puts it this way: "A good example is Paypal realizing that their customers were gravitating to the email-payments part of their original solution, and ignoring the complex PDA-based cryptography solution." Many people also have their own versions of PayPal's early days and why it became the home to so many successful entrepreneurs. The reason many give is that PayPal's challenges were significant.
My apologies... this is a long piece (~2500 words). Not for the faint of heart. If you want the short story, read the abstract below & 3 core assertions, then cut to the conclusions at the bottom. Abstract : VC funds are getting smaller (good), & angel investors are growing (also good), but both need to get smarter & innovate. Startup costs have come down dramatically in the last 5-10 years, and online distribution via Search , Social , Mobile platforms (aka Google, Facebook, Apple) have become mainstream consumer marketing channels.
Posted by Tom Foremski - August 5, 2010 Sarah Lacy reports : ... Google has agreed to buy Slide for $182 million, in a deal to be announced Friday. And sources also tell us that this is not the last move Google is going to be making to cobble together a serious social gaming and apps strategy to counter Facebook. ...
eBay 's North First Street satellite office campus (home to PayPal's corporate headquarters) PayPal is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders . PayPal is an acquirer , performing payment processing for online vendors, auction sites, and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee. It may also charge a fee for receiving money, proportional to the amount received. The fees depend on the currency used, the payment option used, the country of the sender, the country of the recipient, the amount sent and the recipient's account type. [ 4 ] In addition, eBay purchases made by credit card through PayPal may incur extra fees if the buyer and seller use different currencies.
(Fortune Magazine) -- A door opens, and a blond man appears in a white jacket with large buttons. "Good morning," he says. "Peter's in back. Make yourself comfortable in the dining room. I'll be serving breakfast shortly."
Max Rafael Levchin ( Ukrainian : Максиміліан Левчин Maksymilian R. Levčyn ) (born July 11, 1975) is a Ukrainian-born American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur widely known as one of the co-founders (along with Peter Thiel and Elon Musk ) and for his role as the former chief technology officer of PayPal . Levchin is considered a member of the PayPal Mafia . [ edit ] Life and career [ edit ] Early life
A few days, invited by Slide.com Shanghai, I had a great pleasure to have the chance to interview with Max Levchin, who co-founded Paypal in 1998 then sold it to eBay for more than $1.5 billion at the age of 26. Now he is the CEO and visionary behind Slide.com, the largest social entertainment company in the world and developer of the most engaging applications on social networks. The interview took only 20min or so, but it covers different topics, such as Slide, Slide China, geek culture, spirit of geeks, view on Chinese startup environment, how geeks should do business etc. The following is the highlights.
Reid Garrett Hoffman [ 4 ] (born August 5, 1967) is an American entrepreneur , venture capitalist and author . Hoffman is best known as the co-founder of LinkedIn , a social network used primarily for business connections and job searching. [ edit ] Early life and career
Peter Andreas Thiel ( German: [ˈpeːtɐ̯ anˈdʀeas tiːl] ; born October 11, 1967) [ 1 ] is a German -born American entrepreneur, venture capitalist , and hedge fund manager. Thiel co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin and served as its CEO . He currently serves as president of Clarium Capital , a global macro hedge fund with under $700 million in assets under management ; a managing partner in The Founders Fund , a $275 million venture capital fund that he launched with Ken Howery and Luke Nosek in 2005; and co-founder and investment committee chair of Mithril Capital Management. [ 4 ] [ 5 ] He was the first outside investor in Facebook , the popular social-networking site, with a 10.2% stake acquired in 2004 for $500,000, and sits on the company's board of directors. Thiel was ranked #293 on the Forbes 400 in 2011, with a net worth of $1.5 billion as of March 2012. [ 2 ] Thiel lives in San Francisco , California . [ 6 ] [ edit ] Early life [ edit ] Childhood
Peter Thiel is an American entrepreneur, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist.
Elon Musk (born 28 June 1971) is a South African-born American entrepreneur. He is best known for founding SpaceX , and co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal (initially known as X.com). While at those companies, he oversaw the construction of the first electric car of the modern era, the Tesla Roadster , a private rocket known as Falcon 9 / Dragon , and the Internet payment system PayPal . He is currently the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity .
Electric sports cars. Solar power. Space travel. Finally, an entrepreneur who's not afraid to think really, really big. Jill Greenberg
Tech’s Best Young Entrepreneurs Ages: 29 Company: Adroll Funding: Undisclosed Drumroll for Adroll, please.
Posted by Tom Foremski - April 15, 2008 I've been a fan of the astonishingly young and talented Jared Kopf for a while, ever since I met him several years ago when he was working with the astonishingly young and talented Max Levchin at Slide.com, (and part of the Odessa mafia :-). Jared is smart much smarter than his years (and many peers) and he has already paid a lot of dues. For the past two years Jared has been working on a new project the launching of AdRoll , an advertising network that seeks to link up advertisers with community-specific networks of small online publishers. Normally I'm not a big fan of advertising networks. They charge too much and they are not a defensible business because online publishers can potentially handle their own advertising once they reach a certain size.