Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The Stunning Achievements Of PayPal Alumni...

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.

... No word on whether Slide founder Max Levchin will be joining Google or what his continuing role will be. $182 million is a nice exit no doubt, but it’s a come down from Slide’s $500 million valuation in 2008. And Levchin has said many times that success to him was Slide becoming bigger than PayPal.

In the comments of Sarah Lacy's story there is much discussion whether Slide is a failure for Max Levchin, the founder.

I'm sure he made money. But Slide is just one small part of Max Levchin's story. He's had many failures. He was in 6 startups before he struck it rich with PayPal. It's the life of an entrepreneur.

He still has Yelp and other companies such as Adroll. And he is young -- just 35. He has plenty of years to make more PayPals.

I'm a fan of Max Levchin and his colleagues. He and the rest of the "PayPal Mafia" made a ton of money when EBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. And they've been ploughing much of that money back into Silicon Valley, founding and financing dozens of new companies.

They have used their experience and money to Angel fund and lead many successful companies: YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Tesla, Zynga...are just a few examples.

And they are all still relatively young, and in the peak of the their form. I expect a lot more of the same from all of them.

Here is a partial list of the PayPal alumni and some of their achievements:

- Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a very successful angel investor: Facebook, Ironport, Digg, Flickr, Ping.fm, Last.fm, Zynga.

- Peter Thiel and his hedge fund Clarium Capital. Not all of his bets have paid off but he is investing and funding some interesting organizations.

- Elon Musk - Head rocket designer at SpaceX and CEO of Tesla.

- Steve Chen - Youtube co-founder.

- Chad Hurley - Youtube co-founder.

- Premal Shah - founding president of Kiva.org.

- Jeremy Stoppelman - co-founder and CEO of Yelp.

- And there are plenty more in this group: Dave McClure, Jared Kopf, Eric Jackson, Kieth Rabois, Ken Howery...

I created a Pearltree that has more info and lists more people:

PayPal Alumni


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