09:07 AM

Role Models: Big Challenges Fuel Max Levchin's Ambitions

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Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal and a serial entrepreneur, spoke about his ambitions at Techcrunch Disrupt conference.

Rebecca Grant reported: PayPal cofounder Max Levchin aims to ‘move the needle on big challenges’ using data | VentureBeat


“I am most proud of the legacy I haven’t built yet,” Levchin said. “Data is what its all about for me. I want to build things that significantly improves the lives of a large fraction of the population and can move the needle on big challenges.”

Foremski's Take: It's good to see Max Levchin talking about solving big challenges rather than the hodgepodge of startup founders who lack imagination beyond making another To Do list, or e-mail app, or just want to be sold to a big corporation and work in a cubicle.

Hopefully, he'll be a good role model for other entrepreneurs.

Two years ago at a Commonwealth Club event (above) Max Levchin, and former PayPal colleague Peter Thiel, spoke about the lack of innovation in Silicon Valley:

Max Levchin: There is no insane abandon. When I was growing up, the space race galvanized an entire generation, my parents' generation. There is nothing similar. Today, the news was dominated by reports of an iPad 2 screen, it's not that radical. 

Peter Thiel: Everything is short-term focused no one is looking into the future, 15 to 20 years like they used to in our parents' generation. A lot of what our parents generation did: building interstate highways, Manhattan Project, etc, could not be done today.

 Others, such as computer pioneer Alan Kay have also warned of a lack of innovation that will curtail the growth of startups because they are all using 30-year old technologies that are reaching their limits.

Computer Pioneer Alan Kay Says Silicon Valley Is Running Out Of Innovation -SVW