The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth

Overview

When Peter Thiel and Max Levchin launched an online payment website in 1999, they hoped their service could improve the lives of millions around the globe. But when their start-up, PayPal, survived the dot.com crash only to find itself besieged by unimaginable challenges, that dream threatened to become a nightmare. PayPal's history - as told by former insider Eric Jackson - is an engrossing study of human struggle and perseverance against overwhelming odds. The entrepreneurs that Thiel and Levchin recruited to ...
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The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth

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Overview

When Peter Thiel and Max Levchin launched an online payment website in 1999, they hoped their service could improve the lives of millions around the globe. But when their start-up, PayPal, survived the dot.com crash only to find itself besieged by unimaginable challenges, that dream threatened to become a nightmare. PayPal's history - as told by former insider Eric Jackson - is an engrossing study of human struggle and perseverance against overwhelming odds. The entrepreneurs that Thiel and Levchin recruited to overhaul world currency markets first had to face some of the greatest trials ever thrown at a Silicon Valley company before they could make internet history. Business guru Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, called the hardcover edition of The PayPal Wars a real page turner that featured what he called the best description of business strategy unfolding in a world changing at warp speed. The new paperback edition will feature updated material and even more insights on the state of internet commerce.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936488599
  • Publisher: WND Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/31/2012
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 363,072
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Jackson directed the marketing operations for PayPal, the world's leading on-line service, and was instrumental in turning the company into one of the few profitable dot-coms. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics and serves on the Board of Directors of the Stanford Review, a non-profit dedicated to improving education at his alma mater.
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Read an Excerpt

My entrepreneurial summons came with an abrupt qualification: "You need to start this Friday.""W-what?" I stammered in reply. "Are you serious?"Peter Thiel smiled and nodded. Evidently my reaction amused him."No, no. Look, it's already Sunday," I responded, shaking my head. "That would only be four days notice-I can't possibly quit my job with Andersen that quickly! We're in the middle of a project."The chief executive officer of Confinity, Inc., didn't find that argument exceptionally compelling. "We expect to close our next round of financing at the end of this week, so the strike price of the options will go up. Now, let's see..." he paused, his hawkish nose pointing upward as the computer housed under his short, sandy hair rattled off a series of calculations. "Given your stock options, if you wait two weeks then it's going to cost you another $8,000."I shivered as we continued our walk next to the bay. The gusts of wind whipping under the Golden Gate Bridge from the Pacific sliced through my light jacket. San Francisco sees plenty of gray skies and blustery weather year round, and this Decem-ber afternoon was no exception. The chill distracted me as I tried to follow Peter's rapid train of thought-something many found difficult to do under the best of conditions."Eight thousand dollars?" I had no idea how he had calcu-lated the figure. In fact, I had no idea how stock options even worked. I was a babe to such startup matters. The only thing I knew for sure was that startup stock options made people rich. Very rich. Northern California on the eve of the millennium was the geographic epicenter of the dot-com boom. Young people in their early twenties, including many of my Stanford classmates, fled their old economy jobs in droves to cast their lots with Internet companies. Leaving behind stodgy, seniority-based firms they turned to small companies that let them make important deci-sions and bring their dogs to work while they earned IPO riches. Or so I'd heard.Eight thousand dollars certainly didn't mean much to these people, but it did to me. I worked for the oldest of the old econ-omy firms, the buttoned-down Arthur Andersen, which at the time was still viewed as one of the world's most trusted and respectable professional services companies. The partners running the firm called it a privilege for people my age to have the opportunity to start out at such a venerable institution, and in return they paid stingy salaries to match.Peter made sure I would not mistake Confinity for another Andersen. He was offering me stock options and an increase in salary even though he wasn't sure exactly which position I'd fill. It didn't matter, he assured me, since Confinity had just launched its software product and needed talented people as quickly as possible. The product let people exchange money for shared expenses such as dinner bills and utilities, a novel idea that seemed poised to catch on despite its silly name-PayPal."Yes, an extra $8,000," Peter chirped, refocusing my atten-tion. "Now, let's see, you could always ask Andersen if they're willing to pay you the $8,000 to stay another two weeks," he added, smiling. He had me and he knew it.
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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Paperback Edition xii

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The New Recruit 3

Chapter 2 Breakthrough 27

Chapter 3 Mega Merger 51

Chapter 4 Growing Pains 71

Chapter 5 The Producers 89

Chapter 6 Revolution-PayPal 2.0 107

Chapter 7 The Monopolist Strikes 127

Chapter 8 High Stakes 149

Chapter 9 Earth Vs. Palo Alto 171

Chapter 10 To the Brink 191

Chapter 11 Sell Out 215

Conclusion 237

Afterword 245

Notes 249

Index 261

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    The PayPal Wars provides a good narrative of life inside a silicon valley startup. The story starts from the humble beginnings of yet another dot-com that garnered traction via viral marketing. However, the difference was in this company's nimbleness in maneuvering around its obstacles. The author discusses the company's various competitive responses without boring the reader with too much detail. The reader gets a good appreciation of the importance of timing in the rapidly changing Internet space. Overall a brisk and informative read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2010

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    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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