The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley

The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley

by Jimmy Soni
The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley

The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley

by Jimmy Soni

Hardcover

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Overview

A SABEW BEST IN BUSINESS BOOK AWARDS FINALIST
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2022 BY THE NEW YORKER
National Bestseller * New York Times Editors’ Choice * Financial Times “Books to Read in 2022”

“A gripping account of PayPal’s origins and a vivid portrait of the geeks and contrarians who made its meteoric rise possible” (The Wall Street Journal)—including Elon Musk, Amy Rowe Klement, Peter Thiel, Julie Anderson, Max Levchin, Reid Hoffman, and many others whose stories have never been shared.

Today, PayPal’s founders and earliest employees are considered the technology industry’s most powerful network. Since leaving PayPal, they have formed, funded, and advised the leading companies of our era, including Tesla, Facebook, YouTube, SpaceX, Yelp, Palantir, and LinkedIn, among many others. As a group, they have driven twenty-first-century innovation and entrepreneurship. Their names stir passions; they’re as controversial as they are admired.

Yet for all their influence, the story of where they first started has gone largely untold. Before igniting the commercial space race or jumpstarting social media’s rise, they were the unknown creators of a scrappy online payments start-up called PayPal. In building what became one of the world’s foremost companies, they faced bruising competition, internal strife, the emergence of widespread online fraud, and the devastating dot-com bust of the 2000s. Their success was anything but certain.

In The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, award-winning author and biographer Jimmy Soni explores PayPal’s turbulent early days. With hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to thousands of pages of internal material, he shows how the seeds of so much of what shapes our world today—fast-scaling digital start-ups, cashless currency concepts, mobile money transfer—were planted two decades ago. He also reveals the stories of countless individuals who were left out of the front-page features and banner headlines but who were central to PayPal’s success.

Described as “an intensely magnetic chronicle” (The New York Times) and “engrossing” (Business Insider), The Founders is a story of iteration and inventiveness—the products of which have cast a long and powerful shadow over modern life. This narrative illustrates how this rare assemblage of talent came to work together and how their collaboration changed our world forever.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501197260
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/22/2022
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 84,450
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Jimmy Soni is an award-winning author. His newest book, The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, was a national bestseller and received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, The Economist, Financial Times, and more. His previous book, A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, won the 2017 Neumann Prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Mathematics for the best book on the history of mathematics for a general audience, and the 2019 Middleton Prize by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his daughter, Venice.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part 1 Sicilian Defense 1

1 Building Blocks 3

2 The Pitch 20

3 The Right Questions 34

4 "What Matters to Me Is Winning" 48

5 The Beamers 64

6 Hosed 84

7 Money Talks 104

Part 2 Bad Bishop 121

8 If You Build It 123

9 The Widget Wars 145

10 Crash 158

11 The Nut House Coup 172

12 Buttoned-Up 193

13 The Sword 216

14 Ambition's Debt 234

Part 3 Doubled Rooks 249

15 Igor 251

16 Use the Force 270

17 Crime in Progress 283

18 Guerrillas 296

19 World Domination 313

20 Blindsided 328

21 Outlaws 345

22 And All I Got Was a T-shirt 363

Conclusion: The Floor 383

Epilogue 405

Debts 415

A Note on Sources and Methods 421

Notes 425

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