Subscribe to my blog

James Hong

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Paypal Alumni

Google bought YouTube for 1.65 BILLION dollars! congrats to steve, chad, jawed, and everyone else there. I've been reading about it all over the place.. but there's something here that journalists are missing (or are at least not emphasizing enough).

It's becoming abundantly clear that Paypal is the McKinsey of the New World, with its tentacles in everything.. (McKinsey is a venerable strategy consulting firm who's alumni are notably powerful in the corporate world). Here are examples, including the hottest 2 sites since Myspace (both of which have been or are rumored to be acquired for over a billion dollars, both only a few years after launching!)

1. YouTube - started by Paypal alums

2. The Facebook - primarily angel funded by Peter Thiel, along with a few other paypal peeps

3. Clarium Capital - Peter's hedge fund, which has grown over the last 3 years from 50 million in capital under management, to billions

4. Linked In - founded by Reed Hoffman

5. Slide - founded by Max Levchin. Their reach is pretty insane, much more than even their alexa numbers suggest.

6. Yelp - founded by Jeremey Stoppelman and Russell Simmons. kick. ass. website. i've stopped using citysearch completely.

7. Clarium Ventures - Run by Peter, Ken Howery, and Luke Nosek - they have their hands in almost every decent social networking deal out there

8. IronPort - Well, actually, Scott Bannister wasn't at paypal officially, but he is close enough to the team to be mentioned, and i'm sure he was involved. Expect to see Ironport go public soon, they are a great company with great numbers. Little known about Scott, he invented the concept of pay per click, which he contributed to idealab while an employee there, which then started, which was then improved upon by Google.

9. Roelof Botha - The hottest new partner at (easily) arguably the best venture firm there is, Sequoia Capital.

Trust me, there will be many more in the future.

How did this happen? It's pretty simple, for anyone that knows Max and Peter. Both of them are insanely brilliant, have almost unrealisticly high standards, and only hire people they think are really, really, really smart. It's really not that much a wonder that these people go on to be so successful post-paypal.

In college, the smartest kids would apply to harvard to see if they could get in, as a test of their measure. Then they did the same thing applying to McKinsey or Goldman. In the new world, perhaps getting Max or Peter to hire you, invest in you, or let you invest in them, are the same mark of distinction.

*note: I consider max my best friend, but I don't consider myself in this crowd.