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Wed Oct 18 2006 01:36:08

PayPal Alums Generate Successful Startups

By: Ina Steiner

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There's an article in today's New York Times about the slew of PayPal alums who have started or funded successful startups. "It Pays to Have Pals in Silicon Valley," By MIGUEL HELFT. (Free registration is required.) The coverage of this phenomenon is not surprising following Google acquired YouTube, started by 3 former PayPalers, for $1.65 billion.

The article doesn't mention Eric Jackson who founded book publishing company World Ahead Publishing. (Content creators get no respect, heh.) Jackson wrote an insider's account of the pre-eBay history of PayPal in his book, "The PayPal Wars."

Is it that, "it's not what you know, it's who you know," or is there something very special about these PayPal folks? I know a few former PayPal folks (via email correspondence mostly), and they are very smart and nice, too.

The culture at PayPal was very different from that at eBay, according to Jackson's book. PayPal had to be lean and mean and use street smarts. They are competitive to the core, and won't accept defeat. Sounds like good qualities for startups.

Gossip site Valleywag has its own take on the article.

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