The stunning performance of Silicon Valley's PayPal alumni...

Summary:When EBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion in 2002 it triggered an investment boom by PayPal alumni that led to Youtube, Facebook, Tesla and much more...

Sarah Lacy reports:

... Google has agreed to buy Slide for $182 million, in a deal to be announced Friday. And sources also tell us that this is not the last move Google is going to be making to cobble together a serious social gaming and apps strategy to counter Facebook.

... No word on whether Slide founder Max Levchin will be joining Google or what his continuing role will be. $182 million is a nice exit no doubt, but it’s a come down from Slide’s $500 million valuation in 2008. And Levchin has said many times that success to him was Slide becoming bigger than PayPal.

In the comments following sarah Lacy's story there is much discussion whether Slide is a failure for Max Levchin, the founder.

I'm sure he made money but what is the point of focusing on a possible failed venture? Mr Levchin has had many failures. He was in 6 startups before he struck it rich with PayPal. It's the life of an entrepreneur.

He still has Yelp and other companies such as Adroll. And he is young -- just 35. He has plenty of years and plenty of money to make more PayPals.

I'm a fan of Max Levchin and his former colleagues at PayPal. He and the rest of the "PayPal Mafia" made a ton of money when EBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. And they've been ploughing much of that money back into Silicon Valley, founding and financing several dozen new companies.

They have used their experience and money to Angel fund and lead many large companies: YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Tesla, Zynga...and there's more.

And the PayPal alumni are all still relatively young, and in the peak of the their form. I expect a lot more of the same from all of them over the next decade or two. It's this kind of enthusiasm for new ideas and new ventures that makes Silicon Valley Silicon Valley.

Here is a list of some of the PayPal alumni and some of their successes:

- Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a very successful angel investor: Facebook, Ironport, Digg, Flickr, Ping.fm, Last.fm, Zynga.

- Peter Thiel and his hedge fund Clarium Capital. Not all of his bets have paid off but he is investing and funding some interesting organizations.

- Elon Musk - Head rocket designer at SpaceX and CEO of Tesla.

- Steve Chen - Youtube co-founder.

- Chad Hurley - Youtube co-founder.

- Premal Shah - founding president of Kiva.org.

- Jeremy Stoppelman - co-founder and CEO of Yelp.

- And there are plenty more in this group: Dave McClure, Jared Kopf, Eric Jackson, Kieth Rabois, Ken Howery...

I created a Pearltree that has more info and lists more people:

PayPal Alumni


Topics: Banking, CXO

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.