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    The PayPal Mafia

    The Paypal Mafia

    Have you heard of the Paypal Mafia?

    Well, grab a seat.

    The “PayPal Mafia” refers to the group of former PayPal employees and founders who went on to become powerhouse entrepreneurs and influential investors in Silicon Valley after selling PayPal to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.

    What is remarkable about this group is not just the fact of selling PayPal for $1.5 billion in 2002, one of the biggest transactions at that point, it is also what they went on to achieve after that that sale.

    Consider ten prominent members of this group.

    1. Elon Musk – Co-founded Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Neuralink, The Boring Company, and others. Net worth approximately $137 billion.

    2. Peter Thiel – Co-founded Palantir Technologies, Mithril Capital Management, Valar Ventures, and Founders Fund. Early investor in Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX. Net worth $4.3 billion.

    3. Reid Hoffman – Co-founded LinkedIn. Early investor in Facebook, Airbnb, and dozens more. Net worth $2 billion.

    4. Max Levchin – Founded Affirm, Slide, HVF. Early investor in Yelp, Evernote. Net worth $900 million.

    5. David O. Sacks – Founded Yammer, sold to Microsoft for $1.2 billion. Early employee at PayPal. Net worth estimated $400+ million.

    6. Roelof Botha – Partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, invested early in YouTube, Instagram. Net worth not known but manages over $12 billion in VC money.

    7. Jeremy Stoppelman – Founded Yelp, still CEO. Net worth estimated at $400+ million.

    8. Jawed Karim – Co-founder of YouTube, designed key parts of Paypal’s platform. Net worth $200+ million.

    9. Premal Shah – Founded Kiva.org. Sits on boards of Change.org, PayPal, others.

    10. Luke Nosek – Partner at Founders Fund, multibillion dollar venture capital firm.

    The story of the Paypal Mafia is a powerful example of how networks operate and why joining a network of like minds is very important. The connections made during the PayPal days enabled the group to support each other’s ventures through investing, advising and attracting top talent. In his bestselling biography of Elon Musk, Walter Isaacson wrote that it was the Paypal Mafia that came to his rescue during the dark days of the 2008 recession.

    A wise man once told me that “Joining a circle of people on a march to success increases your chances of success by 200%. Sometimes all you need to succeed is to be in the right circle.”

    Do you have a network?

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