Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series

Tools

Advice to eBay (the acquirer) - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Date: 1/21/2004
Length: 0 minutes
Speaker(s): Max Levchin , Peter Thiel
Sources: Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Description: Peter's advice to eBay for the future of Paypal is to keep scaling the business. At the beginning, it made sense to integrate Paypal's product closely with eBay, but now they are starting to develop applications outside of eBay
and these should be vigorously promoted.

Other Videos in Series

Advice to eBay (the acquirer) - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: Peter's advice to eBay for the future of Paypal is to keep scaling the business. At the beginning, it made sense to integrate Paypal's product closely with eBay, but now they are starting to develop applications outside of eBay
and these should be vigorously promoted. Watch More
Beating Competitors - and the Conventional Wisdom - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: The concept of digital cash had been around long before Paypal. Paypal was unique in that it was successfully able to create a compromise between security, privacy and convenience that was acceptable to the customer. Watch More
Changing the Business Model - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: Though Paypal launched the Palm model and the internet model at roughly the same time with roughly the same number of customers, the internet model took off while the Palm side remained stagnant. Consequently, Paypal shifted its
company focus toward the internet model. Watch More
Coping with Fraud - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: The founders soon realized that a major part of the high burn rate was due to fraud. They admit to being very naïve about fraud when they started the company. They had to either find a way to beat fraud or the
fraudsters would beat them. They were able to successfully stay ahead of the fraudsters and reduce the fraud rate dramatically. Watch More
Exponential Growth - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: The customer growth following the free-$10 plan was exponential. Since each new customer cost the company $10, this caused an exponentially growing burn rate as well. As the burn rate was catching up to them and competition was
quickly approaching, Paypal merged with its largest competitor, who was also facing impending financial ruin. The merged company was then able to secure funding. The founders describe this period as extremely stressful and with the frantic
feeling of trying to stay ahead of imminent failure. Watch More
How We Attracted Our First People - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: The founders built the initial team of six by recruiting people they knew and trusted. Though it some took convincing, they got the other members to give up whatever they were doing and move out to California. Watch More
Looking Ahead to Their Next Venture - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: The world is headed in the direction of a global, inter-connected economy in which enormous amounts of money are transferred around the world. Currently, there are outrageous margins on currency exchanges so there is an
opportunity in offering transfers at respectable margins. Watch More
Lucky or Brilliant? - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: Entrepreneurs generally describe themselves as either unlucky or brilliant, depending on whether or not they were successful. Since the company can never be founded again, Peter Thiel says it is hard to know whether they were in
fact brilliant or merely lucky with Paypal. He does say that they were at the right place at the right time, but undoubtedly did many right things along the process as well. Watch More
Negotiating with eBay - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: The negotiations with eBay were difficult because eBay did not originally recognize Paypal as an essential part of their business model. After a year-and-a-half long negotiation (and a few marketing ploys by Paypal), eBay
recognized the Paypal's value and the two companies were able to agree upon the deal terms and valuation figures. Watch More
Paypal Cofounders Met in Terman at a Seminar - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: Max met Peter at a free lecture on the currency market held in Terman. The lecture only had six attendees and Max approached Peter afterwards to tell him he was going to start a company. Peter had lots of friends that had been
involved in startups, most of which had blown up catastrophically. Still, they were eager to try it themselves. Peter had experience in finance and Max had experience in crypto, and after a great deal of brainstorming, they decided to do
something with encrypted money. Watch More
Paypal is Not a Bank - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: The founders of Paypal are often asked if they are a bank. They are not a bank because they are not involved in fractional lending, nor are they backed by the Federal Reserve. Peter likens Paypal to a money market
fund. Watch More
Selling Customers -- Getting the Product Out - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: Technology companies face four major development hurdles along the path to success: basic concept, the product, getting it to customers, and making money. Focusing on the last, the two prevalent business models for making money in
the high tech market are advertising or partnering. After thorough analysis comparing the costs of different advertising strategies, the Paypal founders decided that, however unintuitive, giving each customer $10 for opening a new account was
the cheapest method to obtain customers. Watch More
Selling Employees, Selling Investors, and Selling Customers - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: In the beginning, the company had three points of focus: recruiting people, selling investors, and selling the products to customers. Selling the company to investors was initially the most difficult of the three and Peter
discusses how difficult it was to secure funding. Watch More
Selling Investors: Beaming at Bucks - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: To mark the first major funding round, the Paypal founders staged the famous Beaming at Bucks, where the Paypal money encryption technology was used to send the funding money from one PalmPilot to another across the room in a
publicity demonstration. There was a mad rush before the demonstration to get the technology working and there was consideration of faking the event, but they decided to stick to the plan and miraculously pulled off the money transfer
successfully. Watch More
The Initial Public Offering (IPO) - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: Paypal was the first company to file for IPO status after 9/11 and consequently faced much-stricter-than-normal scrutiny. Additionally, the night before a deadline the founders found out that they were being sued for patent
infringement. After a sleepless night and rushed meeting with a lawyer, the suit was dropped. The process was so rushed and stressful that it remains just a blur in the memories of the founders. Watch More
Viral Marketing - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Max Levchin Peter Thiel
1/21/2004
Summary: There is no set formula to make viral marketing successful. Rather, it depends on the situation. It worked with Paypal because customers were able to transfer money to non-customers, therefore growing the network
quickly. Watch More
When and Why to Merge With a Competitor to Dominate a Market - Max Levchin, Peter Thiel (Paypal)
Peter Thiel Max Levchin
1/21/2004
Summary: The early merger with the competitor created a unified front that helped convince people that there was a large market with real growth. Though there is no way to tell, it is likely that both companies would have run out of money
had they not merged. Watch More

comments powered by Disqus

Search e360TV

Stay Connected

Email Newsletter Signup

Want to get connected? Sign up to receive regular news, polls and updates from The Kauffman Foundation.

Email Newsletters

Want to be up-to-date with the latest news and updates from Entrepreneurship.org? To subscribe, just give us your email address below; you'll choose which e-newsletters you'd like to receive on the next screen.