Before PayPal went public with a market cap high of $?B,Before eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5B,Before there were 81M active registered accounts in 190 geographies,Before there was $70.9B in total net payments,Before there were $31.2B in eBay transactions . . .
There was Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk,But it wasn’t even the 3 of them for starters as Paypal was the result of a March 2000 merger between Confinity and X.com. There was the first company name--Field Link,- There was the first product that failed (a system for transferring money between palm pilots), - There was the second company name--Confinity, - There was the second product, PayPal, that failed (sending money electronically by cell phone).- There was the third product to handle payments by email between buyers and sellers on the Internet,- There was the simultaneous market expansion of online auctions led by eBay,- There was Confinity’s acquisition of X.com where the final corporate name became PayPal,- There was the surging of accounts from 12,000 to 2.7 million,- There was the overwhelmed network,- There was the money laundering Russian mafia,- There was the ingenious innovation method to distinguish human beings from mechanized “bots” with the “gausebeck-Levchin” test,- There was eBay’s own online payment system, Billpoint that threatened to cutoff eBay from PayPal, - There was PayPal’s hyper competitive, innovative and responsive culture,- There was the regulators, lawyers and politicians, There was the 2002 IPO,
Before Zappos was acquired by Amazon for $1.2B,Before Zappos acquired 7.4M customers, Before 1,500+ employees delighted customers with unprecedented selection and service,Before Zappos generated $25B in gross merchandise sales . . .
There was Jonathan Kaplan,Who was fresh out of a failed company, Worlds of WonderWho dreamt-up the idea for one-time use digital cameras,Who gained investment merely on the premise of fancy packaging (but no product),Who rented photo processing servers to pharmacy and grocery retailers,Who’s initial products barely worked and where the recognition of revenue was not much better,Who watched the single use camera market collapse as every cell phone in every pocket came with a camera,Who then spun plates and tapped danced the creation of a simple easy to use camcorder,That received a call from the chip manufacturer just prior to Christmas day that the 400K cameras sitting inside of pretty wrapped packages would not turn on due to critical bug,Who never lost focus and building the simplest, most elegant, easiest-to-use device that consumers had ever held in their hand,Who never lost a team member through these trying times,Who put the camcorder industry on its ear
Before YouTube was acquired by Google for $1.65B,Before YouTube uploaded 20 hours of video every minute,Before YouTube distributed the world’s largest library of rights managed HD content,Before 51% of ALL internet users visit YouTube at least weekly,Before YouTube had over 1.2B video views per day accounting for 72% of all video views,Before YouTube became available in 22 countries in 14 different languages . . .
Humble Beginnings True Entrepreneur Tales Alfred LinFebruary 9, 2011
Elements of a Sustainable Company ✔ Clarity of purpose ✔ Spectacular market ✔ Alleviate customer pain ✔ Team DNA ✔ Singular product ✔ Real operating margins ✔ Frugality ✔ Inferno with a single match