“It’s rare that a business book is a page turner, but The PayPal Wars is.” – Tech Central Station
When Peter Thiel, a California hedge fund manager, and Max Levchin, a Ukrainian engineer, launched an online payment website in 1999, they hoped their service could improve the lives of millions of people around the globe. But after their startup, PayPal, survived the dot-com crash only to find itself besieged by an unimaginable series of challenges, that dream threatened to become a nightmare.
Chronicled here for the first time, PayPal’s history—as told by former insider Eric M. Jackson—is an engrossing story of human struggle and perseverance against overwhelming odds. PayPal went from unknown startup to online powerhouse in just two years, but for the company’s employees it was not an easy journey. The entrepreneurs that Thiel and Levchin recruited to overhaul world currency markets first had to face one of the greatest series of trials ever thrown at a Silicon Valley company before becoming part of Internet lore.
Jackson’s lively, blow-by-blow account of PayPal’s death-defying beginnings and ferocious battles offers a detailed perspective that only an insider could provide. Read The PayPal Wars and you’ll learn how:
- EBay unleashed a no-holds-barred effort to dislodge an unwelcome PayPal from its site.
- Organized crime attempted to ransack PayPal—but the company fought back.
- Turmoil pushed PayPal to the brink of insolvency before it turned its business around.
Faced with these daunting challenges, PayPal survived thanks to a unique corporate culture that empowered its talented employees to push the envelope. But an entrepreneurial environment and gifted people weren’t enough to ward off every threat. “Our clashes with the credit card associations, the banking lobby, state regulators, foreign Mafioso, and litigation-happy lawyers significantly increased after our IPO,” writes Jackson, adding that the public offering that was meant to strengthen PayPal with an infusion of cash ironically attracted a rogue’s gallery of foes instead.
“The modern business environment,” Jackson concludes, “turned out to be more hostile than even our fiercest competitor.” This somber warning—that regulators, lawyers, and lobbyists threaten to undermine American entrepreneurship—makes The PayPal Wars a timely read for every entrepreneur, investor, and concerned citizen.
“Kept me up all night reading … the best description of ‘business strategy’ unfolding in a world changing at warp speed.” – Tom Peters, author, In Search of Excellence
“Reads like a spy novel.” – Reason Magazine
“An absorbing insider’s story.” – The Washington Times
Awards and Honors:
Winner, Business Book of the Year – Writers Notes Book Awards
Winner, Non-Fiction Book of the Year – DIY Book Festival
Runner-up, Business Book of the Year – USA Book News
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