Mapping the trailblazing story of multinational digital-payments company PayPal, a new book sheds light on how a scrappy start-up turned into one of the most successful companies of all time, worth over USD 70 billion today.
”The Founders”, written by author Jimmy Soni, offers colourful anecdotes about perennially popular figures like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel with the gripping true story of how PayPal reimagined the digital age. It will hit the stands on February 24. Based on original research and rare interviews with Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and others, the book, published by Atlantic Books, claims to contain ”juicy details not yet made public”.
”Modern technology tales are usually told as stories of individual achievement—more ‘genius’ than ‘scenius’. Jobs is inseparable from the Apple narrative, as is Bezos from Amazon, Gates from Microsoft, or Zuckerberg from Facebook. PayPal’s success is a story of a different kind.
”There is no single hero or heroine. At different moments in the company’s history, various team members produced critical, company-saving breakthroughs; remove any one of them, and it’s possible that the whole thing would have collapsed,” wrote Soni in his introduction of the book.
Through the story of PayPal, Soni chronicles the birth of the modern internet and the billionaires, also called ‘PayPal Mafias’, who have gone on to dominate Silicon Valley in this page-turning and revealing volume.
Out of PayPal’s ranks have come three billionaires and dozens of multi-millionaires, including household names like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman. PayPal’s alumni have built, funded and advised almost all of the billion-dollar-plus companies to emerge from Silicon Valley in the past two decades.
According to the publishers, full of fascinating characters and anecdotes about Silcon Valley’s biggest titans, ”The Founders” also shows how its founders continue to shape our future today.
”Today, every online video you watch and every internet purchase you make bears PayPal’s fingerprints – its inventions made the modern internet possible and are embedded in our social networks, our banks and our intelligence agencies,” they added.
Sonni, who has worked for the New York Observer, the Washington Examiner and HuffPost, is also the co-author of ”Rome’s Last Citizen” and ”A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age”.
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