Now Cough

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Is this success?

The founder of Pay Pal, a now very wealthy ($100-million+) 32-year old named Max Levchin, is profiled in the New York Times. (reg required)

One of the many hair raising items in the profle is about how Mr. Levchin views know, making it. Right now he is working on start-up #2;

...he said he would not consider, the photo and video sharing site he founded in 2005 that is still in its start-up phase, a success unless it is ultimately worth, in real dollars, “at least $1.54 billion”— the price eBay paid for PayPal.

“Otherwise,” he asked rhetorically, “what have I learned?”


What have you learned?

His girlfriend shares the house she picked out. A $5-million+ San Francisco mansion where almost none of the boxes have been unpacked. In the associated videocast, you can see her looking into the camera after shutting off her cell phone, lamenting she never knows when Levchin will be returning home.

Anyone want to take a bet on the churn rate of this relationship?

In the same video Mr. Levchin says he wants to have an impact. But if one of the biggest Internet successes is not big enough for him, I suspect the one after that won't be either.

Is this success? Is it addiction?

What has he done with the money from Pay Pal. By all accounts, he hasn't spent it in any way that makes him feel happier. He is pushing a rock up a hill.

“I enjoy sitting on nice beaches and hanging out with my girlfriend and playing with my dog, but that’s three hours a day,” Mr. Levchin said. “What about the remaining 18 hours I’m awake?”

Anyone want to give him any suggestions?


  • Nice post and blog John... I repeatedly heard this fantasy-type-thinking in the corporate world. I read a comment by a venture capitalist regarding funding ethanol projects that, if I doesn't impact at least 500 million people than it will have been a failure. Forget about environmental rational of ethanol, what "impact" means or the personal effects involved.

    By Blogger Carman, at 4:26 PM  

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