The gripping inside story of Paypal, the company that created the digital age as we know it.
Out of PayPal's ranks have come household names like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Reid Hoffman. Since leaving Paypal, they have formed, funded, and advised the leading companies of our era, including Tesla, Facebook, YouTube, SpaceX, Yelp, Palantir, and LinkedIn, among many others. Yet for all their influence, the incredible story of where they started has gone largely untold.
In The Founders, award-winning author Jimmy Soni narrates how a once-in-a-generation collaboration turned a scrappy start-up into one of the most successful businesses of all time. Facing bruising competition, internal strife, the emergence of widespread online fraud, and the devastating dot-com bust of the 2000s, their success was anything but certain. But they would go on to change our world forever.
Informed by hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to thousands of pages of internal material, The Founders explores how the seeds of so much of what drives the internet today were planted two decades ago.
A fascinating page-turner about the brilliant and competitive innovators who created PayPal and went on to shape our digital world. Deeply reported and bracingly written, this book is an indispensable guide to modern innovation and entrepreneurship.
― Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Steve Jobs
The real secrets of Silicon Valley are the tight networks of friendship and business that propel new ideas, companies, and personalities into the world. The most consequential of these networks in recent decades is the one that began at PayPal. Here Jimmy Soni delivers a startup-hustle story for the ages, revealing why their wild entrepreneurial ride did so much to build Silicon Valley's supersized present.
― Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America
This book is stunning in its depth and clarity, especially given the complexity of its subject matter: the intertwined early lives of some of the greatest innovators of the twenty-first century. This is the rare book that combines deep research, powerful storytelling, and wit. Anyone who wants to understand how great things get built will benefit from reading it. ― Luke Burgis, author of Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life
Anyone who has used the internet in the last decade will find The Founders a revealing and sometimes shocking look inside today's tech revolution and the very human wizards who have transformed our lives-for good and ill. ― Kati Marton, author of The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel
About the Author
Jimmy Soni is an author and editor who has worked for the New York Observer, the Washington Examiner and HuffPost, among others. With Rob Goodman he is the author of Rome's Last Citizen and A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, which was nominated for a National Book Award. He lives in New York.