PayPal helped create one of the most notable groups of entrepreneurs of all time, a huge concentration of success nicknamed the 'PayPal Mafia,' which includes Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, YouTube's Chad Hurley, Reid Hoffman, Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman and many others.
At an interview at Business Insider's IGNITION 2012 conference, Business Insider Deputy Editor Nich Carlson asked Stoppelman "what was in the water" at a place that's produced so many founders of billion dollar companies.
Of course "It was a great group of people," Stoppelman said, but the real secret was great timing.
"We went through the PayPal experience in a time that, for everyone else, was a complete disaster," Stoppelman said. "During the tech bubble, everyone got burned, everyone lost money. We didn't, we all had a phenomenal time. We were were doing great. When we all made it out of PayPal, we had a bit of capital, and we had already built a consumer internet company. ...That time, 2003 and 2004, was one of the best moments to build a company"
They had the right type of experience to build Web 2.0 companies, a great support network, and hadn't had their entire livelihood destroyed in the tech bubble.
Nothing in the water, just great people in the right place at the right time.
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