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Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman On What Created The 'PayPal Mafia' Of Successful Entrepreneurs

Yelp Ceo Jeremy Stoppelman

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.

SEE ALSO: LinkedIn CEO Says Too Many People Make The Mistake Of Chasing A 'Hot Company' Or Promotion

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Meet The Millionaires Who Are Trying To Force Washington Into Raising Their Taxes

Dollars Cash Money

Earlier this month, a group of millionaires proposing higher taxes on themselves and other high-earning Americans met with senior White House officials, congressional Republican staffers, and Democratic congresspeople to discuss their agenda in light of the looming fiscal cliff.

This organization, Patriotic Millionaires For Fiscal Strength, has attracted over 200 millionaires who endorse raising the highest tax rate to help reverse the nation’s growing burden of debt.

Members of this organization casually refer to themselves as the 1%, but their primary policy priority is to contribute more in taxes for the country’s sake.

Here’s a list of the Patriotic Millionaires’ other preferred policy outcomes, from the Agenda Project:

  • Tax capital gains at 20-28%
  • Tax dividends as regular income
  • Limit total deductions either by dollar amount or percentage of income
  • Increase the inheritance tax

Patriotic Millionaires understand that their involvement might be bad for business, or as one entrepreneur put it, “My accountant hates that I’m here.” But they don’t believe that raising the highest tax rate will cause businesses to cut back on hiring. Rather, they insist that tax rates have never factored into any of their hiring decisions. Their rationale is that entrepreneurs about worry about effective rates going up by 13% – they’re going for triples and homers, and don’t mind striking out once in a while. The risk of an enterprise’s failure far exceeds employee costs.

The group also offered a rebuttal to the most common criticism it receives: that there’s nothing to stop anyone who wants to from paying more to the Treasury. The Patriotic Millionaires’ stance is that the tax debate is not a matter of personal virtue, but rather of societal choices. Reliance on voluntary tax payments would be unrealistic, and far from prudent policy.

The organization’s members realize that the nation’s budget can’t be balanced on their backs, but as one Patriotic Millionaire declared, “If we’re not including higher tax rates on upper incomes in the discussion, it’s crazy.”

Tal Zlotnitsky, CEO of iControl Systems

Tal Zlotnitsky Ceo Of Icontrol Systems

Zlotnitsky, a venture capitalist who started a $100 million business in his basement, calls his story ‘uniquely American.’ He immigrated to the U.S. illegally at the age of 12 without knowing a word of English, and credits his development to his ESL teacher, Ms. Nunez.

He believes that raising taxes on millionaires is a no-brainer:

“If the question is whether I have an extra $20,000 in my bank account or if there’s another teacher in the classroom in Philly, then what is the question?”

David Watson, entrepreneur and former Google software engineer

David Watson Entrepreneur And Former Google Software Engineer

David sees a direct connection between his journey from the middle class to the 1% and America’s unparalleled social infrastructure.

He is involved because he wants millionaires to have a “voice for ourselves” in the ongoing tax debate – a voice that doesn’t necessarily coincide with the Republican Party’s stance on the interests of the wealthy.

Garrett Gruener, founder of Ask.com

Garrett Gruener Founder Of Askcom

Gruener wrote an op-ed in September 2010 titled “I’m Rich; Tax Me More.” He believes that those fortunate enough to benefit from the U.S. socioeconomic infrastructure should give back, and says that in his experience as a venture capitalist, tax rates have never played any role in his decision-making process.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Goldman Sachs Is Bullish On Basketball Shoes (FL)

Spike Lee Nike Shoes

Goldman Sachs analysts Taposh Bari and Chad Sutherland have a new research note out explaining how to invest in the U.S. footwear cycle.

One of their favorite stocks in the shoe industry is Foot Locker (FL) which they rate as 'Buy' with a $39 price target.

And a big part of their investment thesis is the comeback of the basketball shoe business.

"Basketball, in particular, appears to be a resurging athletic trend that should extend the cyclically robust same-store sales growth at FL and, to a lesser extent, FINL," they write.

They see three reasons for this:

  1. NBA Ratings: "Renewed interest in the league presumably stems from LeBron James' joining the Miami Heat and the "super-team trend that has ensued."
  2. Fashion Trends: "We view basketball's hightop silhouette as the male version of a bootie or short boot. The skinny denim silhouette, adopted by women in 2008/2009 and men more recently, creates a more tapered leg opening and accommodates a taller footwear silhouette (like basketball shoes)."
  3. Vendor Innovation: Retro Jordan sneakers are launching more frequently and non-Nike brands are becoming more successful at selling products above the $100 price point.

The offer some charts to support this:

Basketball Shoes

Basketball Shoes

Basketball Shoes

SEE ALSO: CREDIT SUISSE: Here Are The 29 Best Growth Stocks In America

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