It’s been a long time since I last wrote in Today I Learned section. The sole reason for these posts not being published at a greater frequency is that there is a lot of research involved in a single post and writing a single post consumes a lot of time but since you all love reading them, I promise you that you will be getting a lot of these in coming days.
Today I am going to share 3 most interesting facts about PayPal which you probably haven’t heard of.
1. PayPal was voted one of the 10 worst business ideas of 1999
This is because the idea with which PayPal started was very different from what it is right now. The initial idea of PayPal involved beaming money to people over Palm Pilots (Palm Pilots were personal digital assistants which ran on Palm OS, launched in 1997).
The initial idea can be explained with this simple example, You went to a restaurant, ate there and when the bill arrives you find out that you forgot to carry your wallet with you but no worries, you have your Palm pilot with you, which runs PayPal as an application which helps you in your transaction by beaming money from one Palm Pilot to another.
The initial product failed but, PayPal Team didn’t loose hope because it was the product which failed and not the idea. So, they continued with a better perspective and now they are one of the best known online money transaction service.
Here’s a small video in which Peter Thiel shares his early days failure with PayPal,
2. Founders and early employers of PayPal are informally termed as PayPal Mafia, Here’s why,
After PayPal went public in 2002, a year later it was acquired by eBay which is a well known fact. Everything seemed right from outside but inside the early employers of PayPal were leaving the company because they were not very comfortable with the traditional work culture in eBay and hence, within 4 years half of the original 200(approx) employees departed.
Most of the employees who left PayPal after acquisition started their own company and majority of them became successful. These companies includes LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, Reddit, Tesla Motor, SpaceX, Kiva, Adbrite and many other.
Due to high success rate of companies founded by people affiliated with PayPal in its early time, they are termed as PayPal Mafia and our very own Peter Thiel is considered as the Don of the PayPal Mafia.
3. Peter Thiel, awards $100,000 to twenty 20 years olds over a period of 2 years if they quit college and start a business.
In Sepetember 2010, Peter Thiel announced, Thiel Fellowship which aims to provide good ideas of college students, the required funding and resources so that they can grow in to a productive business but the only condition to be fulfilled to get all these facilities is that the students must drop out of the college to pursue their business idea.
Since 2010 more than 40 students have been selected for Thiel Fellowship. Here’s the Link to the official website of Thiel Fellowship.
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