PayPal’s “mafia” is justifiably famous. PayPal alumni include: Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, Elon Musk, Roelof Botha, Max Levchin, Chad Hurley, Jeremy Stoppelman and too many more to mention. Since leaving PayPal, they have founded companies worth billions of dollars.
Around the time that PayPal was beginning to work its magic (2000), I joined another bubble-era high-flyer, Ariba. Ariba’s alumni cannot match the PayPal team for pure star power or entrepreneurial flair, but it is not a shabby group–especially when you consider it is the B2B space!
Over vacation, I was thinking about the folks I met during a decade at the company and how many talented people I had the good fortune to work with. Whatever else you think about the company, the founders, and once high-flying stock, helped attract some really talented people. Much of my 10 years working at Ariba consisted of executing strategies that were on slides from 1996-1999.