Book Review: The PayPal Wars by Eric Jackson

October 2, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

How many of you use PayPal? How many of you like PayPal? Personally, I was ripped off more than $1,500 using PayPal and it has taken time to heal that wound. Regardless, someone recommended the PayPal Wars to me and I loved every page of it. A very quick read about the very tough times they had to gain “world domination.”


The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth

Here are some interesting highlights about the book:

  • Max Levchin the CTO focused heavily on security and created the captcha. That little image where you have to type in the words when you are registering on a website.
  • Almost all decisions at the company are number based and very calculated.
  • The decentralization of PayPal was key in its early success to respond to challenges and opportunities.
  • The company started out as a PDA to PDA payment system with the online portion as a secondary.
  • The majority of growth came from latching on to eBay auctions.


Bottomline: The book reminded me a lot of my early times at Facebook, challenging, fast paced and exciting. Noah’s recommendation: Read it

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5 responses to “Book Review: The PayPal Wars by Eric Jackson

  1. Sri Reply

    Paypal fucked me $100.00

    This guy purchased a gift card from me from Florida and paid me through paypal. After a week or so, paypal says it was fraudulent tat the Florida person used somebody else’s information to pay me and they withdrew $100 from my account!! Mother fuckers!! A large corporation should be able to eat those kinda losses…and not take it out on us. The card was already used by then.