Two nights ago, three former PayPal execs took the stage at Startup2Startup to look back at the early days of the payments company (and some of their blunders), as well as the culture at their current companies. The speakers included: Max Levchin, who co-founded PayPal and is now founder/CEO of Slide; Jeremy Stoppelman, who was PayPal’s VP of Engineering and is now the cofounder/CEO of Yelp; and David Sacks, who was PayPal’s COO and is now founder/CEO of both Yammer and Geni. Moderating the fireside chat was Dave McClure (a former PayPal employee himself), who cofounded Startup2Startup with Leonard Speiser.
The PayPal alums talked at length about the company’s history, including some of the horror stories they took part in (Levchin recounted one incident where he accidentally wiped out the only copy of PayPal’s master secret key used to decrypt every credit card on file at PayPal). The conversation then turned toward company culture, and which hot companies in Silicon Valley seemed poised to breed the most entrepreneurs. We’ve embedded videos of the full discussion below.