Max Levchin's lessons from PayPal to Slide

Bambi Francisco Roizen · April 22, 2008 · Short URL:

Change was the key to Slide's success as it moved from the desktop to the browser

Slide founder and CEO Max Levchin says "the trick to succeeding in a startup is to figure out what doesn't work... and change... The key thing for Slide was figuring out that the desktop was not outside the browser, but inside the browser."

The company itself has to change, as well as the people within it, says Levchin, one of the co-founders of PayPal, the electronics payment company that was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion.  The concept is "as boring as it is important," he says.

In the early days of PayPal, he wanted to go outside the company to hire a senior engineering manager, but had no success finding the right person. Ultimately, he let the engineers "self-organize under natural leaders" and the operation flourished. 

Levchin also recounts how he wanted to hire some of his former PayPal gang for Slide, but most of them made so much money from the PayPal sale that they were too busy founding their own companies.

To hear Levchin talk about the success of Slide, the leading developer of applications on Facebook and other social networks, you can see this earlier interview

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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