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Publisher's Summary

National Bestseller * New York Times Editors’ Choice * Financial Times “Books to Read in 2022”

“A gripping account of PayPal’s origins and a vivid portrait of the geeks and contrarians who made its meteoric rise possible” (The Wall Street Journal)—including Elon Musk, Amy Rowe Klement, Peter Thiel, Julie Anderson, Max Levchin, Reid Hoffman, and many others whose stories have never been shared.

Today, PayPal’s founders and earliest employees are considered the technology industry’s most powerful network. Since leaving PayPal, they have formed, funded, and advised the leading companies of our era, including Tesla, Facebook, YouTube, SpaceX, Yelp, Palantir, and LinkedIn, among many others. As a group, they have driven twenty-first-century innovation and entrepreneurship. Their names stir passions; they’re as controversial as they are admired.

Yet for all their influence, the story of where they first started has gone largely untold. Before igniting the commercial space race or jumpstarting social media’s rise, they were the unknown creators of a scrappy online payments start-up called PayPal. In building what became one of the world’s foremost companies, they faced bruising competition, internal strife, the emergence of widespread online fraud, and the devastating dot-com bust of the 2000s. Their success was anything but certain.

In The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, award-winning author and biographer Jimmy Soni explores PayPal’s turbulent early days. With hundreds of interviews and unprecedented access to thousands of pages of internal material, he shows how the seeds of so much of what shapes our world today—fast-scaling digital start-ups, cashless currency concepts, mobile money transfer—were planted two decades ago. He also reveals the stories of countless individuals who were left out of the front-page features and banner headlines but who were central to PayPal’s success.

Described as “an intensely magnetic chronicle” (The New York Times) and “engrossing” (Business Insider), The Founders is a story of iteration and inventiveness—the products of which have cast a long and powerful shadow over modern life. This narrative illustrates how this rare assemblage of talent came to work together and how their collaboration changed our world forever.

©2022 Jimmy Soni. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Founders

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Wonderful, Engaging & Insightful

This book was well written and kept me engaged throughout its entirety. The author was unbiased in his approach and provided enjoyable insights about Max Levchins & his technological prowess along with David Sacks and his masterful operational abilities.

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This book should be made into a movie @readingwithenrique

print(“For anyone who dreams of changing the world and bringing their vision to life — Start Here”)

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Captivating

I usually judge a book by how eager I am to be done and when I start increasing the audible playback speed. This was one of the rare books that I felt sad when it was over. Well written and a truly compelling story. Highly recommend!

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Good history on the cofounders and Elon musk beginnings

This was a great book and interesting stories on how PayPal got started, it’s murky relationship with eBay, and the origins of Elon musk.

The only downside I had with the book was it seemed to take longer to explain things then necessary which made it seem to drag at times.

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🤯

love this story and especially the epilogue which really helps add a perspective and round lessons covered throughout the book.

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FANTASTIC

FANTASTIC - the epilogue makes sense of the PayPal ethic. Great synthesis of the Founders story.

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The epilogue was the best part.

Interesting rehash of the creation of PayPal. If you are a true silicon valley tech geek, you probably know most of the stories already. I did feel the retrospective conclusion and epilogue had the most insight to be gained from the whole book. if you know most of the story, skip to the end and save yourself 10 hours of listening.

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Is an excellent case study in success Rare

They were both lucky and had great timing but probably more importantly had at least 5 geniuses on their team. This is a book Is that every perspective founder or actual founder should read as it shows a real story of how hard it is to build a successful company that is disruptive.
Congratulations to the author and to all who helped him expose I'm exposed the making of the sausage the sausage and many pivots, close bankruptcies bankruptcies and commitment commitment level necessary to build almost any serious company.

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Great story, Great book

Although Paypal is well known, the book goes back to the first years of the company and reviels the most important moments that made the success story.

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The American dream

A story about immigrants working hard, fighting through challenges, and building something bigger than themselves