The Last Mafia
Some years ago, Fortune magazine coined the term “Paypal Mafia” for the former executive team at Paypal that went on to shape Silicon Valley over this past decade, from founding companies of their own to making investments, and advising the next generation.
Ever since, people have been trying to label the next mafia. The Facebook mafia is mentioned quite a bit as we approach their IPO, and even the Twitter mafia has a singular fan out there.
Here’s a prediction: the Paypal mafia is the last mafia. I don’t believe the level of talent and intellectual horsepower that came together to create Paypal will happen again, especially in today’s climate. There’s too many startups, too much greed, too much ego. It’s going to take a big and very special vision to bring together anything close to that kind of team again, and even then it’s going to be a struggle.
Even the Facebook executives, as gifted as they are, I don’t believe will match the achievements of their Paypal predecessors. The Paypal team went on to create billions of dollars in value in companies they’ve founded alone, let alone investments. Everyone wants to be the first to spot the next trend or coin the next buzzword, but stop and marvel at what this group has accomplished, and appreciate what it will truly take to repeat history.