【转载】 为什么 PayPal 跑出来的人都成为优秀创业者 Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal?

Source: http://primitus.com/blog/why-did-so-many-successful-entrepreneurs-and-startups-come-out-of-paypal-answered-by-insiders/

PayPal 的 “scrappy” culture (生机勃勃的文化),遇到问题,总会找出解决问题的方法。
  • 天才管理:识别、管理有天才的人
  • 非常关注:明确的任务
  • 不开会:避免一些无用的会议,不耽误别人的时间
  • 解决问题的人
  • 尝试 – 分析数据 – 做出决策


Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? I long have been fascinated by the extraordinary achievement from the ex-Paypal team and wonder about the reasons behind their success. In the past, mass media tried to answer this question several times but still couldn’t give us a clear answer.

I once asked David Sacks the same question during an event in Los Angeles. He told me the secret is that Paypal has built a “scrappy” culture. No matter what problems they faced, they would find a way to solve them. I kind of got the idea, but was still confused about the execution details.

So when I saw some of the past Paypal employees answering this question on Quora, I was super excited! After all, they should be the only ones who can tell people the inside stories.

Below are some highlights of their answers. *If you want to check out the sources or leave your comments, please go to here and here.

On Talent Management

“Peter and Max assembled an unusual critical mass of entrepreneurial talent, primarily due to their ability to recognize young people with extraordinary ability (the median age of *execs* on the S1 filing was 30). But the poor economy allowed us to close an abnormal number of offers, as virtually nobody other than eBay and (in part) google was hiring in 2000-02.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

Extreme Focus (driven by Peter): Peter required that everyone be tasked with exactly one priority. He would refuse to discuss virtually anything else with you except what was currently assigned as your #1 initiative. Even our annual review forms in 2001 required each employee to identify their single most valuable contribution to the company.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

Dedication to individual accomplishment: Teams were almost considered socialist institutions. Most great innovations at PayPal were driven by one person who then conscripted others to support, adopt, implement the new idea. If you identified the 8-12 most critical innovations at PayPal (or perhaps even the most important 25), almost every one had a single person inspire it (and often it drive it to implementation). As a result, David enforced an anti-meeting culture where any meeting that included more than 3-4 people was deemed suspect and subject to immediate adjournment if he gauged it inefficient. Our annual review forms in 2002 included a direction to rate the employee on “avoids imposing on others’ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

Refusal to accept constraints, external or internal:We were expected to pursue our #1 priority with extreme dispatch (NOW) and vigor. To borrow an apt phrase, employees were expected to “come to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.” Jeremy Stoppelman has relayed elsewhere the story about an email he sent around criticizing management that he expected to get him fired and instead got him promoted. Peter did not accept no for answer: If you couldn’t solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

Driven problem solvers: PayPal had a strong bias toward hiring (and promoting / encouraging, as Keith mentions) smart, driven problem solvers, rather than subject matter experts. Very few of the top performers at the company had any prior experience with payments, and many of the best employees had little or no prior background building Internet products. I worked on the fraud analytics team at PayPal, and most of our best people had never before done anything related to fraud detection. If he’d approached things “traditionally”, Max would have gone out and hired people who had been building logistic regression models for banks for 20 years but never innovated, and fraud losses would likely have swallowed the company.” (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal)

Self-sufficiency – individuals and small teams were given fairly complex objectives and expected to figure out how to achieve them on their own. If you needed to integrate with an outside vendor, you picked up the phone yourself and called; you didn’t wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didn’t wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didn’t wait for a content writer.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)

On Culture & Ideology

Extreme bias towards action – early PayPal was simply a really *productive* workplace. This was partly driven by the culture of self-sufficiency. PayPal is and was, after all, a web service; and the company managed to ship prodigious amounts of relatively high-quality web software for a lot of years in a row early on. Yes, we had the usual politics between functional groups, but either individual heroes or small, high-trust teams more often than not found ways to deliver projects on-time.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)

Willingness to try – even in a data-driven culture, you’ll always run in to folks who either don’t believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just aren’t comfortable when data contradicts their gut feeling. In many companies, those individuals would be the death of decision-making. At PayPal, I felt like you could almost always get someone to give it a *try* and then let performance data tell us whether to maintain the decision or rollback.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)

Data-driven decision making – PayPal was filled with smart, opinionated people who were often at logger-heads. The way to win arguments was to bring data to bear.So you never started a sentence like this “I feel like it’s a problem that our users can’t do X”, instead you’d do your homework first and then come to the table with “35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionality…” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)

Radical transparency on metrics: All employees were expected to be facile with the metrics driving the business. Otherwise, how could one expect each employee to make rational calculations and decisions on their own every day? To enforce this norm,almost every all-hands meeting consisted of distributing a printed Excel spreadsheet to the assembled masses and Peter conducting a line by line review of our performance (this is only a modest exaggeration).” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

Vigorous debate, often via email: Almost every important issue had champions and critics. These were normally resolved not by official edict but by a vigorous debate that could be very intense. Being able to articulate and defend a strategy or product in a succinct, compelling manner with empirical analysis and withstand a withering critique was a key attribute of almost every key contributor. I still recall the trepidation I confronted when I was informed that I needed to defend the feasibility of my favorite “baby” to Max for the first time.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

Extreme Pressure – PayPal was a very difficult business with many major issues to solve. We were able to see our colleagues work under extreme pressure and hence we learned who we could rely on and trust.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

中文翻译转自东西网 ——

为什么这么多成功的创业者和创业公司来自 Paypal?

我对前 Paypal 团队成员取得的非凡成就和他们成功的背后原因一直深感着迷。在过去,大众媒体多次试图回答这个问题,但仍不能给我们一个明确的答案。

同样的问题我在一次洛杉矶举办的活动上曾问过David Sacks。他告诉我的秘密是:Paypal 建立了一个“斗志昂扬(Scrappy)”的文化。无论面对什么困难,他们总会找到办法来解决。我似乎听懂了,但仍搞不清楚执行细节。

所以,当我看到一些 Paypal 前员工员在 Quora 上回答这个问题的时候,我异常兴奋!毕竟,他们才是真正能够讲述内幕的人。

On Talent Management 人才管理

“Peter 和 Max 组建了一个非凡的创业团队,主要归功于他们能够发现那些有非凡能力的年轻人(管理层中年龄中数是30)。另外一方面,经济的低迷也相当程度上帮助了我们的 招聘,因为除了 eBay 和 Google 外基本没有其他公司在 2000-2002 还在扩编团队。”(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

Extreme Focus 极度专注(由 Peter 推动)

Peter要求公司每个人肩负一个且只有一个高优先的任务。除了这个 #1 任务之外,他拒绝和你讨论几乎任何其他事情。甚至在我们 2001 的年度评估表格里也要求每个员工明确说出他们每人对公司唯一的最大的贡献是什么。(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

Dedication to Individual Accomplishment 推崇个人成就

团队几近乎一个社会主义组织。

PayPal 公司大部分最伟大的创新是由一个人推动,此后他会争取他人支持,接受并实施他的新想法。如果你举得出 Paypal 最关键的8到12个创新(甚或是25个),你会发现几乎每个创新都是由一个人的灵感产生的(而这个人通常是最终推动从灵感到实施的那个人)。由 此,David推行的是一个“反会议(anti-meeting)”的文化,任何会议如果超出3-4个人都会被怀疑是否缺乏效率,如果他判断是,那这样的 会就会立刻被纠正。

我们2002年的年度评估表格专门包括一类指标,来评价员工在“避免占用他人时间,比如安排没有必要参加的会”方面的表现。(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

Refusal to Accept Constraints, External or Internal 拒绝接受限制,不论外部还是内部

公司期望每个员工-用超乎寻常的行动力和活力去完成#1的优先任务、目标。引用一个时髦说法,公司的期望是:每个人“每天来上班的时候,都准备好了为实现梦想不惜跨越一切障碍,不惜时刻准备着被解雇”。

Jeremy Stoppelman 讲述过一个邮件的故事,他曾发出一封邮件给全公司批评公司管理并做好了被解雇的准备,恰恰相反,他不但没被解雇,反而被晋升了。Peter 从不接受“no”这样的回答:如果你解决不了这个问题,很快就会有其他人被指派去解决这个问题。(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

Driven Problem Solvers 自我驱动的问题解决者

贝宝有一个强烈倾向:喜欢聘用(并提升、鼓励)聪明的,善于自我驱动的问题解决者,而不是某个领域专家。 明星员工中很少此前有支付方面的经验,很多最优秀的员工只有很少甚至没有任何做互联网产品的经验。我在 Paypal 从事欺诈分析,团队中最牛的人大部分从未做任何和欺诈检测相关的事情。如果 Max 用传统思维,他就会去雇那些给银行做了20多年物流回归模型却从没有创新过的的“专家”,如果那样,欺诈损失可能会摧毁公司。(Mike Greenfield,前 Paypal 高级诈骗R&D科学家)

Self-Sufficiency 自给自足

个人和小团队被赋予相对复杂的目标,由他们自己想办法完成。如果你需要整合一个外部供应商,你自己拿起电话开打,你不去等 BD 的人空下来帮你;你自己做(第一版本)Mockups 和线框图,你不去等设计师空下来帮你;你自己坐下来写站点文案,不去等内容人员帮你。(Yee Lee, 前 Paypal 产品总经理)

On Culture & Ideology 论文化与意识形态

Extreme Bias towards Action 极端强调行动

早期的贝宝真是一个非常“高产的工作场所”。

这 部分归功于自给自足(self-sufficiency)的文化。PayPal 一直都是一个网络服务,而公司做到了连续多年持续推出数量惊人相对高质的 web软件。当然,我们的职能部门间也有通常意义上的政治,但无论明星英雄还是高信任度的小团队通常总能想出办法按计划完成项目。(Yee Lee, 前产品总经理)

Willingness to Try 愿意尝试

即使是在一个数据驱动的文化里,你也总能碰到这样的人,他要么不相信你收集到的是对决策合适的支撑数据,要么当数据和他的直觉不符的时候他就是很觉得很不爽。在很多公司,这些人是决策的杀手。在 Paypal 里,让人感觉你几乎总能找到有人愿意去“试一下”,然后让数据告诉我们决策是否维持,还是回滚。(Yee Lee, 前 Paypal 产品总经理)

Data-Driven Decision Making 数据驱动的决策

Paypal 里有很多聪明的、有主见的人,他们的大脑就像一部记录仪。

在这里,你赢得讨论的办法就是摆出数据。所以你绝不能这样开始你的发言“我感觉我们没给用户提供 X 这个功能是个问题”;相反,你要先自己做好功课,然后来到桌前,说:我们的服务里,35%的……问题是因为我们没有 X 这个功能…(Yee Lee, 前 Paypal 产品总经理)

Radical Transparency on Metrics 数据指标的极端透明

推动业务的关键指标数据要对所有员工完全透明,一目了然。

否则,怎么能指望每个员工每天能够独立完成合理的计算、规划和决策?为执行这一准则, 几乎每一个全员大会都包括一个环节,打印出的 Excel 电子表格分发到每人手上,然后 Peter 一行一行的过我们的绩效指标(不是夸张)。(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

Vigorous Debate, Often via Email 激烈的辩论,经常通过电子邮件

几乎每一个重要的问题都有支持一方和批评一方。

这些通常不是领导一句话解决,而是通过激烈的辩论,可以是非常激烈的辩论。能够通过简洁的吸引人的方式,配合经验分析,清楚地阐明、捍卫一个策略或产品,并能承受得住尖锐的批评,这几乎是每个核心成员和关键贡献者的必备素质。我至今还清楚记得,当我得知我第一次需要到 Max 那里捍卫我的宝贝儿主意的可行性的时候,我是如何的惶恐。(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

Extreme Pressure 极压

Paypal 是一个非常困难的生意,要解决许多重大问题。我们有幸看到同事们在极大的压力下工作,也只有这样,我们才知道谁可以依靠和信赖。(Keith Rabois, 前 Paypal 执行副总裁)

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