The PayPal Mafia Runs The World
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What color are tennis balls? Green? Yellow? People disagree despite the fact the International Tennis Federation (ITF) says that all tennis balls are yellow. But why are they yellow? Why not red? Or Purple?
Starting in 1870’s, tennis balls used in competitive play came in one of two colors, white or black. Depending on what type of surface the game was played on, the players would choose the ball color that was the easiest to see.
That all changed in the 1970’s when Tennis became televised and the players on the court were not the only people trying to follow the ball. The ITF received reports that fans watching on TV could not see the white or black tennis balls on their analog televisions, so they instituted a new ball color to cater to TV audiences. The change for modern audiences didn’t sit well with the leaders of the sports most traditional championship, Wimbledon. Wimbledon continued using white balls until 1986 when they finally caved to the pressures of TV ratings.
If you find yourself watching the U.S. Open this week, pay close attention to where to ball moves across the court. If you were tuned in 40 years ago you may only see two players swinging at the air.
When most people think of adorable animals they think of cute puppies, tiny kittens, or maybe even a baby giraffe learning to walk (see video below). One cute little animal that doesn’t get the affection it deserves is the lowly mouse. A lot of people see mice as vermin that carry disease but those who give mice a chance find that they can be really cute and playful. One of the most adorable things that mice do is giggle whenever they are tickled. If you have never heard a mouse giggle, don’t feel bad, you’re not missing anything. That’s because mice giggle… ultrasonically!
Researchers in Germany studying the brain functions of mice found that mice experience immense joy when people scratch their back. The researchers followed up their study by recording the tickled mice using an ultrasensitive microphone. What they found is that mice emit a sound that when slowed down to human hearing levels is revealed to be a high frequency giggle.
The researchers also found that once a mouse is tickled, they will keep coming back for more. If you ever find yourself within arms-reach a mouse don’t freak out, just give them a scratch and know that they are loving it more than anything in the world.
Getting a high paying job right out of college can set you on a path to success for the rest of your life and building experience early in your career opens new doors moving forward. Problem is, it’s not easy to predict which job will lead to the most success later on or where your career will eventually take you. Most starting points can lead to future success, but one company has a proven track record of being the launching pad for some of the most successful and influential people in the world. That company is PayPal.
The online money transfer company was founded in 2002 and grew to behemoth size as the online banking and ecommerce businesses bloomed in the early 2000’s. The company was founded by a team of six software developers and the young company later merged with a company called X.com run by one Mr. Elon Musk.
Together the team of talented software developers grew their business into a $61 million company. Their rise was so meteoric that they were soon purchased by Ebay.com for $1.5 billion. Once the PayPal team joined Ebay, the founders and other high-level employees started leaving the company to go off to do incredible things.
Elon Musk went on the become a public figure as well as the founder of high tech companies Tesla and Space X. Three other Paypal employees (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim) went on to found one of the most popular video sharing sites in the world, YouTube. Jeremy Stoppelman and Russell Simmons left PayPal to found a business directory site called Yelp. The popular business networking site, LinkedIn was founded by PayPal alum Reid Hoffman (makes sense when you have such powerful connections). Other former PayPal employees went on to found Silicon Valley powerhouses like Square (Keith Rabois), Yammer (David Sacks), Kiva (Primal Shah), and Slide (Max Levchin).
This group of former PayPal employees that went on to control most of the tech world are known as the PayPal mafia and their ranks include six members who have a net worth over $1 billion. Something must have been in the water at the PayPal offices because the team that started changing how we pay for things online eventually revolutionized transportation, communication, networking, and entertainment.
This Week in History
On this week in 1969, the first automated teller machine (ATM) opened for business at Chemical Bank in New York. The idea of a machine capable of disposing money posed an engineering challenge for banks but by the late 1960’s the technology finally became secure enough to ensure the safety of the bank’s cash. The original ATM could only receive deposits and it wasn’t until two years later when ATMs started displaying account balances. Today there are over 1 million ATMs across the world and a new one in installed every 5 minutes.
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