PayPal Mafia is no more! Max Levchin wants to be the only King! Max left the Boards of Yahoo and Yelp last year to focus 110% on his fintech startup, Affirm. He left Yahoo and Yelp during times of stress, but remains on the Board of Evernote. If he resigns Evernote, would that be a smoke signal for trouble too?
One should instead ask: Can this Max grow up to become an executive? He started the Levchin Prize. Max also expounds upon leadership on LinkedIn and looks earnestly into every camera to prove he’s really serious this time, but his youthful face tells another story than that of wise sage of Silicon Valley.
Too much Time. After Yelp’s failed attempt to sell itself due to declining traffic and higher costs, Max left Yelp’s Board on July 24, 2015. Max “left for personal reasons” per the SEC filing. On December 4, 2015 — one week before Yahoo decided not to spin off its Alibaba holdings — Max resigned from the Yahoo Board. This time, it was “demands on his time” given as theofficial reason for departure. By finding time to fulfill the demands of both boards, Max could have learned more about business.
Leaving Home. In tweets, Max wanted to affirm that Affirm required his absolute concentration, his absolute time.
Max should leave Affirm, at least the day-to-day operations. By learning to delegate, Max would find the time to be Affirm’s chief executive officer rather than its product director, technologist, and jack of all trades. After starting Confinity, PayPal, Slide, and Glow, Max can easily graduate to the next level of entrepreneurship by going outside his comfort zone and into the wilderness as done by Steve Jobs.
Apple Computer’s steve p. jobs became Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. by business challenges posed by Next and Pixar. Many things can be said about Steve Jobs, but you can also know a person by their impact: a fingerprint in ink, a child’s footprint in the sand or hand prints in cement. Steve Jobs, along with his team, created Apple Inc., which will be Job’s legacy.
It seems Max does not want to be where the wild things are, but that is how young founders grow up to be a great entrepreneurs. Elon Musk turned on Tesla, Peter Thiel found Palantir, Reid Hoffman got Linkedin, and Max…, well we don’t know yet.
His legacy could be either really great, lasting companies or just a string of startups.
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