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Learning from the PayPal mafia

PayPal's early path may well have changed the face of entrepreneurship, but the agile/lean lessons are not what inspire me. When building teams we often spend so much time worrying about skills and experience that we forget that trust and commitment come first.

TechRepublic: How the 'PayPal Mafia' redefined success in Silicon Valley, 2014-Jul-5 by Conner Forrest

The PayPal Mafia is often referred to as a "network" of people, but Thiel is hesitant to describe what PayPal achieved as the work of a network.

"I prefer the word friendship to networks, and I think the critical piece was that some incredibly deep friendships were forged. I think that is what's very underrated in our world today," Thiel said.

Part of what PayPal's culture was rebelling against was transactional work relationships. By developing and maintaining actual friendships, the PayPal Mafia was able to remain invested in one another's success and committed to seeing each other change the world.