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The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth Hardcover – September 21, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0974670102 ISBN-10: 0974670103 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews


There are over 50 million PayPal users, and about three-quarters live in the U.S.

Over 7,960,000 pages on the web mention PayPal.

Customers use PayPal an average of 35,000 times an hour.

Eric M. Jackson appeared on over 125 radio and TV shows in support of the hardcover edition.

The PayPal Wars won the Writers Notes Magazine Book Award. --This text refers to the Turtleback edition.

From the Publisher

Congratulations to "The PayPal Wars" by Eric M. Jackson, winner of the 2005 Writers Notes Book Award for best business book, winner of the 2005 DIY Book Award for non-fiction, and runner-up in the 2004 USA Book News' Best Book Award for business.

"The PayPal Wars" is not your ordinary business book! Tom Peters -- management guru and author of the classic "In Search of Excellence" -- said this book "kept me up all night reading" and declared it "the best description of 'business strategy' unfolding in a world changing at warp speed." It's been called "an absorbing insider's story" by the Washington Times and hailed for its "engaging narrative [that] reads like a spy novel" by Reason Magazine. With its fast-paced story and an unabashedly pro-capitalist message, "The PayPal Wars" is a gripping and intelligent read from cover to cover.

This candid insider's account shows firsthand how PayPal launched its online payment service and set out to revolutionize the world's currency markets. But when the startup's plucky entrepreneurs found themselves confronting eBay (their #1 source of customers!) as well as organized crime rings, money-grubbing lawyers, and even regulation-happy NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the entire venture takes a turn for the worse.

Order "The PayPal Wars" today and learn how PayPal overcame these daunting obstacles to become the world's leading online payment service and eBay's fastest-growing business division.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: World Ahead Publishing, Inc.; First Edition edition (September 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974670103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974670102
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric M. Jackson is the co-founder and CEO of CapLinked (http://www.caplinked.com), a secure collaboration and workflow solution for managing complex business deals and projects. He was PayPal's first senior director of U.S. marketing and wrote the award-winning book The PayPal Wars.

Jackson ran the marketing team at PayPal, where he spearheaded product marketing efforts from 1999-2003. While there he ran the company's first customer acquisition campaign to eBay customers, paving the way for PayPal to be accepted as a payment option on a majority of all eBay auctions one year later, and oversaw the strategy and execution of up-selling customers from free to fee-bearing accounts, growing transaction revenue from $1.0 to $7.4 million in just one quarter. He served as the interim VP Marketing following the company's acquisition by eBay in 2002, before leaving the next year to found World Ahead Media, a media and publishing venture. During Jackson's tenure as CEO, World Ahead achieved national prominence and reached profitability in its third year of operations before being acquired.

His book, The PayPal Wars, won the Writers Notes Book Award and was hailed by Tom Peters as "the best description of business strategy unfolding in a world changing at warp speed." An outspoken advocate of personal liberty, Jackson has appeared on CNN, ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC's "Hardball," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," and numerous other TV and radio programs. He has been quoted in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and BusinessWeek.

Jackson has lectured for the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation, and has been a featured speaker at Freedom Fest and the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. He holds a degree in economics with honors from Stanford University. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ericmjackson.

Customer Reviews

Exceptional book, a real page turner.
Amazon Customer
Much of the story in Jackson's account, and much of the excitement, comes from the battle between Billpoint and PayPal.
R. Hardy
It reminds me to be appreciative that some people in positions to tell great stories are naturally great writers.
S. Jamal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Way in the last century, I made my first Internet purchase, from Amazon, and it was so remarkably strange and new that I actually wrote a letter to friends about my experience. Such purchases now are of course nothing to write home about, and the process of paying on the Internet has become itself a big business. In _The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth_ (World Ahead Publishing), Eric M. Jackson gives an insider's view of an important part of the growth into the new world of Internet trade. As the subtitle indicates, there are plenty of battles detailed here, lots of skirmishes with tactics and attempts to guess what the next move of the opponent will be. The opponent throughout the book was the auction site eBay, but a look at the back of the book's jacket will tell you how the battles turned out: "_The PayPal Wars_ is not sponsored or endorsed in any manner by eBay, Inc., or its subsidiary PayPal, Inc." It would seem as if eBay won, but actually, PayPal had made itself so indispensable that the young company was incorporated into the larger one in 2002, acquired for a cool billion and a half dollars. It turns out that how PayPal won is a fine story, exciting in parts, and not just for those interested in the modern business world.

Jackson begins his story with his recruitment to the startup in 1999. He had been an analyst for one of the best-reputed firms in the world, Arthur Andersen, and was invited to abandon his staid but reliable job to come to the fledgling PayPal. He could not find his boss, he had to borrow someone else's computer, and he had no desk. "At least Andersen gave its new hires a place to sit," he grumbled.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Paul S on January 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This inspiring story of a scrappy startup and its crack team is a must-read for entrepreneurs, business owners, and even PayPal's upper management of today. Even as PayPal grew into a sizable company post-IPO, its irreverent and open culture kept innovation alive and overhead at a minimum, allowing its product development group to get features onto the site with as little notice as a couple weeks. In the two years since the acqusition, eBay's corporate heavy-handedness has systematically ground down the innovative and spirited drive that kept PayPal one step of eBay through the war described in this book. Product lifecycles are lengthening, defect rates grow as technology management short-sightedly cuts QA schedules (see their recent site outages), and strategy is micromanaged by uninformed executives instead of being delegated to those who know the marketplace and the technology. The empowerment of their staff by Peter Thiel, David Sacks, and Max Levchin touted so often in this book is completely gone. If the current trend continues, the eBay community can expect the same oblivious, clumsy decisions made by eBay during the PayPal wars (SYI, Checkout) to be made by the "new" PayPal, instead of real product innovations to help real people.

Make no mistake - while PayPal and eBay's services are highly complementary, their cultures are very different. This book shows how a vibrant, innovative, and merit-based culture emerged in PayPal through a trial by fire. In contrast, eBay's market success was assured nearly from the beginning, making its executive staff lazy and complacent. An inevitable network effect made eBay's expansion so easy that its management could rely on hamfisted corporate tactics to beat competitors - buying out Half.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By DiamondEagle on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
In an article on the [...] blog by Nick Denton called "An alternate history according to Elon Musk" Elon is quoted as saying the following about this book:

"The only negativity in recent years was due to a book called The PayPal Wars, written by a sycophantic jackass called Eric Jackson. This guy was one notch above an intern at PayPal in the first few years of the company, but gives the impression he was a key player and privy to all the high level discussions. Eric couldn't find a real publisher, so Peter funded Eric to self-publish the book. Since Eric worships Peter, the outcome was obvious - Peter sounds like Mel Gibson in Braveheart and my role is somewhere between negligible and a bad seed. However, to his credit, Peter didn't realize the book would be as bad as it was and apologized to me personally at a Room 9 board meeting at David Sacks's home in LA."

See this link for the full article:
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. Alday on November 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Paypal Wars follows the story of its author, Eric Jackson, from his early beginnings toiling away at doomed consultant at Arthur Anderson until he eventually was asked to join a burgeoning startup called Confinity, Paypal's precusor. The book details Confinity's early obsession with electronic money transfer through handheld Palm Pilots. Eventually, looking for ways to diversify their user base, they stumbled upon the cyber-auction haven of Ebay, what better place to showcase their electronic money transfer plans that on a site with millions of users looking for an easy way to send and recieve money? Ebay had other ideas, the book details Ebay's monopolistic tendencies as they did everything within their power to reduce Paypal's influence on their website. In time forces both legal and illegal unwittingly conspired to damage Paypal enough to force Paypal executives to concede the war against Ebay and eventually sell their industry leading company to the auction giant or face a slow monetary bleed until their inevitable demise. Jackson has crafted a story of corporate intrigue and backroom dealings that offers a valuable insight into the mindset and pitfalls that come with starting a business.
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