Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Peter Thiel as Michael Corleone? Pass the Cannoli!

Fortune had an interesting article by Jeffrey M. O’Brien on the links between and among the various alumni of the PayPal online payment service, focusing on the Mafia-like aspects of their affiliation.

Actually, after reading it, with all the silly sniping among some of them (now all apparently resolved), it sounded to me more like the infighting of a particularly catty sorority than the back room of the Bada Bing.

But it is an interesting example of how insular Silicon Valley operates, creating new companies out of the carcasses of old ones and how important the roundelay of interconnections can be–in this case, stretching from PayPal to Yelp to Digg to YouTube to Facebook.


But the photos of the former PayPal group (pictured here at San Francisco’s famed Tosca) playing dress-up as nerdy gangsters was a nice touch, as was the shot of investor Peter Thiel as capo di tutti capi and Max Levchin, now running hot widget maker Slide, as his consigliere.

But if you want to see them both in more normal action, here’s a video interview I did recently with Thiel and a three-part one I did with Levchin.

Peter Thiel:

Max Levchin, Part 1:

Max Levchin, Part 2:

Max Levchin, Part 3:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik