The following items I found particularly interesting:
- The slam of the Arthur Andersen & Co. culture (I started my career in the consulting division of Arthur Andersen & Co.) .
- The notion of needing a succinct compelling message of your products value proposition.
- The conversations around the network effect. ( I’d suggest the O’Reilly book Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide for a more detailed discussion of network effects especially in the context of a web based service) .
- The fact that user generated content (eBay sellers) including links to PayPal content was such a big part of their success.
- The discussion of the dot com peak in 2000.
- The internal “Unix/Oracle” vs. Windows NT platform schism.
- The approaches developed and adopted to fight fraud including the introduction of a CAPTCHA.
- The history behind the development of the various policies and the reasons for the development of the “business account”.
- The regulatory hassles and challenges.
- The competitive back and forth interplay between eBay/Billpoint and PayPal.
- The cultural differences between PayPal and eBay.
The whole story is fascinating.
Coincidentally I ran across the following article this week that is very consistent with the story told in the book.
Overall the book contains a lot of thought provoking material. I’m sure it will still be sparking thoughts in the days to come.