I wondered if my going to the PayPal Mafia session at Dreamforce today was going to have anything to do with my company Aria. To my delight it turned out it did.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn founder that Forbes recently touted as the most connected man in Silicon Valley, Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, Inc., and Max Levchin, founder of Affirm, a company wanting to disrupt consumer lending, all talked about their PayPal days and what they think is on the horizon.
These are some of the themes that seemed to run through this most enlightening talk: Disruption, data commoditization and consumer banking.
I perked up when they talked about disrupting markets. PayPal was most definitely a market disruptor.
They made me realize that there is a lot of hard thinking these days about how technology companies can usher in new ways of doing business by leap frogging the old ways. Disruption is no longer a concept or idea for some, it’s the name of the game for many. It’s certainly the name of the game for Max’s company, Affirm, who is working to upset the way banks do consumer lending.
(Beware I’m going to promote Aria here). Aria empowers companies to disrupt their markets. Whatever companies can think of in terms of re-packing and re-pricing products in new ways, we enable. In fact, I just finished a blog about how modern dating sites are now charging per date (PPD), disrupting the old market giants like match.com.
So back to Reid, Jeremy and Max, who talked about how they’ve been key players in companies who disrupted their markets (Facebook, PayPal, LinkedIn, Yelp and Affirm). I can’t help but wonder what other companies are working on to disrupt their markets. I have a hunch Aria will be there to help some of them make it happen.
Maybe there’s a way to monetize consumer lending in a new way? I mean if the online dating market can think of something new, why not. Perhaps I should call Max. I bet he has an idea.