Dan Schulman, CEO, PayPal: The Philosophy of Never Standing Still

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Five years ago, PayPal was considered a dinosaur in Silicon Valley. With an antiquated structure and business model, and new competitors like Apple Pay entering the market, the digital payments company’s future looked questionable. But in 2015, Dan Schulman took over as PayPal’s CEO. He brought with him a philosophy shaped by his experience studying the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga: never stand still. To constantly move forward, always be learning, and think expansively about the challenges you face. Today, PayPal is “a radically different company” than it once was, says Schulman. Under his leadership, PayPal has become one of the most successful tech companies in the world. He joins the podcast to talk about the mission to democratize financial services, why profit and purpose should never be at odds, and why being a “customer champion” means sometimes going against your own business model to do what’s right for customers.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • Why a company’s single biggest competitive advantage is its ability to attract and retain the best talent — and pay them enough to be financially healthy
  • How PayPal created the “Net Disposable Income” metric to measure its employees’ financial well-being, and why other companies should do the same
  • Lessons from Schulman’s working relationship and kinship with Sir Richard Branson
  • How understanding someone’s life through experiencing it (rather than reading a report about it) engenders the authenticity and insight to design relevant products and services
  • Why CEOs shouldn’t be focused on politics, but rather consistently standing for a set of values