Peter's Principle: Absolute Openness

Fortune magazine recently ran a feature on PayPal alumni that includes folks like Slide CEO & Founder Max Levchin, the YouTube boys and David Sacks of Geni.

The star of the story, however is Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal and now a hedge fund investor non-pariel, who manages billions of dollars and is an ultimate contrarian. His investments include Facebook (stake worth over a billion dollars), LinkedIn and Slide. Amusing as it might be, the story has one nugget of information that most start-up founders should at least attempt to copy.

His hallmark management MO at PayPal (at least, pre-IPO) was the all-hands open-book session. Customer logs, revenue flow, fraud losses, burn rate: He’d display it all for every employee to see. This access to information, coupled with the lack of offices, created a flat structure where any idea could win the day.

Also watch my video interviews with Max Levchin and David Sacks, on the GigaOM.TV website.


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