During its formative years in the late 1990’s, Paypal attracted an extraordinary group of young entrepreneurs, who then went on to build some of the best known companies in tech. They became known as The PayPal Mafia—and Max Levchin was one of the leaders. A computer genius from Soviet Ukraine, Max joined Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and others as they grew PayPal into a massively successful online payment service. Along the way, they encountered almost every start-up challenge imaginable, including the emotional ouster of Elon Musk as CEO. After PayPal was acquired by eBay in 2002, Max couldn’t sit still, so he launched a startup lab that eventually led to another successful fintech company: Affirm. Guy will talk to Max about Affirm next week, in the second episode of this two-part series.