Everyone I knew in college who liked to play hoops was an idiot.'” In other words, they were looking for people like themselves. from Stanford and did some time as a corporate lawyer.A bilingual immigrant from Kiev, Ukraine, Levchin is the hypercompetitive son of a playwright father and a physicist mother. But finance has always been more his thing – Institutional Investor named his hedge fund, Clarium Capital, “global macro fund of the year” in 2005. The 40-year-old entrepreneur runs a billion hedge fund.Making neither eye contact nor conversation, he presses his lips together, nods to indicate that he is, as ever, ready for business, and sits.It’s the reason people come to the area from all over the world. After their first breakfast, Thiel and Levchin (left with Thiel) began recruiting everyone they knew at their alma maters.But even by that standard, Pay Pal was a petri dish for entrepreneurs. “It basically started by hiring all these people in concentric circles,” Thiel remembers.Getting there, however, would mean taking on established industries – commercial banking, for instance – which would require financial acumen and engineering expertise.
They’d bring on several hundred employees to what would become Pay Pal.“This guy came in, and I asked what he liked to do for fun,” Levchin recalls.“He said, ‘I really enjoy playing hoops.’ I said, ‘We can’t hire the guy.“I hired friends from Stanford, and Max brought in people from the University of Illinois.” They were looking for a specific type of candidate.They wanted competitive, well-read, multilingual individuals who, above all else, had a proficiency in math.