PayPal Verified: A review of the companies founded by PayPal grads

Google's purchase of YouTube means one more success story for former PayPal employees, as co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim all worked at PayPal in its early days. The payment company, now a division of eBay, boasts many other successful startups founded by its alumni.

For example, PayPal VP Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn, the most popular business-networking site, and one of the few social networks with an actual point. Another former VP, Jeremy Stoppelman, cofounded review site Yelp with early PayPal employee Russ Simmons, funded by former PayPal co-founder Max Levchin. Levchin was also one of many PayPallers (including his co-founder Peter Thiel) to executive-produce the film "Thank You for Smoking." Thiel also funded Facebook, which is possibly days away from making its own billion-dollar sale.

But not every PayPal grad project is popular. Levchin also sank his time into Slide, a photo-sharing site described by blogger Eran Globen as "a mashup of photos and the marquee tag," since its main service is providing slideshows of photos hosted elsewhere.

Wikipedia lists a plethora of other startups by PayPal grads: the conservative World Ahead Publishing, Room 9 Entertainment (which made "Thank You for Smoking"), spacecraft launch vehicle maker SpaceX, and Craigslist wannabe HourTown. Some are successful, some can barely build a web page, but they hint at a sort of entrepreneuring bug in PayPal's core team. And hey, if some crash and burn, who's going to mock someone who built one of the 90s dot-com boom's few worthy survivors?