20VC: Max Levchin on What Makes A Truly Great CEO, Why Self-Awareness Is The Most Important Trait For Entrepreneurs & Why When There Is Doubt, There Is No Doubt

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Max Levchin is the Founder & CEO @ Affirm, the company that aims to remake consumer finance from the ground up. They have backing from some of the best in the business with over $400m in VC funding from the likes of Founders Fund, Lightspeed, Andreesen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Spark Capital just to name a few. Prior to Affirm, Max held numerous exec positions including Chairman of Yelp for 11 years and sitting on the board of directors @ Yahoo. Before that, Max founded Slide, subsequently bought by Google and was the Co-Founder & CTO @ Paypal.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Max come to co-found Paypal and how did that serve as the foundations for his founding of Affirm today?

2.) Why does Max believe there is a crucial misalignment between service providers and consumers in financial services? Does Max agree with Bill Clerico that ‘we are still in the very early days for Fintech?’

3.) Having co-founded Paypal, Slide and now Affirm, how has Max changed as a leader and CEO? What does Max believe makes the truly great CEOs? Are there commonalities in how they operate and their skills?

4.) What does Max look for in all new hires or when evaluating founders for potential investment? Why is self-awareness so important for entrepreneurs to have? Why does Max want to be slightly terrified by how smart an individual is?

5.) How has having children changed Max’s perception of what is important and what he chooses to spend his time on? How does that reflect in his actions and self-discipline?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Max’s Fave Book: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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