Every now and then, a group of former PayPal employees get together to
catch up on life and work. It might be at a backyard barbecue, a
birthday celebration at a classy San Francisco restaurant or a simple
late-night reunion at someone’s house.
Almost inevitably, the conversation turns to business, and soon enough,
a new start-up is born or has found a financial backer. This is what
happened last year with YouTube, the Web video company that Google has
agreed to acquire for $1.65 billion. It also happened the year before
with Yelp, whose Web site lets users review doctors, dry cleaners and
other local services.