Yesterday, Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman did a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA). It was a little unusual for a few reasons. One, you don’t see too many CEOs of large public companies take questions on Reddit from the public. And two, things got pretty contentious pretty quickly, with a barrage of questions about review manipulation and alleged shady sales tactics.
Stoppelman responded pretty forcefully, combating accusations that the company will delete negative reviews if businesses advertise them, or highlight them if they won’t, and pointing out that multiple lawsuits alleging just that have been thrown out.
It wasn’t all contentious though. Stoppelman talked about his experience as CEO, and building a company from a tiny startup to an Internet staple. He also provided some essential management advice, answering the question — What’s your single most important management tip, and who/where did you learn it?
Here’s his answer:
Stoppelman, along with other huge successes like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, and Chad Hurley, was an early employee at PayPal. The whole group’s done so well that they’re identified en masse as the “Pay Pal Mafia.”
He ascribes their collective success to the fact that PayPal rode out the internet bubble’s burst, along with eBay, so there was a group of very bright, product oriented people with some money on their hands in 2002-2005 when very few people were willing to fund anything.
Stoppelman also responded to a question asking what computer science students could do if they wanted to make it big. Here’s his response:
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