Thursday, April 24, 2008

PayPal Story Forgot to Mention the Bomber

Before Homeland Security agents break down my door, this has nothing to do with terrorism. It has to do with my brother, Tim.

Bomber is what we call Tim, born on December 7th and known for throwing the bomb as a QB, bombing the ball as a batter, bombing away from 3-point range, and jumping as high as he could and then tucking his legs under him to come down knees first and drop a bomb in our family version of WWF battle royales on Mom & Dad's double bed.

The story in today's OWH did not mention that the Bomber may be the main reason for the major investment of PayPal/eBay in our community.

Bomber has managed PayPal's anti-fraud operation for many years. PayPal was developing a reputation as the gold standard for fraud prevention in online transactions, while eBay was evolving into the phenomenon that it is.

Fraud was becoming a major problem for eBay, so eBay acquired PayPal to better police its online transactions.

PayPal was doing well on its own, but of course the connection with eBay has fueled the type of growth reported in the OWH story and celebrated by all who value economic development.

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce rightly is credited for its role in the PayPal/eBay decision to invest in our community. And the OWH story noted the productivity of Nebraska workers as a key factor.

But it's more than that. The Bomber and his generally homegrown crew built a world class fraud prevention system that attracted the attention of eBay, which tried to develop its own system and could have turned in any direction for help.

The can-do smarts and gumption that pulled our community out of the economic doldrums in the 1890s is alive and well in the 21st century.

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