Peter Thiel, Investor | Tech Entrepreneur

If there’s what you could call a revolutionary investor then Peter Thiel fits the bill. Thiel, a German-American entrepreneur, made his mark co-founding PayPal with Max Levchin while serving as its CEO as well. Apart from his many ventures, he also came to be the first outside investor in Facebook. And as of March 2012, he was ranked number 293 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $1.5B.

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Now, what is “revolutionary” anyway, and is it good? Well, it’s all about releasing that “rebel” in you in a constructive way. So obviously, it’s good as it speaks of one’s creativity and deeper perspectives. This is what Thiel displayed since he went to college at Stanford when he co-founded The Stanford Review in 1987; and where it inevitably became famous for challenging campus mores.

This “revolutionary” mind of Thiel then brought in a mix of controversy and awe.

MANAGEMENT VIEW. For Thiel, “the success of start-ups is highly correlated with low CEO pay”. If you really think about it… it makes sense, this is why it’s been highly regarded. See, as the ship captain, you should take the lead in sacrificing for the company. Such acts show dedication; and actually “forces” the CEO to really give his best. Only then will sustaining inspiration rise among his ranks.

THIEL FOUNDATION. This is one good way to build a legacy – through a Foundation. In Thiel’s case, he focused his efforts on potential breakthrough technologies. Among them were pledges (currently $1.25M) to the Seasteading Institute who’s working on the idea of ocean communities. Another one would be his support for anti-ageing research through the Methuselah Mouse Prize foundation; as well as his backing for the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence as Thiel firmly believes in technological singularity. In all his philanthropy and ideas, we could see a radical mind working towards the betterment of man that only the truly courageous and creative could understand; which then brings us to his most controversial view…

THIEL FELLOWSHIP. Founded in September 2010, Thiel challenged society’s norm for young people to drop out of college in favor of entrepreneurship. Here, he awards $100K each to 20 people under 20 years old to quit college and create their own ventures. More than putting away college, the contention of both sides is one’s earning potential, like who could actually earn more – an undergraduate or vocational holder, or a college graduate?

With this one, the protagonists overlooked an important area. Hence, the question should really be – could a college degree guarantee you a job? No. Could a postgraduate degree assure you your dream job? No.

So there you go. While entrepreneurship is good, weak ones would just be swallowed by more established organizations. The real job problem really lies deeper than competition, and job to applicant ratio. It’s conventionalilty – companies, recruiters, and what most candidates bring on the table. Thence, how about creating new divisions and positions? Positions that would bring about greater positive change.

What’s your take?

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4 thoughts on “Peter Thiel, Investor | Tech Entrepreneur

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